The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) says employment of home health aides is expected to grow by 50 percent before 2018--much faster than the average of all occupations. Jobs are being created because of an aging population and a projected rise in the number of elderly people. Many of these people will struggle with health problems and require assistance for daily chores and activities. Home care aides will play a big role in providing that assistance.
Become certified. According to the BLS, you don't have to be licensed or certified to become a home health care aide, but many home health care aides start as certified nursing assistants (CNA). The certification gives them an advantage over other job candidates who are not certified. Undergo training at a local community college and then take the state test for CNAs. Typical training programs at community colleges last about six weeks, and some home care companies will hire you before you take the state exam. Training is also available through the Red Cross. Contact your local community college or a local unit of the Red Cross to find out more. Find listings for them in your telephone directory.
Start your own business. According to the BLS, more elderly people are choosing to remain at home through their golden years. Yet many will need help with shopping, light cleaning and chores. That could create a perfect opportunity for you to create your own business providing care for the elderly or physically challenged in their homes. Start by simply placing advertisements on free online sites. Also network with other professionals in home health care to generate leads. Charge hourly, daily or weekly fees for your service. Talk to others in the business and find out the going rate in your area for home health care. Then price your services accordingly.
Apply for a job with a nursing home or assistant living facility. Some nursing homes and assistant living companies offer outcall services for patients who want to remain at home. You may be hired to spend a few hours a day with a number of clients as you make your rounds. Find employment opportunities by networking and looking in your telephone directory for home care agencies. Call them or visit their websites to inquire about jobs.
Apply for a job with hospitals or your county. Hospitals may also send out home health care aides as part of out-patient treatment programs, and some local social services programs also provide home health care aides for the elderly.
2016 Salary Information for Home Health Aides
Home health aides earned a median annual salary of $22,600 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, home health aides earned a 25th percentile salary of $19,890, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $25,760, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 911,500 people were employed in the U.S. as home health aides.