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Career profile Home Care Aide

Also known as Caregiver, Certified Home Health Aide (CHHA), Certified Medical Aide (CMA), Certified Nurses Aide (CNA), Home Attendant, Home Care Aide, Home Health Aide (HHA), Home Health Provider, Hospice/Home Health Aide, In Home Caregiver

Home Care Aide

Also known as Caregiver, Certified Home Health Aide (CHHA), Certified Medical Aide (CMA)

Interests Profile
  • Social
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
Pay Range
$20,130 - $36,990 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Active Listening
  • Service Orientation
  • Social Perceptiveness
Knowledge Areas
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Psychology
  • Public Safety and Security
Core tasks
  • Maintain records of patient care, condition, progress, or problems to report and discuss observations with supervisor or case manager.
  • Provide patients with help moving in and out of beds, baths, wheelchairs, or automobiles and with dressing and grooming.
  • Administer prescribed oral medications, under the written direction of physician or as directed by home care nurse or aide, and ensure patients take their medicine.
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What does a Home Care Aide do?

Home Care Aides monitor the health status of an individual with disabilities or illness, and address their health-related needs, such as changing bandages, dressing wounds, or administering medication.

In addition, Home Care Aides

  • work is performed under the direction of offsite or intermittent onsite licensed nursing staff,
  • provide assistance with routine healthcare tasks or activities of daily living, such as feeding, bathing, toileting, or ambulation,
  • may also help with tasks such as preparing meals, doing light housekeeping, and doing laundry depending on the patient's abilities.

What kind of tasks does a Home Care Aide perform regularly?

Home Care Aides are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Maintain records of patient care, condition, progress, or problems to report and discuss observations with supervisor or case manager.
  • Provide patients with help moving in and out of beds, baths, wheelchairs, or automobiles and with dressing and grooming.
  • Bathe patients.
  • Care for patients by changing bed linens, washing and ironing laundry, cleaning, or assisting with their personal care.
  • Entertain, converse with, or read aloud to patients to keep them mentally healthy and alert.
  • Plan, purchase, prepare, or serve meals to patients or other family members, according to prescribed diets.
  • Provide patients and families with emotional support and instruction in areas such as caring for infants, preparing healthy meals, living independently, or adapting to disability or illness.
  • Check patients' pulse, temperature, and respiration.
  • Perform a variety of duties as requested by client, such as obtaining household supplies or running errands.
  • Direct patients in simple prescribed exercises or in the use of braces or artificial limbs.
  • Massage patients or apply preparations or treatments, such as liniment, alcohol rubs, or heat-lamp stimulation.

The above responsibilities are specific to Home Care Aides. More generally, Home Care Aides are involved in several broader types of activities:

Assisting and Caring for Others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Documenting/Recording Information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

What is a Home Care Aide salary?

The median salary for a Home Care Aide is $27,080, and the average salary is $28,060. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Home Care Aide salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Home Care Aides earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Home Care Aides earn less than $20,130 per year, 25% earn less than $23,560, 75% earn less than $31,280, and 90% earn less than $36,990.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Home Care Aides is expected to change by 32.6%, and there should be roughly 599,800 open positions for Home Care Aides every year.

Median annual salary
$27,080
Typical salary range
$20,130 - $36,990
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
32.6%

What personality traits are common among Home Care Aides?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Home Care Aide are usually higher in their Social and Realistic interests.

Home Care Aides typically have very strong Social interests. Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Also, Home Care Aides typically have strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Home Care Aide tend to value Relationships, Support, and Independence.

Most importantly, Home Care Aides moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Second, Home Care Aides moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Lastly, Home Care Aides somewhat value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Home Care Aides must consistently demonstrate qualities such as integrity, self-control, and dependability.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Home Care Aides, ranked by importance:

Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Self-Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

What education and training do Home Care Aides need?

Working as a Home Care Aide usually requires a high school diploma.

Home Care Aides need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Home Care Aides

  • 16.4% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 35.8% completed high school or secondary school
  • 25.6% completed some college coursework
  • 9.1% earned a Associate's degree
  • 10.1% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 2.3% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.7% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Home Care Aides

Home Care Aides may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as customer and personal service, psychology, or public safety and security knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Home Care Aides might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Psychology
Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Medicine and Dentistry
Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

Important Abilities needed by Home Care Aides

Home Care Aides must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Home Care Aides need abilities such as oral expression, oral comprehension, and problem sensitivity in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Home Care Aides, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Inductive Reasoning
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Critical Skills needed by Home Care Aides

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Home Care Aides frequently use skills like active listening, service orientation, and social perceptiveness to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Home Care Aides, ranked by their relative importance.

Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Service Orientation
Actively looking for ways to help people.
Social Perceptiveness
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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