Beyond a high school diploma or GED, not much formal education is required to become a health aide. Most home health aides receive on-the-job training once they have found work. Certification, however, is required by many employers and requires 75 hours of training as well as a supervised demonstration of various basic skills needed on the job.
Certified home health aides provide basic medical and domestic care. This career may include local travel between clients, exposure to bodily fluids and providing physical assistance or heavy lifting. A high school diploma or equivalent and hands-on training are the minimum requirements for pursuing a career in this field. Certification qualifications vary by state.
|Required Education||High school diploma|
|Other Requirements||Some positions, depending on employer and state, require certification|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||38% for all home health aides*|
|Mean Salary (2015)||$22,870 for all home health aides*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Becoming a home health aide has minimal educational requirements. For entry-level positions, a high school diploma is essential. Many positions require individuals to take an aptitude test in math and English. Most training is gained through hands-on experience supervised by a licensed professional, such as a registered nurse. Aspiring home health aides learn very basic medical care skills, such as taking blood pressure, administering medications, preventing the spread of infections and recording medical notes and procedures.
Certification requirements vary by state and employer. Home health aides working for employers who receive Medicare compensation are required by law to complete a set standard of training. Aides must obtain at least 75 hours of training and demonstrate competency in specified skills while supervised by a registered nurse. For example, candidates might be required to show that they can safely transfer a client in and out of bed and properly record vital signs.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has projected a 38% increase in employment for home health aides between 2014-2024 due to the growing number of elderly. As of May 2015, the BLS reported an average hourly wage of $11.00 for aides working in home health care services or an average of $22,870 per year. Home health aides work with clients at home and visit them according to set schedules. Other home health aides are employed in hospice settings. Some employers require a background check prior to hiring a home health aide.
The duties of a home health aide might require frequent lifting of patients and equipment. Home health aides spend a lot of time traveling from client to client. In addition to providing very basic healthcare assistance, aides can perform light housekeeping, such as changing bed linens, doing laundry, making meals and bathing and dressing clients. Home health aides should possess patience and sensitivity due to the nature of the work and the diverse client-base.
Home health aides provide basic medical care in a domestic setting. This may include taking and monitoring vital signs, light housekeeping, and bathing and dressing clients. Home health care services and hospice clinics are two of the major employers of certified home health aides. The requirement for becoming a home health aide is a high school diploma or equivalent with on-the-job training.