Residential Aide: Salary, Job Duties and Career Overview

Working as a residential aide requires little to no formal education. Learn about the training, job duties, and certification to see if this is the right career for you.

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With a high school diploma or GED it is possible to begin a career as a residential aide. These aides attend to the daily needs of their patients, who may be ill, impaired or disabled. Responsibilities may include dressing, bathing, grooming and assisting the patient around the house, or transporting them as needed for appointments or outings.

Essential Information

Residential aides are typically employed by a nursing home; however, some work with private clients. A residential aide assists patients with tasks they are no longer able to perform, such as cooking, laundry cleaning, and dressing. Residential aides also provide emotional support to their clients. In some areas, no formal education is required to secure a position as a residential aide, though training programs leading to certificates and 2-year degrees are available. Certification is needed in some states and voluntary in others.

Required Education None mandatory; certificates and associate's degree programs are available
Certification Mandatory in some states; voluntary certification offered by the National Association for Home Care and Hospice
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 38% for home health aides; 26% for personal care aides
Median Salary (2015)* $21,920 for home health aides; $20,980 for personal care aides

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Residential Aide Training

Programs for aspiring residential aides are typically offered at community colleges or by employers themselves. Through certificate or associate degree programs, aspiring residential aides can study housekeeping techniques, sanitary procedures, safety procedures, and cooking methods.


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in May 2015, home health aides earned a median annual wage of $21,920, with most workers earning $17,480-$29,950. Personal and home care aides earned a median yearly salary of $20,980, with most workers making between $16,910 and $28,620.

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Job Duties

Depending on the circumstances of the job, a residential aide position can include room and board, or the residential aide can commute. Basically, the everyday care of a patient who is ill, impaired, or otherwise disabled is taken care of by the residential aide. A residential aide may have to groom, dress, bathe, and assist a patient in getting around the house or hospital as well as perform housekeeping tasks. Also, these workers help provide emotional support to patients by spending time with them and speaking to them.

Career Overview

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, residential aides may need certification from the state in which they work. The requirements for this generally include a minimum of 16 hours of supervised work experience and 75 hours of education followed by an examination testing the residential aide's skill competency. In order to re-certify, continuing education is usually required every few years.

Additionally, voluntary certification is available from organizations like the National Association for Home Care and Hospice. The certifications offered by this association require documentation and proof of training along with an assessment of skills. Additionally, a written examination must be completed and passed to acquire the certification.

Although no postsecondary education is required to enter the job market as a residential aide, it is possible to take a certificate or complete an associate's degree to prepare to enter this career field. Some states require residential aides to be certified.

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