Career Information

Return to Career Page


Personal/Home Care Aides

Career data updated last on 10/15/2014
Personal/Home Care Aides Personal and home care aides help elderly, disabled, and ill persons live in their own homes or in residential care facilities instead of in a health facility. Most personal and home care aides work with elderly or disabled clients who need more extensive personal and home care than family or friends can provide. Some aides work with families in which a parent is incapacitated and small children need care. Others help discharged hospital patients who have relatively short-term needs. They clean clients’ houses, do laundry, and change bed linens. Aides may plan meals (including special diets), shop for food, and cook. Aides also may help clients move from bed, bathe, dress, and groom. Some accompany clients outside the home, serving as a guide and companion. They also provide instruction and psychological support to their patients.

They may advise families and patients on such things as nutrition, cleanliness, and household tasks. Aides also may assist in toilet training a severely mentally handicapped child, or they may just listen to clients talk about their problems. In home healthcare agencies, a registered nurse, physical therapist, or social worker assigns specific duties and supervises personal and home care aides. Aides keep records of services performed and of clients’ condition and progress. They report changes in the client’s condition to the supervisor or case manager.
Salary $12.01/hr - $24,980 annually
Significant Points Excellent job opportunities are expected, due to rapid employment growth and high replacement needs. Almost a third of personal and home care aides work part time; most aides work with a number of different clients, each job lasting a few hours, days, or weeks.
Work Environment The personal and home care aide's daily routine may vary. Aides may go to the same home every day for months or even years. However, most aides work with a number of different clients, each job lasting a few hours, days, or weeks. Aides often visit four or five clients on the same day. Personal and home care aides generally work on their own, with periodic visits by their supervisor. They receive detailed instructions explaining when to visit clients and what services to perform for them. Almost a third of aides work part time, and some work weekends or evenings to suit the needs of their clients.
High School Prep High school diploma or equivalent is necessary.
Academic Requirements In some states, this occupation is open to individuals who have no formal training. On-the-job training is then generally provided. Other states may require formal training. The National Association for Home Care offers national certification for personal and home care aides. Certification is a voluntary demonstration that the individual has met industry standards. Successful personal and home care aides like to help people and do not mind hard work. They should be responsible, compassionate, emotionally stable, and cheerful. In addition, aides should be tactful, honest, and discreet, because they work in private homes. Aides also must be in good health. A physical examination, including state-mandated tests, such as those for tuberculosis, may be required. Advancement for personal and home care aides is limited. In some agencies, workers start out performing homemaker duties, such as cleaning. With experience and training, they may take on personal care duties. In Colorado a Certified Nursing Assistant license is necessary, unless the individual is interested only in the homemaker phase of care.


Emily Griffith Opportunity School
Certificate Degree Certificate

Return to Career Page