3 & 4: Home Health Aides and Personal and Home Care Aides
In health care careers, both home health aides and personal and home care aides offer maximum job opportunities.
Home health aides and personal and home care aides perform similar functions. They help people discharged from hospitals, the disabled, chronically ill, cognitively impaired people and older adults who require assistance in the comfort of their own homes. The extent of help extends to a wide range of activities such as performing light housekeeping duties, laundry, changing clothes, shopping, preparing meals, assisting the patient with personal care, and even helping them go to work and remain engaged in their communities.
Home health aides work for certified home health or hospice agencies that receive government funding, whereas personal and home care aides, also known as homemakers, caregivers, companions, and personal attendants work for other private and public agencies, and under the supervision of a licensed nurse or social worker.
Home health aides do not require formal education, but require formal training and other licensing requirements that vary from state to state, but invariably entails passing a competency test. The National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) offers national certification for aides.
Home health aides rank among the professions in most demand, with 460,900 new jobs expected through 2018, with a growth rate of 50 percent. Current salary levels are $10.39 an hour or $21,620 annually.
The demand for personal and home care aides is equally strong, with an expected demand of 375,800 jobs, at a growth rate of 46 percent. They earn slightly less than home care aides, with an average hourly wage of $9.84.