How to Become A Home Health Aide

People who work as heath aides in different home environments and help their clients in performing various day-today tasks are called Home Health Aides.

Should I Become a Home Health Aide?

Typically, Home Health Aides help patients who have certain physical or mental health issues and cannot perform tasks that involve physical movement and strength. Common duties of people in this profession include,

  • Cooking meals
  • Helping clients take baths/showers
  • Run various errands inside/outside the house
  • Keep track of medications and so on

Education Required

Although no formal education is required, a high school diploma or equivalent is preferred by employers

Major Requirement

Not Applicable


Requirements vary by state but, CPR or NAHC certifications may be required


Formal training may be required by some states

Key Skills

Detail-oriented, Patience, Integrity, Stamina and Communication skills

Annual Mean Salary


Job Outlook

36% for Home Health Aides and Personal Care Aides (Much faster than average)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2018)

As per the data reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2018, the Home Health Aides earned an annual mean income of $25,330 which approx. amounts to $12.18 mean wage per hour. In addition to that, BLS reported the Social Advocacy Organizations as the highest paying industry with an annual mean income of $42,290. Apart from that, BLS website listed New York as the state with the highest level of employment (191,820) and Nevada as the top paying state for this career with an annual mean salary of $35,450.

Career Requirements

Individuals who work in this profession are required to have excellent interpersonal or communication skills since they are required to understand their clients’ needs and work with them in close proximity. Employers prefer hiring candidates who are compassionate, competent, physically fit and active, respectful, detail-oriented and have an overall professional demeanor. Adhering to the employers’ rules is a very important aspect of this job. Home Health Aids must be trained in dressing wounds and have basic understanding of medical terms to follow instructions provided by healthcare professionals. Clients prefer working with individuals who make them feel comfortable and are reliable.

Steps to Becoming a Home Health Aide

If you want to help others in need and work as a Home Health Aide, you need to go through the guidelines given below.

Step-1: Educational Requirements

Although this field does not require formal education or training but completing a high school diploma or a GED is a must. Home Health Aides may also complete some non-degree courses or certifications from community, vocational or technical colleges to advance their careers.

Step-2: Training   

Even though no formal training is needed, Home Health Aides may get some training in house chores. For instance, they may learn to cook various nutritious dishes to cater dietary requirements or their clientele. In addition to that, they may acquire some medical training regarding cleaning and dressing wounds or performing first-aid etc.

Some states require Home Health Aides to acquire state approved certifications and requirements vary for each state. Some states offer special programs with a combination of on-the-job training in areas like, nutrition, recording vital signs, treating infectious wounds, techniques of maintaining personal hygiene and so on.

Step-3: Licensure or Certifications

As mentioned above, licensure or certification is optional. However, a few states require its Home Health Aides to at least have formal training to be certified. The requirements of certifications vary for each state. Typically, completing a formal training program from a community, technical or vocational college, clearing a written exam and a background check are pre-requisites to getting certified.

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