Personal Care Aides
More than 2.2 million personal care aides are employed in the United States. According to the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (PHI), the majority of personal care aides are women. Most aides work in the homes of clients. Others are employed in small group homes, hospice facilities, or larger care communities. The majority of aides work for local social service agencies that provide home care services. A small but growing percentage of aides are self-employed.
One good way to break into the field is by working as a volunteer. Social service agencies, hospitals, and nursing homes often enlist the aid of volunteers. If you make a good impression as a volunteer, you’ll improve your chances of being hired for a paid position.
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice provides a list of home care agencies at its Web site, https://agencylocator.nahc.org/. Use the site to find agencies in your area, then contact the agencies directly to learn about job opportunities. Newspaper want ads and Web sites such as Craigslist.com can also be a good source of job openings.
With considerable experience, personal care aides can advance to become supervisors or managers. Those with an entrepreneurial mindset can start their own businesses. Some aides may return to school to earn a degree in nursing or social work. Those who earn a minimum of a bachelor's degree in a field such as nursing, psychology, gerontology, or social work might consider becoming geriatric care managers, who work closely with the families of clients to coordinate and manage care.
Tips for Entry
Read NAHC Report (https://report.nahc.org) to learn more about the field.
Visit the following Web site for job listings: https://www.homecarecareers.com.
Find home care agencies in your area by visiting https://agencylocator.nahc.org/.