How to Become A Personal Care Aide

How to Become A Personal Care Aide
Work Aide by Max Banerjee
Personal Care Aides: A Quick Look
Median Salary $19,910 per year
$9.57 per hour
Entry-level education High School Diploma
On-the-job training Short-term
Primary employers Home health care services
Number of positions (U.S.) 1,190,600
Job Growth (2012-2020) 49% (Much faster than average)
New positions (2012-2020) +580,800
How to Become A Personal Care Aide
Work Aide by Max Banerjee

What Does A Personal Care Aide Do? 

A Personal Care Aide is trained to assist others with self-care and preforming everyday tasks. Organizations rely on these professionals to provide companionship to clients by conversing with them, playing board games, or taking them on walks. Read more.


The U.S. Bureau of Labor states the median annual salary for a Personal Care Aides was $19,910 in 2012. Read more.

Becoming A Personal Care Aide

A Personal Care Aide must have a high school diploma or GED. The position also requires some on the job training. Read more.

Job Outlook

The perspective job outlook for personal care aides is much higher than the current average for all occupations. This position is expected to grow by 49 percent through the end of the decade. The Bureau believes this is due to aging population segments and an increase in the number of clients who require assistance. Read more.

Personal Care Aide Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, the median salary for Aides was roughly $20,000 per year in 2012. 10 percent of Aides earned less than $16,330. The top 10 percent earned over $27,580. Personal Care Aides generally work full-time. Their hours may include night and weekend shifts as the position revolves around the needs of the client.

How To Become A Personal Care Aide

How Long Does It Take To Become A Health Information Technician?

Generally, becoming a Personal Care Aide doesn't take very long. A Personal Care Aide position typically only requires a High School diploma (or GED). Some employers may not have a formal education requirement. Registered nurses or direct supervisors may provide on the job training to Personal Care Aides. Training typically entails specific job functions (such as dealing with a client's cognitive impairment and preparing meals). Majority of Personal Care Aide employers require the employees have have training in first aid and CPR. Those looking for more responsibility in the Personal Care Aide sector may consider a position of a Register Nurse. Often times, the Aides report in to a RN who provides them with feedback and tasks. A position as an RN generally requires at least a bachelor's degree. Having a baccalaureate education on one's resume opens up other positions like as well.

Educational Requirements

As previously stated, most employers don't require formal education for this position. They generally won't care whether an applicant holds a high school diploma or a GED. Although not common, some employers may not even require the candidate have a diploma or GED. According to the Bureau of Labor, some states require a candidate have formal education. They may also require candidates undergo training programs from community colleges or vocational schools. Furthermore, some states will conduct a background check on perspective candidates. Additionally, candidates may be tested to ensure they can perform certain tasks essential to the position.

Personal Care Aide Job Description

A Personal Care Aide or Caregiver, is trained to assist others with self-care and preforming everyday taks. Organizations rely on these professionals to provide companionship to clients by conversing with them, playing board games, or taking them on walks. Aides primarily work face to face with clients. These professionals work in conjunction with other healthcare or social workers who visit a client's home. These employees may include hospice workers. Aides' tasks a very similar to the tasks performed by Home Health Aides. Unlike Home Health Aides, Personal Care Aides cannot provide medical service. A specific type of Personal Care Aide, Direct Support Professionals, work with clients living with developmental or intellectual disabilities. They help the clients formulate a behavior plan. They also teach the clients self-care skills (such as cleaning laundry and cooking). Direct Support Professionals also provide other personal assistance.


On a given shift, a Personal Care Aide may:
  • Aide clients with cognitive impairments (such as mental illness or dementia)
  • Provide client with companionship by conversing with, playing board games, or walking with them
  • Assist clients with hygiene tasks (such as showering and going to the bathroom)
  • Help clients move from a recliner to a wheelchair
  • Undertake common household tasks (taking out trash bags, cleaning dishes, and vacuuming)
  • Cooking meals
  • Scheduling a client's appointments
  • Help client procure transportation to the store
  • Assist clients in paying bills or balancing a bank account
  • Shop for groceries
Alternative Job Titles Personal Care Aide have many different job titles. Some of the most common ones are:
  • Direct Support Professionals
  • Homemakers
  • Caregivers
  • Companions
  • Personal Attendants

Job Outlook

The U.S. Burea of Labor Statistics says Personal Care Aide positions will grow by 49 percent by 2020. This growth represents nearly 600,000 new positions. The outlook for this position will be influenced by the influx of aging demographics in society (such as the baby boomers). In turn, more clients will require Personal Care Aides help them in their homes or nursing facilities. The rate of growth for Personal Care Aides actually far exceeds all other positions. The Bureau expects this position to be the single highest growing position in the next five years. The increase in Personal Care Aides will also create an influx in positions who work along with this position. More Personal Care Aides will create further demand for Registered Nurses and supervisors of these Aides.

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