Home Health Aide Training

Compassionate individuals who enjoy helping others and want to work in the healthcare field might consider pursuing home health aide careers.

To qualify for a job in this field, you’ll need to undergo training and earn the credentials employers look for in aspiring home health aides.

Education & Training

Trade Schools with HHA Programs

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How Much Does It Cost?

These programs cost approximately $2500.

How Long Does It Take?

The programs listed above are 280 course hours which can be completed in 12 months.  Since it is an self paced, online program you maybe able to finish it faster.

However, the industry standard for training courses is 120 hours of classroom instruction and 40 to 60 hours of hands-on clinical work.

Courses

What Do You Study?

Most programs will include information on the following topics:

  • Medical terminology
  • Human body systems care such as the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory system and digestive systems
  • Healthcare concepts
  • Vital sign monitoring
  • Safety and handling emergencies
  • Nutrition and feeding
  • Emotional health
  • Restorative care
  • Differences between a home health aide and a nursing assistant

Benefits of Taking a Class

Students in home health aide degree programs also gain clinical experience working in assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and local residences. Because of the experience and knowledge they gain from their courses, formally-trained home health aides may have an easier time finding jobs than other applicants.

Higher-paying home health aide jobs may also only be available to candidates with the proper training and certification from an accredited institution.

Salary

How Much Do Home Health Aides Make?

Many home health aides in the United States make about $29,430 annually. However, wages differ depending on where you live and where you work. For example, agencies that receive payment through their clients’ Medicare or Medicaid coverage may offer lower wages than private-pay companies where clients can afford to pay for home health services themselves.

Below are some average salaries and hourly wages for each state.

State Hourly wage Annual wage
Alabama $11.87 $24,690.00
Alaska $18.53 $38,540.00
Arizona $16.15 $33,590.00
Arkansas $13.49 $28,050.00
California $16.93 $35,220.00
Colorado $18.04 $37,510.00
Connecticut $18.09 $37,630.00
Delaware $14.87 $30,930.00
District of Columbia $17.88 $37,190.00
Florida $15.08 $31,370.00
Georgia $13.83 $28,760.00
Guam $11.25 $23,390.00
Hawaii $16.87 $35,100.00
Idaho $14.91 $31,000.00
Illinois $16.96 $35,270.00
Indiana $14.94 $31,070.00
Iowa $16.70 $34,740.00
Kansas $13.67 $28,430.00
Kentucky $15.74 $32,740.00
Louisiana $10.80 $22,460.00
Maine $17.67 $36,750.00
Maryland $16.90 $35,140.00
Massachusetts $18.54 $38,550.00
Michigan $15.27 $31,750.00
Minnesota $16.64 $34,620.00
Mississippi $11.64 $24,210.00
Missouri $14.55 $30,270.00
Montana $15.19 $31,600.00
Nebraska $15.85 $32,960.00
Nevada $15.69 $32,630.00
New Hampshire $16.73 $34,800.00
New Jersey $17.53 $36,470.00
New Mexico $13.62 $28,330.00
New York $18.41 $38,280.00
North Carolina $14.03 $29,180.00
North Dakota $18.36 $38,190.00
Ohio $14.58 $30,320.00
Oklahoma $12.65 $26,310.00
Oregon $19.26 $40,060.00
Pennsylvania $14.70 $30,580.00
Puerto Rico $9.86 $20,500.00
Rhode Island $18.63 $38,760.00
South Carolina $13.66 $28,420.00
South Dakota $16.92 $35,190.00
Tennessee $14.33 $29,800.00
Texas $11.47 $23,850.00
Utah $17.05 $35,470.00
Vermont $16.91 $35,160.00
Virgin Islands $14.15 $29,430.00
Virginia $14.18 $29,500.00
Washington $20.19 $42,000.00
West Virginia $12.69 $26,400.00
Wisconsin $15.40 $32,030.00
Wyoming $16.60 $34,530.00

Occupation: Home Health and Personal Care Aides (SOC Code311120)
source: data.bls.gov
If your clients have more complex care needs, you might receive higher annual earnings than the average home health aide. Likewise, certified individuals who have completed an accredited training course and obtained an official credential may be able to negotiate higher salaries than others. Some agencies are willing to pay $40,000 per year or more for home health aides who meet these standards.

Career Overview

Job Description

What is a Home Health Aide?

As the name suggests, home health aides are healthcare professionals who work in clients’ homes rather than in hospitals or long-term care facilities. Home health aides often work with older adults who need help with daily living activities. However, they might also have clients who are recovering from illnesses or injuries or have physical and developmental disabilities.

Duties

What do Home Health Aides Do?

While specific duties for home health aides vary, depending on each patient or client’s needs, their jobs typically involve performing patient care tasks like:

  • Providing companionship
  • Assisting with daily living activities, such as bathing, grooming, feeding, and dressing
  • Reminding clients to take their medication
  • Preparing nutritionist-approved meals based on the client’s dietary restrictions or allergies
  • Completing housekeeping duties, including
    • Laundry
    • Routine pet care
    • Vacuuming
    • Grocery shopping
    • Washing dishes
  • Transporting clients to and from chairs and beds as needed
  • Documenting details about the client’s daily activities, food and fluid intake, overall mood, etc.

Qualifications to Become a Home Health Aide

Most companies and clients require home health aides to have at least a high school diploma and pass a criminal background check and drug screening. A driver’s license, a clean driving record, and up-to-date auto insurance may also be necessary if your job involves driving clients to and from their various appointments.

Previous experience in a care position, including as a parent, babysitter, or caregiver for a family member, may also be helpful when applying for home health aide jobs.

Certifications

Depending on the types of clients you’ll be working with, there may be additional qualifications you need to meet so you can provide adequate care. You may need to obtain an official certification in:

  • Basic Life Support: CPR, first aid, AED, and Heimlich maneuver certification, usually from the Red Cross or American Heart Association
  • Medication Administration: Credential from a state’s Board of Medicine that allows patient care workers to legally administer medications
  • Nurse Assisting: Qualification for performing certified nursing assistant (CNA) duties like monitoring vitals and performing basic wound care
  • Palliative or Hospice Care: Specific credential for providing end-of-life care
  • Behavioral Health: Certification for handling behavioral outbursts and issues in clients with developmental disabilities and mental health concerns
  • Dementia Care: Credential for those with clients in various stages of dementia

Where Do Home Health Aides Work?

Some home health aides find clients themselves, using healthcare databases that connect them with patients in their areas. However, most professionals in this industry work for a company that offers home healthcare services. Depending on where their employer sends them, a home health aide can work in several different spaces, including:

  • Private Residences
  • Group Homes
  • Long-Term Care Facilities
  • Retirement Communities
  • Assisted Living Facilities

FAQs

Is Becoming a Home Health Aide a Good Career?

Experts at the Bureau of Labor Statistics expect a 25-percent increase in the demand for home health aides in the U.S. between 2021 and 2031. Because of this projected growth rate, those with the necessary skills and qualifications may have an easy time finding home health aide jobs over the next decade.

How Much Do Home Health Aides Make?

Many home health aides in the United States make about $29,430 annually. However, wages differ depending on where you live and where you work. For example, agencies that receive payment through their clients’ Medicare or Medicaid coverage may offer lower wages than private-pay companies where clients can afford to pay for home health services themselves.

If your clients have more complex care needs, you might receive higher annual earnings than the average home health aide. Likewise, certified individuals who have completed an accredited training course and obtained an official credential may be able to negotiate higher salaries than others. Some agencies are willing to pay $40,000 per year or more for home health aides who meet these standards.

What Jobs Can You Get With a Home Health Aide Degree?

A home health aide degree can qualify you for several specialty home care jobs. Depending on the courses you take during your program, you might be able to work with clients with specific medical care requirements due to health concerns like diabetes, COPD, and issues that require dialysis.

In addition to preparing you for home health aide careers, earning a degree could make it easy to find work as a Direct Support Professional (DSP), case worker, or house manager for organizations that cater to people with disabilities.

With some additional training, you might also be able to find work in a hospital or clinic in one of the following roles:

Do Home Health Aides Get To Travel?

Many home health aide jobs involve traveling between different homes and care facilities to complete work shifts. As a result, you may have to visit multiple clients in separate locations throughout the work week. In some cases, your clients may even live in different cities.

While it’s rare, there are home healthcare aides who work with a single client at a single location every day. Arrangements like these often involve patients who need round-the-clock care and can pay high wages to home health aides who serve as live-in caregivers.

What Other Options Do Home Health Aides Have?

With additional training, home health aides can qualify to work as CNAs, medical assistants, or occupational or physical therapy aides. Outside of the healthcare field, these skilled, compassionate professionals might succeed in childcare, personal care or social service careers.

Summary: How To Become a Home Health Aide

To qualify for a home health aide career, you usually need to take the following steps:

  1. Earn a high school diploma, GED, or equivalent.
  2. Learn the necessary skills through on-the-job training OR enroll in a state-approved home health aide school program.
  3. Obtain any additional certifications that your potential employer requires
  4. Apply for a job with a home healthcare agency OR create an account with an online caregiver database to advertise your services yourself.
  5. Pass a criminal background check and drug screening

Some companies also require their home health aide applicants to complete a physical exam and test negative for TB and hepatitis.

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