With a growing elderly population, driven by the aging baby-boomer generation, jobs in the healthcare industry are poised to explode in the next decade. One of the fastest growing occupations within the industry, as well as in the United States as a whole, is Home Health Aid, which is expected to grow by an astounding 38% by 20241. This equates to over 325,000 jobs and will bring the total number of Home Health Aides in the United States to over 1.2 million by 2024.
Home Health Aides, as the name suggests, assist clients with the activities of daily living. This can include providing healthcare services in a client's residence, performing domestic & household tasks, assist with a client's personal care activities, and provide companionship and emotional support2. In certain states, Home Health Aides are allowed to perform some clinical tasks, such as administering simple prescribed medications or checking a client's vital signs, under supervision of a nurse or healthcare practitioner1. Home Health Aides can work at individual client's homes, in group homes, or at hospice facilities.
Important qualities for Home Health Aides to possess include integrity, attention to detail, interpersonal skill, and physical stamina3. While there are no national required certifications to become a Home Health Aid, there are some federal and state requirements, in particular for Home Health Aides who work for agencies that receive Medicare or Medicaid3.
Most Home Health Aides have a high school diploma or equivalent, and many receive additional training from a community college or vocational school. This additional training can help differentiate job seekers looking to enter the field. For instance, Penn Foster offers a Home Health Aide Career School Diploma, which provides individuals with the foundational skills needed to work in home health care, including a required 40-hour externship to provide first-hand work experience.
Given the astronomical growth rates, broad range of workplace environments, and relatively low requirments for entry-level employment, expect Home Health Aides to be a popular career choice for years to come.
Recommended for you: Improving the Local Community with Better Job Paths for At-Risk YouthResources: (1) BLS: Home Health Aides Occupational Handbook (2) Home Health Aide Job Description Template (3) BLS: How to Become a Home Health Aide