How Do You Become a Home Health Care Aide?


Quick Answer

Become a home health care aide by training with a licensed health care professional and by obtaining hands-on skills training. Some employers require that home health aides hold certifications. Educational requirements vary by state.

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You do not need a four-year college degree to become a home health care aide, and some states don't even require you to posses a high school diploma. If an employer requires certification, you can become a certified nursing assistant by enrolling in a state-approved program. If you choose to work toward a license, you can take one year of state-approved coursework to become a licensed vocational or practical nurse. Both CNAs and LPNs/LVNs must take exams to obtain certifications and licenses. As of 2012, the median pay for CNAs was $24,400 annually, while LVNs/LPNs earned $41,540 per year.

On-the-job training includes learning how to assist patients with daily living tasks, such as eating, bathing and getting dressed. Home health aides may also help with cleaning and moving patients, along with checking vital signs. These professionals typically work with the chronically ill, disabled or cognitively impaired population. Home health care aides work primarily in patients' homes, and are typically under the supervision of a licensed health care professional, such as a nurse.

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