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A Home Health Aide (HHA) may also be known as a Home Caregiver, Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Patient Care Technician or Residential Assistant (RA). An HHA provides basic, personal care and health-related services to a variety of individuals (patients) who require more assistance than family and/or friends are able to provide. HHAs are part of a category of occupations that is commonly referred to as "direct care workers." The services/care that a Home Health Aide provides depends upon their specialty area.

Home Health Aide Schools and Training

While neither a high school diploma nor formal education is a requirement in this profession, it is advantageous for an individual to have at least achieved a high school diploma or equivalent. Some employers provide classroom training for new hires, but most individuals receive on-the-job training under the tutelage of RNs, Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), or other seasoned/experienced HHAs. The latter form of home health aide training may take anywhere from several days to a few months to complete. Other training available to home health aides includes workshops, lectures, and in-service training. Once an HHA completes training, it is not uncommon that they be required to go through a competency evaluation to ensure that they can properly perform required tasks.

Typical home health aide programs may include courses in:

  • Geriatric Skills
  • HIV/AIDS Awareness Training
  • Introduction to Body Systems
  • Introduction to Nutrition
  • Introduction to Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy Aide Training
  • Patient Communication
  • Patient Mobility
  • Patient Personal Care
  • Phlebotomy
  • Recording Vital Signs
  • Respiratory Equipment Training
  • Respiratory Therapy Aide
  • Understanding Vital Signs
  • Uses of Basic Laboratory Equipment

It is important to note that HHAs, who work for employers who receive Medicare reimbursement, must adhere to specific Federal Government guidelines. As such, HHAs are required by Federal law to pass a competency test that covers a wide range of disciplines; training may be obtained beforehand. Furthermore, a Home Health Aide may seek voluntary certification from the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC). Licensing as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) may be required by some states.

When it comes to advancement, opportunities are limited. Moving on to health occupations generally requires formal education or training. Most HHAs move on to become RNs, medical assistants or LPNs.

Home Health Aide Job Characteristics

While some HHAs work part-time, the majority work a full-time, 40-hour work week. Many may also work nights, evenings, weekends, and holidays for patients who require round-the-clock care. If not self-employed, Home Health Aides are typically employed by state or county welfare agencies, or private home health agencies.

More often than not, home health aides have heavy workloads that include physical demands such as walking and standing for long periods of time. Also, because an HHA may be required to move clients from one spot to another and assist in standing and walking, it is very important that they learn and practice correct procedures for lifting and moving patients. Other hazards that an HHA may encounter in this occupation include minor infections and major diseases (e.g., hepatitis). It is important to note, however, that infections can be avoided by adhering to proper procedures. There are also duties performed by an HHA that most individuals would consider unpleasant, such as changing soiled bed linens and emptying bedpans.

Most home health aides simultaneously work with a variety of patients where the duration of each assignment may last anywhere from a few hours, days, or weeks. During a given day, many will drive from one patient to another. There are also HHAs who work with the same patient at their residence for many months or years.

Individuals in this profession must possess and exude the following characteristics, attributes, and abilities:

  • patience
  • dependability
  • precision and accuracy
  • emotional stability
  • sensitivity
  • honesty
  • discretion
  • strong communications abilities
  • good physical health (including strength to lift, carry, push, pull)
  • service oriented
  • socially perceptive
  • problem recognition/sensitivity/solving
  • ability to work as part of a team

Major Employers of Home Health Aides

If not self-employed, HHAs will find employment with state or county welfare agencies, private home health agencies, social assistance agencies, health care services, and nursing and residential care facilities.

Resource for Home Health Aides

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Home Health Aides

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Home Health Aides jobs , as of 2016

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Birmingham 1390 $18,220
Hoover 1390 $18,220
Mobile 580 $19,940
Huntsville 560 $18,770
Montgomery 550 $19,350
Tuscaloosa 320 $19,430
Decatur 170 $19,240
Anniston 150 $17,920
Oxford 150 $17,920
Jacksonville 150 $17,920
Gadsden 140 $19,020
Opelika 130 $20,280
Auburn 130 $20,280
Dothan 120 $21,300
Florence N/A $18,190
Muscle Shoals N/A $18,190
     
Metro Area (Alaska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anchorage 670 $34,250
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 10770 $22,860
Mesa 10770 $22,860
Phoenix 10770 $22,860
Tucson 1070 $23,580
Yuma 220 $19,340
Flagstaff 140 $23,400
Prescott 50 $23,710
Sierra Vista N/A $26,220
Douglas N/A $26,220
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 1600 $21,370
North Little Rock 1600 $21,370
Little Rock 1600 $21,370
Hot Springs 430 $19,030
Pine Bluff 250 $19,940
Jonesboro 230 $19,260
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anaheim 10330 $23,620
Long Beach 10330 $23,620
Los Angeles 10330 $23,620
Oakland 3380 $24,910
Hayward 3380 $24,910
San Francisco 3380 $24,910
Carlsbad 3200 $25,040
San Diego 3200 $25,040
San Bernardino 1810 $27,600
Riverside 1810 $27,600
Ontario 1810 $27,600
Arden 1120 $27,990
Sacramento 1120 $27,990
Arcade 1120 $27,990
Roseville 1120 $27,990
San Jose 890 $25,820
Sunnyvale 890 $25,820
Santa Clara 890 $25,820
Fresno 730 $20,820
Thousand Oaks 570 $26,920
Oxnard 570 $26,920
Ventura 570 $26,920
Santa Maria 550 $20,820
Santa Barbara 550 $20,820
Napa 280 $26,590
Bakersfield 240 $24,400
Santa Rosa 240 $30,810
Watsonville 230 $33,370
Santa Cruz 230 $33,370
Stockton 180 $23,550
Lodi 180 $23,550
Salinas 180 $26,650
Paso Robles 170 $27,420
Arroyo Grande 170 $27,420
San Luis Obispo 170 $27,420
Vallejo N/A $21,440
Fairfield N/A $21,440
Chico N/A $22,040
Corcoran N/A $22,060
Hanford N/A $22,060
Redding N/A $23,520
Visalia N/A $24,320
Porterville N/A $24,320
Modesto N/A $25,360
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Aurora 9310 $25,270
Denver 9310 $25,270
Lakewood 9310 $25,270
Pueblo 900 $20,320
Boulder 590 $27,280
Colorado Springs 570 $23,340
Fort Collins 550 $23,320
Grand Junction 440 $24,990
Greeley 90 $23,870
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
East Hartford 2770 $26,840
West Hartford 2770 $26,840
Hartford 2770 $26,840
Stamford 1760 $26,030
Norwalk 1760 $26,030
Bridgeport 1760 $26,030
New Haven 1610 $27,780
Waterbury 280 $27,270
Danbury 240 $27,220
     
Metro Area (Delaware) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dover 230 $26,160
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Palm Beach 8680 $21,900
Miami 8680 $21,900
Fort Lauderdale 8680 $21,900
St. Petersburg 3020 $21,700
Clearwater 3020 $21,700
Tampa 3020 $21,700
Kissimmee 2560 $22,290
Sanford 2560 $22,290
Orlando 2560 $22,290
North Port 2500 $24,030
Bradenton 2500 $24,030
Sarasota 2500 $24,030
Ormond Beach 1250 $23,010
Deltona 1250 $23,010
Daytona Beach 1250 $23,010
Jacksonville 1040 $23,290
Fort Myers 1010 $23,750
Cape Coral 1010 $23,750
Pensacola 700 $21,310
Brent 700 $21,310
Ferry Pass 700 $21,310
Marco Island 700 $27,270
Naples 700 $27,270
Immokalee 700 $27,270
Titusville 650 $23,200
Melbourne 650 $23,200
Palm Bay 650 $23,200
Port St. Lucie 530 $23,500
Tallahassee 460 $21,070
Gainesville 340 $20,910
Homosassa Springs 180 $22,750
Ocala 160 $23,130
Sebastian 130 $26,870
Vero Beach 130 $26,870
Sebring 120 $23,220
Punta Gorda 110 $22,260
Fort Walton Beach N/A $23,010
Destin N/A $23,010
Crestview N/A $23,010
Winter Haven N/A $23,240
Lakeland N/A $23,240
Panama City N/A $25,670
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell 5090 $22,620
Sandy Springs 5090 $22,620
Atlanta 5090 $22,620
Savannah 790 $20,190
Macon 370 $19,370
Rome 340 $19,650
Brunswick 210 $18,660
Gainesville 210 $23,550
Athens 170 $22,520
Clarke County 170 $22,520
Warner Robins 130 $19,080
Valdosta 80 $20,020
Albany 60 $19,130
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 3030 $26,560
Lahaina 380 $26,820
Wailuku 380 $26,820
Kahului 380 $26,820
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City 980 $21,770
Idaho Falls 240 $21,230
Coeur d'Alene N/A $19,290
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rockford 800 $23,630
Peoria 660 $24,100
Springfield 600 $22,800
Champaign 400 $23,450
Urbana 400 $23,450
Decatur 260 $21,660
Bloomington 90 $23,100
Kankakee N/A $22,550
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Indianapolis 5190 $23,240
Anderson 5190 $23,240
Carmel 5190 $23,240
Fort Wayne 720 $22,080
Lafayette 370 $21,630
West Lafayette 370 $21,630
Terre Haute 270 $21,390
Muncie 270 $22,120
Kokomo 230 $23,290
Michigan City 120 $22,200
La Porte 120 $22,200
Columbus 60 $27,990
Bloomington N/A $23,370
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Des Moines 980 $26,370
Des Moines 980 $26,370
Cedar Falls 450 $24,300
Waterloo 450 $24,300
Iowa City 270 $23,780
Cedar Rapids 270 $28,070
Dubuque 90 $23,060
Ames 70 $29,460
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Manhattan 150 $24,650
Lawrence 60 $23,400
Wichita N/A $22,990
Topeka N/A $23,250
     
Metro Area (Kentucky) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bowling Green 70 $23,490
Fayette N/A $24,030
Lexington N/A $24,030
Fort Knox N/A $26,460
Elizabethtown N/A $26,460
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Baton Rouge 1690 $19,690
Lafayette 1540 $18,230
Metairie 1130 $21,890
New Orleans 1130 $21,890
Monroe 860 $18,800
Shreveport 690 $18,520
Bossier City 690 $18,520
Houma 660 $18,680
Thibodaux 660 $18,680
Lake Charles 260 $18,530
Hammond 250 $19,150
Alexandria N/A $21,460
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Portland 1090 $23,420
Portland 1090 $23,420
Bangor 270 $23,210
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Baltimore 5530 $23,910
Towson 5530 $23,910
Columbia 5530 $23,910
Lexington Park 80 $25,060
California 80 $25,060
     
Metro Area (Massachusetts) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Barnstable Town 470 $29,340
New Bedford 410 $23,870
Pittsfield 300 $28,900
Gardner 210 $27,740
Leominster 210 $27,740
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dearborn 15210 $21,730
Detroit 15210 $21,730
Warren 15210 $21,730
Grand Rapids 2480 $21,590
Wyoming 2480 $21,590
Ann Arbor 1610 $21,510
Flint 1450 $20,030
Kalamazoo 1420 $20,500
Portage 1420 $20,500
Lansing 1200 $19,690
East Lansing 1200 $19,690
Saginaw 700 $19,390
Jackson 600 $19,890
Bay City 510 $19,730
Midland 510 $19,950
Battle Creek 370 $22,430
Muskegon 330 $23,440
Monroe 300 $20,730
Benton Harbor 130 $22,360
Niles 130 $22,360
     
Metro Area (Minnesota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rochester 1090 $24,330
St. Cloud 790 $23,360
Mankato 360 $23,100
North Mankato 360 $23,100
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Jackson 1170 $22,680
Pascagoula 410 $19,440
Biloxi 410 $19,440
Gulfport 410 $19,440
Hattiesburg 370 $21,670
     
Metro Area (Missouri) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Joplin 540 $19,680
Springfield 540 $21,400
Columbia 430 $21,330
Jefferson City N/A $26,500
     
Metro Area (Montana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Great Falls 330 $22,590
Missoula 110 $22,730
Billings 30 $27,020
     
Metro Area (Nebraska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lincoln 520 $24,310
Grand Island 80 $22,660
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 1020 $24,620
Henderson 1020 $24,620
Las Vegas 1020 $24,620
Reno 260 $22,110
Carson City 120 $23,660
     
Metro Area (New Hampshire) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Manchester 450 $27,820
     
Metro Area (New Jersey) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Trenton 1580 $23,480
Atlantic City 950 $23,690
Hammonton 950 $23,690
Vineland 520 $21,840
Bridgeton 520 $21,840
Ocean City 490 $24,810
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 5150 $23,340
Las Cruces 1030 $17,970
Santa Fe 140 $22,780
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Niagara Falls 4470 $24,160
Buffalo 4470 $24,160
Cheektowaga 4470 $24,160
Rochester 4320 $24,780
Albany 4030 $23,900
Schenectady 4030 $23,900
Troy 4030 $23,900
Syracuse 2050 $23,980
Rome 1240 $24,660
Utica 1240 $24,660
Kingston 820 $23,930
Binghamton 470 $24,490
Glens Falls 410 $23,650
Ithaca 260 $24,850
Watertown 240 $20,830
Fort Drum 240 $20,830
Elmira 120 $24,130
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
High Point 3600 $19,390
Greensboro 3600 $19,390
Raleigh 3250 $21,970
Winston 2750 $19,080
Salem 2750 $19,080
Lenoir 2480 $22,570
Hickory 2480 $22,570
Morganton 2480 $22,570
Chapel Hill 2430 $20,460
Durham 2430 $20,460
Fayetteville 1890 $18,590
Asheville 1440 $22,040
Greenville 1150 $18,970
Wilmington 940 $21,620
New Bern 710 $18,230
Goldsboro 520 $18,910
Rocky Mount 500 $18,000
Jacksonville 480 $18,730
Burlington 460 $20,220
     
Metro Area (North Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bismarck 360 $30,650
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbus 15720 $22,030
Elyria 13410 $21,200
Cleveland 13410 $21,200
Dayton 4420 $20,060
Akron 3750 $20,240
Toledo 3000 $20,010
Canton 2550 $19,240
Massillon 2550 $19,240
Springfield 620 $20,910
Lima 560 $20,320
Mansfield 550 $20,570
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Tulsa 3030 $23,870
Oklahoma City 1960 $24,230
Lawton N/A $26,220
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salem 580 $22,660
Eugene 530 $23,000
Medford 390 $23,190
Redmond 340 $23,300
Bend 340 $23,300
Albany 110 $22,980
Corvallis N/A $22,670
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 5970 $22,140
Reading 2320 $22,820
Harrisburg 2180 $22,970
Carlisle 2180 $22,970
Wilkes 1470 $24,230
Hazleton 1470 $24,230
Barre 1470 $24,230
Scranton 1470 $24,230
Lancaster 1470 $24,870
Erie 1100 $22,080
Hanover 780 $24,210
York 780 $24,210
Altoona 470 $22,740
Lebanon 420 $23,180
East Stroudsburg 380 $22,630
State College 370 $23,070
Johnstown 310 $22,480
Gettysburg 270 $23,420
Bloomsburg 220 $22,990
Berwick 220 $22,990
Williamsport 160 $22,270
Waynesboro 150 $26,280
Chambersburg 150 $26,280
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
San Juan 1370 $18,240
Carolina 1370 $18,240
Caguas 1370 $18,240
San German 110 $17,600
Guayama 40 $17,420
Arecibo 30 $17,940
Mayag´┐Żez N/A $17,720
Ponce N/A $18,820
Aguadilla N/A $19,500
Isabela N/A $19,500
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbia 1670 $19,510
Anderson 1550 $19,360
Greenville 1550 $19,360
Mauldin 1550 $19,360
North Charleston 950 $21,830
Charleston 950 $21,830
Spartanburg 760 $22,350
Beaufort 700 $22,200
Bluffton 700 $22,200
Hilton Head Island 700 $22,200
Sumter 410 $18,770
     
Metro Area (South Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Sioux Falls 190 $27,220
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Murfreesboro 1750 $21,720
Franklin 1750 $21,720
Davidson 1750 $21,720
Nashville 1750 $21,720
Knoxville 1180 $18,980
Jackson 340 $18,400
Johnson City 90 $20,610
Cleveland N/A $19,450
Morristown N/A $19,720
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dallas 14860 $19,220
Fort Worth 14860 $19,220
Arlington 14860 $19,220
Houston 12390 $18,770
The Woodlands 12390 $18,770
Sugar Land 12390 $18,770
McAllen 8370 $17,980
Edinburg 8370 $17,980
Mission 8370 $17,980
Brownsville 5600 $18,000
Harlingen 5600 $18,000
San Antonio 3540 $18,830
New Braunfels 3540 $18,830
Austin 2840 $19,420
Round Rock 2840 $19,420
Corpus Christi 2370 $18,180
Temple 1140 $19,330
Killeen 1140 $19,330
El Paso 1100 $17,990
Laredo 940 $18,000
Amarillo 500 $18,450
Abilene 350 $17,960
Port Arthur 100 $27,750
Beaumont 100 $27,750
San Angelo 50 $23,890
Odessa 40 $31,680
Midland N/A $17,450
Waco N/A $18,370
Victoria N/A $18,420
Bryan N/A $18,450
College Station N/A $18,450
Wichita Falls N/A $19,200
Longview N/A $19,200
Denison N/A $21,950
Sherman N/A $21,950
Lubbock N/A $22,630
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 1300 $26,370
Orem 730 $23,610
Provo 730 $23,610
Ogden 310 $24,060
Clearfield 310 $24,060
St. George 150 $22,910
     
Metro Area (Vermont) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Burlington 110 $26,340
Burlington 110 $26,340
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 1450 $20,780
Roanoke 530 $20,900
Charlottesville 330 $23,150
Lynchburg 230 $21,490
Harrisonburg 220 $18,050
Waynesboro 170 $18,110
Staunton 170 $18,110
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Tacoma 3250 $24,880
Bellevue 3250 $24,880
Seattle 3250 $24,880
Spokane Valley 1190 $24,080
Spokane 1190 $24,080
Richland 190 $25,910
Kennewick 190 $25,910
Yakima 150 $23,400
Wenatchee 60 $23,600
Bellingham N/A $23,980
Anacortes N/A $24,660
Mount Vernon N/A $24,660
Silverdale N/A $27,730
Bremerton N/A $27,730
Olympia N/A $27,870
Tumwater N/A $27,870
     
Metro Area (West Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Vienna 570 $19,000
Parkersburg 570 $19,000
Charleston 490 $19,220
Morgantown 230 $19,850
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Madison 1060 $27,730
Racine 380 $31,370
Green Bay 120 $24,590
Fond du Lac 80 $22,420
Eau Claire N/A $23,520
West Allis N/A $26,510
Milwaukee N/A $26,510
Waukesha N/A $26,510

Career Stories (Job Profiles) for Home Health Aides

To find out more about building a career as Home Health Aides, we spoke with professionals in the field across a variety of specialties. Learn about their experiences on the job, the steps they took to complete their education, and what it takes to excel in this industry. Click the link to see a story.

All Types

Most Popular Industries for :
Home Health Aides

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Nursing And Residential Care 388,170 43% $20,410
Medical Office 290,950 32% $20,230
Social Service 137,870 15% $19,770
Government 28,090 3% $28,520
Office Services And Staffing 23,380 2% $22,010
Hospital 17,890 2% $24,080
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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Home Health Aides.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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