What's the Job Description of a Personal Care Aide or Worker?

Personal care workers provide assistance to those who need help performing their day-to-day activities. Read on to find out about the common duties and educational requirements for personal care aides and workers. Schools offering Medical Assisting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Duties and Responsibilities

As a personal care aide, you'll be responsible for helping elderly, infirm, or otherwise disabled people perform the tasks that make up their daily routines. You may work in a facility that provides residential care, or you may travel to clients' homes. Your typical daily activities may include washing clothes, making beds, shopping for food, and cooking meals, sometimes under strict dietary restrictions. Another important aspect of your job involves educating your clients' families on how to properly care for your client when you are not available.

You'll often work under the supervision of a licensed nurse or social worker. You might also be in charge of keeping a detailed record of your client's condition and reporting any important changes to your supervisors. You may perform some basic medical procedures, such as recording vital signs. You'll also serve as an important source of friendship and companionship for people to whom you might be the only link to the outside world.

Important Facts About Personal Care Aides

Professional Certification Voluntary; Personal Care Aid (PCA) available through the Institute of Professional Care Education
Key Skills Customer service oriented, situational awareness, critical thinking, problem solving, time management, physical endurance, good judgment and decision making
Work Environment Home health care services, retirement communities, assisted living facilities, vocational rehabilitation services, individual and family services
Similar Occupations Licensed practical nurses (LPN), licensed vocational nurses (LVN), nursing assistants, orderlies, physical therapists assistants, radiation therapists, social and human service assistants

Education and Licensure Requirements

There are generally no formal educational requirements to become a personal care aide, since the majority of your skills can be acquired through on-the-job training. You're not required to be certified or licensed as a personal care aide, although the National Association for Home Care and Hospice offers a voluntary certification exam that can test your knowledge in home care assistance (www.nahc.org).

Employment and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that there were 1,257,000 people working as personal care aides as of May 2014 (www.bls.gov). The average yearly salary of personal care aides was $21,210 as of May 2014. However, personal care aides employed by state governments earned $35,930 per year on average. The BLS also predicted that personal and home care aides would experience an occupational growth of 49% from 2012-2022.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Kaplan University

    Kaplan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Kaplan University:

    Online Programs Available

  • George Mason University

    George Mason University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at George Mason University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • The George Washington University

    The George Washington University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The George Washington University:

    • Master
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Altierus

    Altierus responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Altierus:

    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Virginia: Woodbridge
  • American University

    American University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at American University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Ashford University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Brightwood College

    Brightwood College responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Brightwood College:

    • Associate Programs
    • Certificates

    Campus Locations:

    • Maryland: Baltimore, Beltsville, Towson
  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • The University of Scranton

    The University of Scranton responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at The University of Scranton:

    • Master
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. Next »