Excellent job opportunities are expected for this occupation because rapid employment growth and high replacement needs are projected to produce a large number of job openings.
Employment of home health aides is projected to grow by 50 percent between 2008 and 2018, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment of personal and home care aides is expected to grow by 46 percent from 2008 to 2018, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. For both occupations, the expected growth is due, in large part, to the projected rise in the number of elderly people, an age group that often has mounting health problems and that needs some assistance with daily activities. The elderly and other clients, such as the mentally disabled, increasingly rely on home care.
This trend reflects several developments. Inpatient care in hospitals and nursing homes can be extremely expensive, so more patients return to their homes from these facilities as quickly as possible in order to contain costs. Patients, who need assistance with everyday tasks and household chores rather than medical care, can reduce medical expenses by returning to their homes. Furthermore, most patients—particularly the elderly—prefer care in their homes rather than in nursing homes or other in-patient facilities. This development is aided by the realization that treatment can be more effective in familiar surroundings.
In addition to job openings created by the increased demand for these workers, replacement needs are expected to lead to many openings. The relatively low skill requirements, low pay, and high emotional demands of the work result in high replacement needs. For these same reasons, many people are reluctant to seek jobs in the occupation. Therefore, persons who are interested in and suited for this work—particularly those with experience or training as personal care, home health, or nursing aides—should have excellent job prospects.
Home health aides and personal and home care aides held about 1.7 million jobs in 2008. The majority of jobs were in home healthcare services, individual and family services, residential care facilities, and private households.
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience maybe helpful in these occupations, but usually is not needed. For example, a drywall installer could benefit from experience in installing dry wall, but an inexperienced person could learn the job fairly easily.
These occupations usually require a high school diploma and may require some vocational training or job related course work. In some cases, you may need an associate's or bachelor's degree.
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees.
Drywall installers, fire inspectors, flight attendants, pharmacy technicians, retail salespersons, and bank tellers.
In these occupations you can often use your knowledge and skills to help others.
[Back to Top]
Information on licensing requirements for nursing and home health aides, as well as lists of State-approved nursing aide programs, are available from State departments of public health, departments of occupational licensing, boards of nursing, and home care associations.
For information about voluntary credentials for personal and home care aides, contact:
- National Association for Home Care and Hospice, 228 Seventh St. SE., Washington, DC 20003. Internet: http://www.nahc.org
Sources: O*Net data version 12.0
Occupational Outlook Handbook
Department of Labor
[Back to Top]