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HomeCareers ‣ Personal Care Aide

Personal Care Aide

colleges offer programs related to this career near San Mateo, CA

Career Overview

Growing older or living with a cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer's or mental illness can be rather difficult for people, but luckily there are personal care aides to help them. Personal care aides provide people help with self-care and daily tasks, as well as friendship.A day on the job for a personal care aide includes helping their clients with daily tasks such as eating, household chores like laundry, and preparing meals. These aides assist their clients with things we don't think twice about such as bathing, brushing our teeth, or going to the bathroom. They also spend time bonding with them by playing games, watching their favorite show with them, or just talking and sharing stories.If you truly enjoy helping people, working as a personal care aide can be one of the most rewarding jobs. It requires quite a bit of patience and compassion, as many clients may struggle with things we take for granted like standing up or speaking. When you come to work, your kindness will be one of the most important things you bring as you help your clients with planning their appointments, helping them to pay their bills, and shopping for groceries. At the end of the day, your work as a personal care aide greatly impacts someone's life and your friendship could mean more to them than you ever realize.

Salaries and Job Outlook*

2013 Median Annual Pay
Number of Jobs in 2013
Projected Growth Rate
National
$23,100
2,035,610
37.4 %
California
$23,740
520,660
 

Education and Training

Degrees Required:
High School Diploma

If you wish to become a personal care aide, there are no national formal educational requirements, but most have a high school diploma. You will likely be trained on the job by registered nurses or other personal care aides. They will help you to learn your duties as well as the importance of your job and the kindness with which you must perform it.Some states require formal education or training programs available from community colleges, vocational schools, elder care programs, and home health care agencies. In addition, some states and organizations may conduct background checks on prospective aides. You may also be required to complete a competency evaluation to ensure that you can perform some required tasks. Furthermore, most employers require you to have training in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in case of any emergencies you may encounter on the job.

 
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Valued Traits & Abilities

Communication Skills
Detail Oriented.

Work Environment

This job will have you spending your days communicating with your client and fellow personal care aide staff. You'll be on your feet for the majority of your day as you help your clients with daily tasks and chores such as walking down the stairs or picking up their mail for them.Professional care aides work full time and help their clients in the privacy of their own home or in residential facilities, such as a place your grandparent might stay. Your work may require you to work a weekday daily schedule or a schedule that varies with weekday and weekend shifts that include evenings. If you work at a residential facility, you will likely work shifts that vary. If you work for someone in their personal home, you will have a more formal, uniform schedule.

* Source: BLS Data - 2013