It’s back to school for most kids in the U.S., including my own. As we filled backpacks with new school supplies last night, I discussed with them the importance of a good education. “Stay in school,” we tell our children because, while not the only reason, higher education can directly affect your earning ability throughout your life. According to the National Dropout Prevention Center, high school graduates earn $143 more per week than high school dropouts. College graduates earn $336 more per week than high school graduates ($479 more per week than high school dropouts.)
The same holds true for the correlation between senior caregiver training and caregiver pay.
Becoming a companion caregiver is a great place to start to see if you enjoy elder care. While you are a companion caregiver, you can work on becoming certified to become a professional senior caregiver.
The Personal Home Health Aide (basic non-medical senior caregiver) occupation is cited by the U.S.Bureau of Labor Statistics as having the second highest projected growth rate from 2012-2022 at 49% with 580,800 new jobs created, and a 2012 median pay rate of $19,910 per year, or $9.57 per hour.
Home Health Aides have the third highest projected growth rate at 48%, with 424,200 new jobs and a 2012 median annual pay rate of $20,820, or $10.01 per hour. Becoming a Home Health Aide means increasing your education by taking a certification course.
Senior care training requirements vary by state, and every licensed senior home care agency must follow their state caregiver training requirements. Caregiverlist’s Basic Training 8-hour online course satisfies orientation training requirements for most states. CHHAs do not hold licenses but many employers prefer them to be certified. The certification process requires passing an exam after 75 hours of training and skills testing.
Becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (C.N.A.) is the next step in pursuing senior caregiving on an even more professional level. It’s also has one of the highest projected change in employment, with 312,200 new jobs projected from 2012-2022. That means a 21% growth rate. The median salary for C.N.A.s is $24,400 per year or $11.73 per hour. Nursing assistants must complete a state-approved education program and must pass their state’s competency exam. If you wonder what an exam looks like, Caregiverlist has provided a sample test for you to check out.
Of course, registered nurses will also be in demand, with 526,800 new jobs projected. That pay is $65,470 per year or $31.48 per hour. However, the big salary jump means more intensive education. Nurses pursue either a bachelor's of science degree in nursing (BSN), an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN), or a diploma from an approved nursing program. Registered nurses also must be licensed.
It’s no wonder that these fields are some of the fastest growing in the nation. As the elder population increases, so will the need for skilled, certified, educated caregivers. So if you want to get to work, go back to school!