How To Earn a Home Health Aide Certification

Workers passionate about helping others can earn a home health aide certification. Learn more about home health aide skills, salaries, and requirements.

portrait of Stefanie Grodman
by Stefanie Grodman

Published on April 26, 2022 · Updated on May 5, 2022

Edited by Madison Hoehn
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How To Earn a Home Health Aide Certification
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Home health aides provide supportive health services for sick, elderly, and disabled individuals. Because an aging population requires more in-home care, demand for home health aides has also grown significantly. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that between 2020 and 2030, the number of jobs for home health aides will grow by 33%, over four times the average job growth rate of 8%.

This demand provides many opportunities for patient, empathetic, and detail-oriented individuals to pursue careers in the in-home care industry.

Although home health aide requirements and credentials vary significantly by state and employer, these professionals must complete formal training programs to earn full certification. Even if it is not a universal requirement for many home health aide jobs, an HHA certification can help in-home care professionals compete for more work and more well-paying positions.

What Are the Requirements for Home Health Aide Certification?

  • A high school or GED diploma
  • Completion of a home health aide training program
  • Passing scores on written and practical assessments
  • Completion of intermittent in-service training after certification

What Skills Will I Learn With Home Health Aide Certification?

  • Safely moving patients into beds, chairs, and wheelchairs
  • Administering basic medical assistance, such as monitoring symptoms, dressing wounds, or taking vital signs
  • Accompanying patients to doctors' appointments and monitoring prescription medication use
  • Dressing, bathing, and grooming patients and assisting with toilet use
  • Helping with household duties such as meal preparation, housekeeping, and paying bills

Is Home Health Aide Certification Worth It?

In-home caretakers help patients with various health challenges maintain a higher quality of life. This career can be difficult but exceptionally rewarding. Although home health aides do not need to earn official certification in all states, this credential can help candidates stand out to potential employers.

Even if state law does not require home health aides to be certified, private agencies or facilities can make their own staffing requirements. Earning a home health aide certification can allow workers to access more employment opportunities. Some states enter certified home health aides into a registry to help them find work.

What Jobs Can I Get With Home Health Aide Certification?

Home Health Aide


Aides may work alongside medical personnel and case managers to monitor patients' health, safety, and hygiene. These individuals assist patients with basic household duties. They also help with preliminary health services, such as bathing, giving medications, and administering first aid. Home health aides may also work with more sophisticated medical equipment, like ventilators or tube feeding systems.

Average Annual Salary: $31,790

Personal Care Aide


These caretakers provide many of the same day-to-day services as home health aides but perform fewer medical duties. Personal care aides assist with daily grooming, housekeeping, meal preparation, and transportation. They provide companionship and may accompany their patients to medical appointments and other outings.

Average Annual Salary: $30,970

Orderly


Orderlies typically work in nursing homes or hospitals. These individuals assist medical staff by transporting patients around these facilities, usually by wheelchair. They may also perform janitorial duties, such as changing linens, cleaning medical equipment, and maintaining sanitary environments.

Average Annual Salary: $30,000

How Much Money Can I Make With Home Health Aide Certification?

Payscale indicates that as of April 2022, home health aides made an average salary of $31,790, and personal care assistants made an average of $24,600 per year.

The BLS reports that as of May 2021, home health and personal care aides earned a median annual salary of $29,430.In the same year, the bottom 10% of these workers earned less than $22,290, and the top 10% earned over $37,010.

However, salary depends heavily on location, experience level, and employer. For example, in 2021, home health and personal care aides who worked in retirement communities and assisted living facilities earned a median of $29,140. Those who provided home healthcare services earned a median of $28,630.

Frequently Asked Questions About Home Health Aide Certification

What is the difference between CNA and HHA? true

CNA and HHA duties overlap considerably. CNAs, or Certified Nursing Assistants, report to doctors and nurses. They must monitor patients' symptoms, document vital signs, and transfer patients into beds and wheelchairs. They also give medications. Nursing assistants must pass state licensing exams to earn certification.

Like CNAs, home health aides complete supportive medical duties. However, health aides are responsible for overseeing patients' daily in-home functioning, including handling money or maintaining patients' living spaces. In some cases, individuals who have completed CNA training may not need to repeat certain lessons or health aide skills training while pursuing an HHA certification.

Which state pays CNAs the most? true

The BLS reports that in 2021, Alaska had the highest average pay for CNAs. In this state, nursing assistants earned a median salary of $43,080 per year or $20.71 per hour. This figure exceeds the national median pay for CNAs of $30,310.

In the same year, New York reported the second-highest average wage for CNAs at $40,680 per year or $19.56 per hour. California reported the third-highest average wage of $39,760 per year or $19.12 per hour.

How much are home health aide classes?

The total expense of home health aide training programs, including tuition, books, and other fees, often falls between $400 and $1,000. Students may be able to enroll in monthly payment plans to make the financial commitment more accessible.

Like all postsecondary training programs, HHA training costs vary by institution and location. Certain states provide free or subsidized HHA training through state or community colleges to reduce the strain on healthcare workers during COVID-19 and encourage individuals to meet a rapidly growing demand for these professionals. Many of these programs allow learners to earn their home health aide certificate online.

How long is HHA training?

HHA training program completion times vary by state and institution. In New York, for example, certified home health aides must complete 59 classroom hours and 16 practical training hours under the supervision of a registered nurse. Usually, students can earn a home health aide certification part time at a community or technical college within one or two semesters.

Typically, learners must complete training in a traditional classroom setting. They also complete a practical training component in which they can practice home health aide skills, equipment use, and safety procedures in a supervised environment.

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