If you are thinking about becoming an in-home caregiver, you will be entering one of the fastest-growing occupations in the U.S. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects continued growth for certified nursing assistants and personal care aides (no certification required) over the next several years. A rapidly aging population combined with a heightened desire to age in place has created the “perfect storm” for employment opportunities within home care. If becoming a professional caregiver interests you, this handy roadmap could be your pathway to success.
What is a Professional Caregiver?
A caregiver is someone who offers support to the aged or those with disabilities or special needs. Caregiving responsibilities may include companionship, daily care, homemaking, meals, personal care, and even medical assistance (home health care aide). These various caregiver demands require different training levels depending on your chosen role.
Caregivers Work in Different Settings
While serving in various capacities within the healthcare system, you may see paid caregivers working in private homes, rehab facilities, assisted living communities, outpatient clinics, nursing homes, and hospitals.
The reasons why someone would want to become a caregiver are as varied as the individuals themselves. Since the job market is robust for caregivers, finding the right job in the community you want should be relatively easy once you are ready.
Qualities of a Good Professional Caregiver
Becoming a professional caregiver requires specific skills, passion, and a commitment to serving clients on good days and bad.
In general, qualities of a good caregiver include:
- Time management
- Communication skills
Caregivers must also be physically fit and in good health because of all the client lifting and transporting that they may be asked to do.
How to Get Started as a Professional Caregiver
If you are passionate about making a difference in the lives of others, a career in home care may be your true calling. Here’s how to get started in five easy steps:
Clarify your motivations
Revisit your motivation for wanting to be a professional caregiver while anticipating any challenges you might have once you get started with your first client. Be honest with yourself about whether you possess the traits and interests necessary to perform the essential job duties day after day while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Do your research
Speaking to other professionals in the caregiving industry will provide you with different perspectives on the occupation. During this information-gathering phase, be sure to research working hours, pay, education requirements, personal development opportunities, and other essential considerations.
Attend caregiver-related events
Industry-related groups and organizations offer seminars, classes, and the chance to interact with others who share the same passion for helping others. Participating in these professional events will allow you to learn more about the job, ultimately ensuring that you will be able to stay in caregiving for the long haul.
Know the educational requirements
More than half of all current home care workers have completed no formal education beyond high school. The level of education for caregivers ranges from a high school diploma to postgraduate college degrees. Any Medicare or Medicaid-certified agency will ask for proof that you’ve met their minimum educational requirements.
Investigate the salaries
According to Payscale.com, the median hourly pay for an in-home caregiver in the U.S. is $12.11. Depending on factors that might include where you live, job openings, special skills, and level of experience, your salary could range anywhere between $9.31 and $16.54 per hour.
Where to Find Professional Caregiver Jobs
Caregiver jobs are posted through online sources like Indeed.com, Glassdoor.com, and LinkedIn, giving you a wide range of options when it’s time to launch your career. Using the above tips as a reference should make getting started less stressful and more rewarding as your exciting caregiving journey plays out!
Your Exciting Home Care Career Opportunity Awaits!
If you are ready to pursue an exciting career as an in-home caregiver, we’d love to hear from you. Due to our expanding client load, Home Instead of Northern Milwaukee is currently seeking qualified individuals to fill several caregiving positions. While proudly serving communities in Milwaukee and the surrounding area, we support clients and their families with services that include personal care, respite care, private duty care, 24-hour care, Alzheimer’s and dementia care, and more.
We offer our employees a fast-paced, positive work environment where input is valued and hard work rewarded. Whether you’re an aide, nurse, therapist, social worker, or another type of health care professional, we’d love to hear from you! To learn more about career opportunities with Home Instead of Northern Milwaukee, please visit us today at homeinsteadwi.wpengine.com.