California Home Health Aide Careers

Home health aides (HHA) help older adults that need assistance and the disabled, chronically ill or cognitively impaired. These patients may live in their own homes or a residential facility or they may be patient’s at a hospice or day program. Also called home care aides or personal and home care aides, home health aides  may perform light housekeeping duties, shop for food, plan and prepare meals, assist with bathing and perform basic health-related duties such as taking patient’s pulse, temperature, and respiration rate.

Home health aides are in high demand across the U.S., but one of the largest populations can be found in the State of California.

Home Health Aide Education and Training Programs

Because many home health aides work for certified home health or hospice agencies that receive government funding, they must receive formal education and training, and pass a competency test. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a typical training program will consist of training in personal hygiene, reading and recording vital signs, infection control, and basic nutrition.

Home Health Aides may also become certified by the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC). Although certification is not required in some states, most employers prefer to hire NAHC certified home health aides.

In the State of California, home health aides must be certified by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). To become certified, applicant’s must complete a training program with a minimum of 75 hours or an equivalent competency evaluation program approved by the CDPH pursuant to applicable federal and state regulations.

Applicant’s must also pass a criminal background check.
Health Aide Schools and Training Programs in California

The State of California is home to more than 200 CDPH approved home health aide training programs. The following are just a few top-tier training programs:

College of the Desert, Palm Desert, CA
Contra Costa College, San Pablo, CA
Copper Mountain Community College, Joshua Tree, CA
East San Gabriel Valley Regional Occupational Program, West Covina, CA
Gavilan College, Gilroy, CA
Los Angeles City College, Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles Trade Technical College, Los Angeles, CA
Rio Hondo College, Whittier, CA
Santa Barbara City College, Santa Barbara, CA
Santa Rosa Junior College, Santa Rosa, CA
Shasta College, Redding, CA
West Los Angeles College, Culver City, CA

For the complete CDPH list, click here.

Employment and Earnings Outlook for California Home Health Aides

The U.S. is home to 875,100 home health aides averaging $20,820 per year. These figures have decreased since 2008 when the nation was home to 892,410 aides averaging $21,440 per year. However, the home health aide industry is expected to grow by 48% for the 2012-2022 decade, meaning the industry is set add 424,200 new health aide jobs by 2022.

Salaries and employment are on the rise in California. In 2008, the state was home to 54,260 home health aides averaging $22,580 per year. Today, California is home to 55,260 aides averaging $23,950 per year. In addition to rising salaries and employment. The State of California has the 4th highest employment level for this occupation and the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale Metropolitan Area has the 7th highest employment level for home health aides of the nation’s Top 10 Metro Areas for Home Health Aides.  

The Top 5 Industries with the Highest Employment Levels for Home Health Aides include:

Home Health Care Services
Individual and Family Services    
Residential Intellectual and Developmental Disability, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse Facilities    
Continuing Care Retirement Communities and Assisted Living Facilities for the Elderly    
Nursing Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities)  

Although most home health aides work in the 5 industries listed above, they also work in offices of physicians where they earn the highest salaries ($28,110 per year), followed by State Government (OES Designation) ($27,860), and “Management of Companies and Enterprises” ($27,520). Home health aides that work in “Other Investment Pools and Funds”($26,100) and Religious Organizations ($25,810) earn the 4th and 5th highest salaries in the industry.