Becoming a home health aide allows you to find out if you like working in the healthcare industry without spending a lot of money for schooling. On-the-job training is readily available and, in many cases, even completion of high school is not necessary.
You will get experience working with persons who are in need of special care and are unable to care for themselves.
HHA salaries varies state by state but averages about $22,000 a year. If you find you like this type of health care employment, you may want to take advantage of other higher paying opportunities in the health career field. Those higher paying fields include becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant, a Certified Medication Aide, and/or a Certified Medical Assistant. See our descriptions below.
Certified Nursing Assistant
A certified nursing assistant (CNA), also known as a nursing assistant, nurse aide, or patient care assistant, works with patients under the direct supervision of a registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse.
To be certified you must study and pass a state examination. Requirements vary by location.
Free training is available from the American Red Cross.
Many facilities have on-the-job training. Training is also available online. The average annual salary for a CNA in the US is approximately $28,000.
Certified Medication Aide
A certified medication aide (CMA) is an advanced nursing assistant who administers various types of medication to their patients under the supervision of a qualified nurse or doctor.
You must a have diploma or GED certificate and experience as a CNA to qualify for CMA training.
Again, regulations vary state by state but more training is required for this position.
You can expect to pay up to $1,000 for tuition. CMA’s may be found in rest homes, nursing homes, prisons, and, of course, hospitals; anywhere that oversight is necessary in the dispensing of medications. A certified medication aide on average earns $26,000 a year in the US.
Certified Medical Assistant
The duties of a certified medical assistant (CMA) are similar to those of a CNA. However, a CMA usually works in a clinic or doctor’s office and will also perform office and administrative duties.
While some doctors do not require you to have certification, it is definitely something you should apply for.
Training, through an accredited school, usually costs less than $500. And after passing the necessary examination, you can be certified by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and be recognized as a professional.
The average salary for a certified medical assistant in the US is around $46,000 a year.
As you can see, your salary after becoming a home health aide can grow by getting advanced education and certifications.
Like everything else, the more you can learn in your field of endeavor, the better your chances for growth!