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Health Care Aide Career Outlook

Apr 08, 2010

If you are considering a career in the health care industry, but do not want to spend a lot of time or money in training, then a career as a health care aide may be perfect for you. As a health care aide, you’ll have the opportunity to help many people who otherwise could not complete everyday tasks such as bathing, eating, and getting around.

Educational requirements

The education required to become a health care aide is minimal, and is even offered in some high schools so you can get training in this career at little or no expense. Courses are also offered by vocational schools, nursing facilities, and community colleges. These courses teach basic health care skills including anatomy, nutrition, patient rights, and communication skills. In general these courses last less than one year.

Let's talk numbers

As of 2008, there were approximately 1.5 million jobs for health care aides in the United States, with 41% employed in nursing care facilities and a further 29% employed in hospitals. It is expected that jobs for health care aides will increase by 18% from 2008 to 2010. This means an increase of 279,600 jobs. The majority of jobs will be in a nursing capacity, with about 70,000 total jobs available for health care aides in a psychiatric environment.

A major factor in the increased need for health care aides is the fact that this is an entry-level job in the health care industry, so there is a high rate of turnover as aides move on to become nursing assistants, nurses, physicians, or move on to other careers. Additionally, as the population ages, there will be an increased need for health care aides to assist those who cannot perform some tasks by themselves.

Who do health care aides work with?

While health care aide may not be the most glamorous job, it allows you to interact with people on a daily basis and forge lasting relationships. You’ll work with other health care aides, nurses, physicians, and other health care providers in order to provide the best care possible to people who need your help completing everyday tasks.

Job opportunities

The career outlook for health care aides is very good, and those with any kind of training in this area should have no problem finding a job in their local hospital or health care facility. Whether you are looking for a new career or just hoping to pay your bills when you finish school, a job as a health care aide can be rewarding and offers a better salary than most entry-level jobs. It is definitely worth a look.

Expected salary

With an average 2008 wage of $11.46, health care aides do not earn a fantastic salary. However, due to the low educational requirements that are needed to secure a job as a health care aide this is a great beginning career. Over time, health care aides can always increase their training and education and move on to other health care jobs, or use this career as a method to finance their university education. Many health care aides choose to take additional training to become a psychiatric aide, which offers a higher average wage of $12.77 per hour.

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