Do I Need to Become Certified to be a Caregiver?

You’re thinking about taking a job as a healthcare aide. So, do you need to become certified to be a caregiver? Not necessarily. Here’s what you should know.


There Are Different Types of Caregivers

Caregiver is a general term that may refer to healthcare aides with various levels of training. The three most common types of caregivers are:

  • Homemaker or Companion Caregiver
    A homemaker or companion caregiver has little medical instruction. They primarily focus on assisting their clients with activities of daily living or ADLs. These may include personal grooming, meal preparation, light housekeeping, laundry, and shopping as well as companionship.
  • Home Health Aides (HHA)
    HHAs have more training. As a result, they can complete the same duties as a homemaker plus assist with someone’s healthcare needs. For instance, they may drive clients to/from doctor’s appointments and administer medication.
  • Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA)
    These are the most highly trained caregivers. CNAs may provide in-home care or work in long-term residential facilities, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and hospitals. Although CNAs often assist with ADLs, they also perform basic medical procedures such as monitoring oxygen levels and vital signs.


Some Positions Require Certification

Usually, all three types of caregivers have some training in CPR, elder abuse and mobility. This especially is true for those working through an agency. However, both HHAs and CNAs must be certified. The exact specifications vary from state to state, but generally consist of:

  • HHA Certification Requirements
    75+ hours of classroom and clinic instruction
    A written and/or practical test
    Ongoing continuing education of up to 12 hours in 12 months
  • CNA Certification Requirements
    150+ hours of classroom and clinic instruction
    A written and/or practical test
    Ongoing continuing education of up to 48 hours in 2 years


The More Training You Have the Higher Your Pay

As with most careers, more education equals higher pay. A CNA offers a more specialized skill set than a homemaker, and this is reflected in market rates. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for a home health aide (HHA) is $13.02 per hour or $27,080 per year. On the other hand, the median pay for a certified nursing assistant (CNA) is $14.82 per hour or $30,830 per year.



Would You Like to Become Certified to Be a Caregiver?

Anodyne Services is currently hiring caregivers for positions throughout Eastern Massachusetts. Plus, we offer FREE home health aide training to all our employees! Start earning a paycheck as a homemaker while working toward your HHA certification. Contact us today to learn more!