Caregiver helps elderly woman with walker

Home Care Aide

Home care aides provide assistance to individuals with daily living tasks. As a home care aide, you can work in a variety of settings including a home care agency, a person’s private home, an adult family home or an assisted living facility.

Male caregiver pushes elderly man in a wheelchair

What Does a

Home Care Aide Do?

It is important to note that each individual that a home care aide assists has different, unique needs. Here are some tasks that you might help someone with as a home care aide:

Personal Care

Helping someone bathe, get dressed or brush their hair and teeth

Toileting

Helping someone use the toilet.

Getting Around

Helping someone walk or transfer from a wheelchair to bed.

Preparing Meals and Feeding

Helping someone make food or assisting with eating.

Household Tasks and Errands

Helping someone do laundry, cleaning or shop for groceries.

Where Can I Work as a Home Care Aide?

  • Home care aides can work through a home care agency. A home care agency is a business that hires caregivers and sends them to someone’s home to provide in-home care as home care aides.
  • Adult family homes, and assisted living facilities hire, pay, and supervise home care aides.
  • Individuals can directly employ caregivers to provide care in their homes. The individual provides supervision and direction, but often caregivers are paid by the state.
Caregiver and woman staring out the window

Read more about training and certification requirements here.

Step One: Training

Home Care Aide training requirements include 75 hours of training approved by the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS):

70 hours - Home care aide training

5 hours - Orientation and safety

 

Training can be completed in as little as two weeks, and you can work while you are pursuing certification Many employers pay for you to complete your training while you work. Here are some resources that will give you more information:

Training Partnership

Many Home Care Agencies will pay you to complete your training while you work. Find a map of agencies here.

 

Find training near you that is independent from an employer. Connect with instructors and sign-up for local training. Training fees vary depending on the instructor and course.

WA State DSHS: Find a Training Class

Career Bridge is a resource for training and career resources. Search for "home care aide" and enter your zip code in the location box for a list of classes near you.

 

If you are currently or planning to provide care to a friend or family member who is a Medicaid client, contact the client’s case manager directly. The case manager can help direct you to the next steps. See the information at the link below for more information:

Home Care Referral Registry Office  connects Individual Providers with those who need in-home services. Applicants must be at least 18 years old, successfully complete a background check, a face-to-face interview and an introductory course. Check to see if Registry services are available in your area. Staff are available to help you learn more about becoming an Individual Provider Home Care Aide and how to find work using the Referral Registry.

Step Two: Certification Exam

Once you complete the training, your instructor will give you a DSHS Training Certificate. Save and keep track of this certificate for future reference. After training, you are ready to take the certification exam

The Prometric website has lots of tools to help you prepare for the exam, including a practice written exam, skills checklists, and information in 13 languages!
Testing - The certification exam is administered by Prometric and includes written and skill sections.
Caregiver embracing elderly woman
Caregiver covering elderly woman with a blanket

Step Three: Home Care Aide License

After you pass the certification exam, the testing company will notify the Department of Health (DOH) and then you can get your official home care aide license

Go to the DOH Home Care Aide profession webpage to submit an application for your license.
Licensing - Your home care aide license will come from the DOH.
  • Once the DOH has verified that you’ve passed the exam, they will issue and mail your home care aide license
  • Please be sure to save and keep track of this for future use!




Average Wage
$16.31 Per Hour

According to Indeed, the average wage for a home care aide is $16.31 per hour in Washington State, 30% higher than national average.

Young caregiver holding elderly woman by the hands