A Look at the Personal Care Job Explosion

by Tera Tuten on February 25, 2014

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, an American “Baby Boomer” turns 65 every 13 seconds…that’s 10,000 new seniors every day.

At that rate, it’s estimated that there will be 70 million senior citizens in America by 2030: twice the present-day number.

This, in addition to rising rates of age- and non-age-related ailments, is poised to see a veritable explosion in additional positions in the personal care industry.

One partner at a Dallas-based recruiting firm has said, “My guess is that there could be some 20 million new jobs when it’s all said and done because of seniors.”

Wanted: Personal and home care workers…lots of them

The landscape for job prospects for both home health aides and personal care aides is incredible, no matter how you look at it.

(The two jobs are often similar but the Department of Labor makes a technical distinction between them because home health aides can administer medication and/or check on a client’s vitals, under the direction of an RN in some states.)

The number of people working as personal care aides alone has already grown from 534,000 to 985,000 between 2002 and 2012 – an increase of 118 per cent.

By 2022, this explosion of available jobs is expected to grow by an additional 50 per cent, adding 581,000 more personal care positions to the U.S. healthcare sector.

A word on salary

Median pay for such jobs is $19,910, with the top 10 percent of earners making an average of $27,580.

Pay for home health aides is similar to that of personal care aides. As a result, and because of the significant emotional demands, the job often has a high-turnover rate.

It can, however, also serve as a gateway to other jobs in the medical field.

Similar healthcare jobs also in demand

In addition to as many as a million more personal and home care jobs opening up in the next few decades, our aging population may see the creation of as many as 312,000 new nursing assistant jobs, in the next decade alone.

Unlike home health aides or personal care aides, nursing assistants usually perform personal care tasks for patients in hospitals, clinics, or nursing homes.

Nursing assistants typically require more training than home health aides or personal care aides and earn slightly more, at an average of $24,000 a year.

Certified nursing assistants earn an average of $35,000 a year, with the top of the pay scale reaching to around $65,000 a year.

Have your say

Are you or someone you know working in or considering working in this industry? What do you think of the job prospects? Weigh-in through the Comments area below.

In pursuit of a home health care career? Check out www.soliant.com for our most recent openings in home health care.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Joan Bendickson 02.28.14 at 6:50 pm

Hello, I am looking for a traveling RN position, in the area of Homecare/and or hospice. I have been in the area of Homecare/Hospice RN position for the last 8 years and have traveled once to Portland Maine for a 13 week assignment and loved it. I am looking for more travel opportunities, and live in Wisconsin. I am licensed in WI,IA,MN currently. Thank you!!

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