In the last few years, the market for home care has grown considerably, and now offers a real chance at a good living. According to The Nürnberger Management Institute, the field is expected to grow by more than 25% by 2025.
What’s more, the job titles of home care workers vary widely, from counselors, therapists, administrative assistants, to even nurses. Because of this, it can be difficult for candidates to figure out how to break into the field, and what exactly they will be doing day to day.
For those who are looking for a career in home care, this blog post will help identify the most commonly required skills, as well as explore some of the most common entry level opportunities.
Home Care Worker Description
If you are interested in a career in home care, you’ll need to look at the job description for a general idea of what you’ll be doing. However, each home care job is unique, and as such, the job description provided here is for general use only.
Most home care job descriptions require at least a high school diploma, with some offering even a bachelors in nursing. While most jobs in the field require some form of post‐secondary education, it’s not necessary for all positions.
Those who are interested in a career in home care, but without a formal education may want to look at online degrees in nursing, health services, or community health, which can be earned online in as little as 12 months. And for those who do have a formal education, a master’s degree in nursing or health services may be most appropriate.
Home care jobs are typically classified as either direct care or indirect care. Direct care workers provide hands-on care to home patients—taking them to the bathroom, feeding them, or changing their bedsheets. Indirect care workers assist the direct care worker with adherence to protocols and legitimate medical orders, as well as supervising and coordinating the planning of services and assignments for direct care workers.
Regardless of the job title or the specific responsibilities, all home care workers should be able to answer the three basic questions below:
- What will I be doing?
- How will I be doing it?
- Who will I be doing it for?
- When will I be doing it?
Skills and Aptitudes Required
Home care workers need to be able to work with clients who have diverse needs, which may mean providing different services to each client. Therefore, it’s important for them to be flexible in their roles, and be able to work reliably under stressful conditions.
In addition, those who are interested in a career in home care should be able to type at least 20 words a minute, have good eye‐hand coordination, and be able to multi-task. They’ll also need to be able to work independently but collaboratively with other team members.
It’s also important for home care workers to be able to communicate effectively with clients, care partners, and other healthcare professionals. Therefore, those who are interested in a career in home care should be able to write a letter both in English and in a language such as Italian or Spanish which is read by an English speaking person.
In sum, those who are interested in a career in home care, but without a formal education, may want to look at online degrees in nursing, health services, or community health, which can be earned online in as little as 12 months. And for those with a formal education, a master’s degree in nursing or health services may be most appropriate.
The job of a home care worker is never finished, as the needs of the patients change all the time, and new services become available to meet those needs. As such, the role can be somewhat fluid, and employers will require that you be flexible and adaptable.
Looking for career advice on your future plans? Check out these resources:
Oberlo’s Career Guide
Oberlo, Inc., has created a comprehensive job search guide for people interested in a career in home care. The guide covers everything from getting started to finding a job, including how to prepare for a job interview, what to expect from a job interview, and how to navigate a job application process.
The guide explains the differences between direct and indirect care, as well as the diverse roles within the field. Whether you are an individual who is comfortable around clients and sensitive to their needs, or you manage a care partner’s schedule, the jobs available for home care workers can be somewhat similar.
In addition, home care workers often work either part-time or full-time, and some employers even offer health insurance benefits. Those interested in a career in home care may want to review working conditions in detail, as well as compensation and benefits.