Per 2012 data compiled by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median Home Health Aide salary is approximately $20,170.
This figure may rank near the bottom of the pay scale for healthcare providers, but it does represent a living wage in most states, and there are usually opportunities to earn well above the median for those who are committed to making a career of it.
In the following sections, we’ll take a deeper look at some of the factors that go into determining how much HHAs make, and how you can maximize your earnings as a home care provider.
Home Health Aide Salary Differences by Region
If you’re just starting out in home health care, one of the first things you’ll discover about the job market is that the pay offered by employers is dramatically different from state to state. According to ONet, mean salaries can range anywhere between $13.34 per hour (Connecticut) and $9.86 per hour (Utah) depending on the state you work in.
Generally speaking, you’ll find that the highest wages paid to CHHAs (Certified Home Health Aides) are in the Northeastern and Western United States, while the lowest salaries are typically offered in the Southeast and Great Plains states. You’ll also find that wages paid in cities tend to be higher than in rural areas.
It should also be pointed out that many states do not have minimum wage or overtime laws for home care workers. If you live in a state where this is the case, and are concerned about how this issue may affect your pay, you may want to consider becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant first and then getting your HHA certification afterwards.
How Much is Experience Worth?
The starting salary for a new home care professional can vary considerably thanks to the regional differences discussed above, and other factors. What can be safely assumed, however, is that more experience translates to more pay for those who stay in the field.
Pay by Employer Type
In addition to the factors mentioned above, the wage ultimately earned by a CHHA also depends to a great extent on the type of employer. For instance, home care workers who work at clients’ residences and are employed by agencies tend to earn as much as $4,000 per year more than their counterparts who work at hospices.
Mean CHHA salaries for the three main types of employers involved in home care settings are listed below.
HHA Pay by Employer
|Employer Type||Median Annual Salary|
|Home Care Agency|
|Long-Term Care Facility|
Moving Up the HHA Pay Scale
Aside from gaining experience or changing employers, the next best thing that a Home Health Aide can do to increase his or her salary is go through a CNA training program.
The mean CNA salary is usually several thousand dollars per year higher than the median HHA salary, and nurse aides typically have far more opportunities for advancement than their home care peers. Not only that, but Certified Nursing Assistants who hold HHA certifications tend to earn more than CNAs or HHAs.