For anyone who is interested in working in the rapidly-expanding field of home care, earning a Home Health Aide certification is an absolute necessity.
Not only will holding a HHA certificate ensure you of better pay and more employment opportunities, but many states now require home caregivers to be certified in order to work.
About Home Health Aide Certification
With the rapid growth of the home health care industry, the need for qualified professional HHAs is at an all-time high. As this niche has expanded, however, so too has the need for oversight and enforcement of standards. Among these is the requirement that individuals who work at hospices and most agencies must be certified.
The National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) regulates all home care agencies and hospices in the U.S. to guarantee that they meet not only federal standards, but also remain compliant with changing local regulations as well. Additionally, this organization provides a great deal of oversight over the certification process.
Why Certification Matters
Home Health Aide certification (i.e. earning the title of CHHA) has become a requirement throughout the home care industry for very good reasons.
Many states now require home care providers to be certified in order to work
CNA shortages are forcing HHAs to take on added responsibilities that can only be managed by those who are certified
In other words, becoming a CHHA is now more important than ever if you are to maximize your job opportunities and remain employable in the future. Of course, there are other reasons to get certified as well.
Two More Reasons to Get Certified
Additional reasons to enroll for HHA training and get certified include: higher pay and a larger number of prospective employers. A look at the impact of certification on each follows.
According to a recent USNews.com report, the Home Health Aide salary in the U.S. is approximately $20,610 per year, which places it near the bottom of the pay scale for all healthcare industry jobs. However, among the top 10% of earners (made-up almost entirely of CHHAs), the mean salary increases to $29,530.
The implication here is clear – certification has a tremendously positive effect on the earning power of home caregivers and is essential for anyone serious about a career in this field.
As was mentioned in the previous section, more and more states and home care agencies now require their employees to have a HHA certificate. Therefore, by becoming certified, you dramatically increase the pool of jobs for which you may be qualified.
Becoming a Certified Home Health Aide
If you’ve decided to become a Certified Home Health Aide, your first order of business will be finding an ACHC-accredited training program near you. Fortunately, we’ve provided you with a great search tool at the upper right of this page that will help smooth out this process.
Secondly, you’ll need to successfully complete the program in order to become eligible to sit for your state’s HHA exam. While there are different tests administered throughout the country, this example from the State of Oregon is similar to what you’re likely to find on the exam in your area. A passing score on your local exam is required in order to move on to the final step in the certification process.
The final step in the process is to receive your certificate and get listed in the HHA registry maintained by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Once this has happened, you’ll be able to use your Home Health Aide certification in your job applications to any employer of your choosing.