WHAT DO AIDES DO?
Do you like helping people? Now you can help your fellow man, and make money at the same time! Aides help with the basic care of people in a variety of medical and home health fields. You might also help with billing, insurance forms and other paperwork. Aides excel at making people comfortable, managing and easing pain, helping move patients around, helping people recover range of motion after injuries or illness, and generally improving the physical and mental condition of people.
Some job titles include occupational therapy aides, nursing aides, physical therapy aides, psychiatric aides and home health and personal care aides.
HOW MUCH DO AIDES MAKE?
Your pay will depend on your experience and field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) the 2010 median income for nursing aides was $24,010 a year, or $11.54 an hour. Physical therapist aides earned $18.13/hour, or 437,710 a year. Occupational therapy aides made $22.83 an hour, or $47,490 a year. Psychiatric Aides made $12.92 an hour or $26,880 a year and home health/personal care aides made a median of $9.70/hour or $20,170 a year.
WHAT ARE THE EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS?
A high school diploma is enough for entry into some aide fields, but many require certification, experience or postsecondary education. For example, nursing aides need a combination of postsecondary certification from a community college or technical school, as well as supervised clinical work. After that, they are required to take state required competency exams. Physical therapists need an associate's degree from a good physical therapy school. Occupational therapist aides must be licensed in many states. On-the-job training will be crucial to your success as an aide.
JOB SKILLS AND REQUIREMENTS
- Compassion: You are here to help people who are going through a range of issues and physical/mental problems. Your compassion and empathy will be crucial.
- Communication Skills: You will be listening to and speaking directly with patients and people to address their care needs and their concerns. The ability to talk with doctors, other caregivers, family members and develop a rapport with people is necessary to do this job.
- Physical Stamina: You should expect long hours on your feet, as well as the need to lift people in and out of bed, help manipulate their bodies if necessary and lift heavy objects. Stamina and strength will help you greatly.
- Attention to Detail: If you are handling insurance information, or delivering specific medicines, your attention to detail must be spot on to avoid a disaster.
- Time Management: More than likely, you will be working with many people at once. Being able to manage your time to give each patient the attention they deserve will be important.
CAREER PATHS FOR AIDES
THE FUTURE OF AIDES
As the baby boom generation begins to get older and need more physical and mental care, many of these jobs will grow much faster than average. According to the BLS, occupational therapy aide jobs will increase 43% over the next 10 years, home health aide jobs will increase 69% percent, physical therapist aide jobs will increase 46%, nursing aide jobs will increase 20% and psychiatric aides will increase 15%.