Personal Care Aide Job Description

A personal care aide, often referred to as PCA or home health aide, helps individuals get ready in the morning and go to bed at night, gives baths, trims nails, feeds people who are unable to feed themselves, and provides care for those who are unable to care for themselves.

smiling woman in gray cardigan

The basic PCA job description includes bathing, dressing, grooming and toileting patients; cleaning house; meal preparation; arranging day trips for those who are confined to their homes; and providing physical, personal and emotional support and comfort. The aide-client relationship is often very close - some would say it is similar to the relationship between a parent and child.


PCAs are considered direct care workers because they spend so much time one-on-one with their clients, and that proximity can bring up feelings of sadness, anger or joy in both parties. The personal bond between aides and patients drives home the importance of empathy as a quality in a PCA.


PCAs can have many different duties depending on the home health agency they work for, their clients' needs and the specific geographic location where they are working. They might be given a more specialized title such as certified nursing assistant (CNA) or licensed practical nurse (LPN). They perform both skilled and unskilled tasks as part of their regular job duties.


PCAs are involved in providing care for a wide range of patients including the elderly, children, new mothers and those with disabilities. They also provide services to stroke victims as well as people recovering from injuries or accidents. In addition, trained PCAs can assist in taking blood pressure readings and do simple wound care or give injections.


The job of a personal care aide is demanding and requires that the PCA to have good physical stamina. The position usually includes working nights, weekends and holidays, which means PCAs must be able to adjust their schedules accordingly. Working with elderly or disabled patients can also involve helping with bedpan changes, incontinence or other messy procedures, which are part of the reason why this job includes a great deal of physical labor. Some PCAs specialize in caring for children, so they have to be comfortable with handling young patients.


PCAs are trained professionals who must be accredited and licensed in order to provide patient care services under the supervision of qualified staff members. Aide training programs are available at community colleges, vocational schools or trade schools. The more education and training a PCA has received, the higher their pay will be.


PCAs can earn anywhere from less than $10 per hour to more than $15 per hour based on level of experience, industry standards and geographic location. For example, home health aides in New Jersey are paid a minimum of $25,000 per year and aides in Indiana are paid at least $22,245. Both of these wages reflect the starting pay that is required for PCAs to help patients with personal care services.


PCAs may be employed by hospitals, private home health agencies or nursing homes. The hours can often be long and flexible enough to accommodate personal obligations.

Statistics on Personal Care Aides


  • Overall employment of home health and personal care aides is projected to grow 34 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. (
  • The largest employers of home health and personal care aides were as follows: Individual and family services 44%, Home healthcare services 25%. (
  • The lowest 10 percent earned less than $20,130, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $36,990. (
  • The employment of personal care aides is expected to increase by about 49% between 2012 and 2022, making personal care one of the fastest growing industries in the U.S. (

Articles On Personal Care Aides


Home Health and Personal Care Aides: Occupational Outlook Handbook: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Home health and personal care aides monitor the condition of people with disabilities or chronic illnesses and help them with daily living activities. (


Personal Care Aide

Personal care aides assist people with chronic diseases, physical disabilities and mental ailments by helping them prepare meals, get dressed in the morning... (


What does a personal care aide do? - CareerExplorer

A personal care aide is someone who works to help another person complete their daily activities. Personal care aides may work in hospitals, nursing homes, adult daycare centres, or private residences (as in-home caretakers). (


Personal Care Aides (


Personal Care Aide

Home health aides and personal care aides help people with disabilities, chronic illness, or cognitive impairment by assisting in their daily living activities. They often help older adults who need (


Personal Care Aide Training Requirements - PHI (


Personal Care Aides (PCA)

Personal Care Aides are a trained caregivers who provide non-medical assistance to patients and elderly Our PCAs are highly trained in home care services. (


Personal Care Aides at My Next Move (


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