Adult day caregivers help older adults and people who are disabled, chronically ill or cognitively impaired to live in their own homes instead of a nursing home. In general, they earn about $10 an hour or $21,000 annually. They may receive pay increases with experience and additional responsibilities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which measures labor market activity, categorizes adult day caregivers as "personal and home care aides" and "home health aides."
Personal and Home Care Aides
According BLS, the hourly wages of a personal and home care aide averaged $9.22 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent of this category of adult day caregivers earned between $7.81 and $10.98 an hour. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $6.84, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $12.33 an hour. The industries employing the largest numbers of personal and home care aides include individual and family services, residential mental retardation and mental health and substance abuse facilities and home health care agencies.
Home Health Aides
In May 2008, the average hourly wage for "home health aides" was $9.84. The middle 50 percent of this category of adult day caregivers earned between $8.52 and $11.69 an hour. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $7.65, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $13.93 an hour. Industries employing the largest numbers of home health aides include nursing care, mental health and elderly community care facilities. Caregivers generally receive compensation for the time worked in the home or facility and not for travel time between jobs.
Adult day caregivers generally don't need a high school diploma and receive on-the-job training from registered nurses, licensed practical nurses or experienced aides. A caregiver's duties may include cooking and basic housekeeping. They also receive training in safety and emergency response. If you want to work for a Medicare or Medicaid-reimbursed facility you must complete a 75-hour training program and a competency evaluation or state certification program. The training program features personal hygiene, safe transfer techniques, reading and recording vital signs, infection control and basic nutrition.
In 2008, home health aides and personal and home care aides held about 1.7 million jobs--mostly in home healthcare services, individual and family services, residential care facilities and private homes. BLS says there will be 50 percent growth in employment for adult day caregivers between 2008 and 2018, largely due to the projected increase in the number of elderly people, who generally experience health issues that require assistance with performing daily activities.