As we mentioned earlier, our goal is to make your life easier as you start your new career and training to become a home health aide. There is a lot of information online about how to become an HHA so we thought we would break it down for you into these 5 basic steps to help you get started.
Step 1: Research Your Job Description
When choosing a career you need to do some research and make sure it’s the right one for you. You might ask yourself these questions before starting your career as an aide:
- Why do I want to become an HHA?
- Am I passionate and excited about helping people?
- Are there things about this career that I don’t like?
- Do I have the mental and physical ability?
- Can I picture myself as an HHA?
If you’re still not sure after asking yourself these questions, we recommend you call a home health care employer and ask to shadow an HHA for a day. This will help you get the first-hand experience to see if it’s the right job for you.
Step 2: Know Your Prerequisites
Not all home health aide training classes and programs are the same, but here are some basic prerequisites that your program may require:
- Be 18 years of age or older.
- You must have a government-issued ID.
- Be authorized to work in the United States.
- You must pass a criminal background check.
- Receive a physical exam.
- You may or may not need a high school diploma.
The HHA training program you choose will have more information about the requirements needed for you to start their program.
Step: 3 Understand What Certifications Are Required By Your State
Training requirements and certifications vary from state to state. You can contact your state’s Board of Nursing or check our state guide to get specific information on how to get your certification.
Your state or territorial health department is also a great resource that will point you in the correct direction on how you can obtain your HHA certification.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, aides are required to obtain state certification only if your employer is funded or reimbursed by Medicare or Medicaid. They must meet a minimum level of 75 hours of training and pass a competency evaluation, which includes observation and documentation of 17 skills and passing a written exam. Some states might require more hours of HHA training.
No formal training or certification is required if you are an HHA working for a private company, although requirements and certifications will vary from employer to employer.
In many cases, aides receive on the job training by their employer.
Note: Receiving free home health aide training and certification does exist at some HHA agencies. However, you will most likely contractually agree to work for that company for some time after you have received your HHA training. These programs are great for people to jump-start their career as an aide.
Step 4: Find A HHA Training Program
Completing a home health aide training program is not required for employment.
However, completing an HHA training program that is accredited will show your employer that you have hands-on experience in this field and that you are ready for a job in a health care setting.
You can receive training to become a home health aide from:
- Local health care agencies.
- Community colleges.
- Vocational/technical schools.
- Online training programs.
A typical training program for a home health aide will take six weeks or less to complete. Coursework will include lectures by your instructor, quizzes or exams, applying practical skills like CPR, and will include hands-on experience at a health care facility such as a nursing home or hospital.
You can also contact the National Council of State Boards of Nursing if you are having trouble finding a program.
Step 5: Apply For A HHA Job
After completing training and receiving your certification, your next step is to apply for aide jobs in your area.
Finding a job is not an easy task. That is why we created our HHA jobs board. It is updated every day with local listings of new HHA jobs.
Applying for an HHA job means submitting a resume along with it. Your resume needs to be professional and polished. A resume will include your contact information, experience, education, certifications, and skills.
We hope that this step-by-step guide gave you a better understanding of what it takes to become an HHA. Good luck with your home health aide training and we wish you the best as you start your new career!