How to Become a Personal Care Aide

Personal Care Aide

A personal care aide looks after vulnerable adults. Their clients may be elderly, disabled, ill, or recovering people, who need help with their day to day tasks. Personal care aides will be responsible for any physical and emotional assistance that the client may require.

A personal care aide is a professional who takes care of adults with a range of conditions. They might look after someone who is physically disabled, someone who has a mental impairment, or somebody with a chronic illness. 

Generally, a personal care aide is one of two or three assistants who will help a specific person. They may also share the carer role with a family member of the client.

The duties vary greatly, depending on the condition that the client is suffering with and their particular situation. However, most personal care aides can expect to do the following:

  • Doing household tasks and duties, including laundry, washing dishes, and general cleaning. 
  • Providing emotional support for clients.
  • Doing everyday tasks such as taking walks, going for days out, or having conversations. 
  • Making arrangements for their client and taking them to appointments. 
  • Doing weekly shopping.
  • Helping with finances. They may manage money or pay bills on behalf of their client. 
  • Helping their client with looking after themself; this includes toileting and brushing teeth and hair.
  • Helping the client manage their condition. This might involve aiding them with mobility or helping them improve their memory by playing games.
  • Speaking to and liaising with family members.

Most personal care aide jobs do not require specific qualifications, apart from basic English and Maths. However, those who want to strengthen their applications could do so by qualifying in health and social care.

Volunteering is beneficial for people thinking of becoming a personal care aide. As well as gaining experience to show employers, it will help candidates decide if this career is right for them. 

It is important for candidates wanting to become a personal care aide to have some work experience because the work can be emotionally exhausting, and candidates should have opportunities to assess whether they are right for the vocation.

While there are not that many hard skills that a personal care aide may need, various soft skills are essential. Personal care aides should be empathetic, calm, trustworthy, and be able to deal with emotional situations. Many of their clients will be in extreme positions, which personal care aides will have to adapt to be able to handle. 

Candidates will also need physical strength, as they will often have to spend shifts on their feet with few sit-down breaks, and may need to carry heavy objects. 

Personal care aides often use this career as a stepping stone for other professions in the health industry. Some move into fields such as autism, end of life, or dementia care. They may also progress to senior care roles, where they organise other staff members, or into social or rehabilitation work. 

Being a personal care aide will also strengthen a candidates application, should they choose to study a health or social vocation.

What degree is most commonly held by a Personal Care Aide?

  • Associate Degree in Pre-nursing Studies
  • Bachelors of Nursing Education and Disability Studies
  • Bachelor of Nursing
  • Bachelor of Public Health
  • Bachelor of Biomedical Science

Career Transportability across Countries

Transportability: Low
This career is generally niche to the candidate’s location. As it is a highly client-focused role, the candidate will need strong cultural knowledge, which they might find challenging to have in another country. There are also plenty of candidates available for this role across the globe; therefore, employers generally hire locals.  

What is the Salary of a Personal Care Aide?

ExperienceAverage salary | year
Personal Care Assistant1-3 yrs$24,020£28,700$27,694
Personal Care Worker3-5 yrs$27,000.,£40,00$30,459mn
Care Consultant5-10 yrs$30,000£52,500$34,630

What skills are needed to become a Personal Care Aide?

  • Customer Service
  • Microsoft Office
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Communication
  • Time Management
  • Research
  • Public Speaking
  • Healthcare
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Management
  • Personal Care
  • Social Media
  • Organization Skills
  • Problem Solving
  • Team Leadership
  • Nursing
  • Sales
  • Training
  • Event Planning
  • Project Management
  • PowerPoint
  • Teaching

Personal Care Guide Courses

To become a personal care aide, it is a great idea to do some relevant courses. These will strengthen an application for a job and provide some of the necessary knowledge. At FutureLearn, we have plenty of courses available, including this course about caring for others.