Certified Home Health Aide Requirements: Ultimate Guide for 2024

Mar 23, 2022 · 6 minutes to read

home health care worker assists senior man at home
Becoming a certified home health aide is an excellent way to start your career in healthcare. The need for home health aides is growing, with increasing opportunities throughout most of the country. There are many programs available to get you trained and certified in a relatively short amount of time, so you can begin working with patients while pursuing further education.

This guide covers home health aide education requirements, training, and certification. We’ll also discuss the job outlook for this essential occupation.

What is a Home Health Aide?

A home health aide (HHA) is a healthcare worker who cares for patients living in their own homes. An HHA’s patients are typically elderly, chronically ill, living with a disability, or recovering from a serious injury. These patients often need extra support with everyday tasks to allow them to live safely and comfortably in their homes in addition to medical care.

The duties of a home health aide typically include:

  • Providing medications and treatment according to a doctor or nurse’s instruction
  • Checking and documenting vital signs
  • Assisting the patient with personal hygiene and toileting
  • Preparing meals and feeding
  • Some light housework (such as changing bed sheets or doing dishes)
Find out what you need to becoming a certified Home Health Aide.

What qualities does a good Home Health Aide have?

It takes more than just medical knowledge and skill to succeed as a home health aide. You should also have well-practiced social skills (sometimes called “soft skills”) that will help you work well with patients, their families, and other medical professionals.

A good HHA often has these qualities:

  • Strong communication skills – You will need to communicate with patients, their families, medical professionals, and others verbally and in writing.
  • Empathy and a caring attitude – Caring for another person can mean more than just providing physical support. You’ll likely provide emotional support and a measure of companionship as well.
  • Strong time management skills – Managing medication and treatment schedules is a big part of an HHA’s duties and staying on time throughout the day is a must.
  • Ability to keep calm under pressure – Medical emergencies and accidents can happen anytime. You must keep a level head if they happen, so you can manage the situation effectively and quickly get your patient the help they need.

Recommended reading: 10 skills needed for Home Health Aides to be prepared for the job

What is the job outlook for Home Health Aides?

The job outlook for home health aides and personal care aides is strong, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Employment for these occupations is expected to grow by 33% by 2030. The average salary for HHAs and personal care aides was just over $28,000 as of May 2020, though pay varies from state to state and between cities and rural areas.

How to get a Home Health Aide certification?

To become a home health aide in the U.S., you will need:

  • A high school diploma or equivalent education
  • To complete an approved education and training program
  • Pass a competency exam

What is HHA certification?

Home health aide certification simply means that you meet the qualification standards to work as an HHA in your state. Certification is required to accept Medicare and Medicaid as payment for your services. Many home health agencies will not hire uncertified HHAs, though many include certification as part of their on-the-job training program.

To receive your home health aide certification, you will need to complete a recognized training program and pass a competency exam.

Training to become a Home Health Aide

There are many training options available for aspiring HHAs. You can usually complete programs at community colleges, private schools specializing in medical certification, or through your employer. The options available to you may depend on where you live. Though you might do your classroom work online, you will need to complete clinical training in person.

Federal home health education requirements mandate a minimum of 75 hours of training, with at least 16 of these to be supervised practical or clinical training. However, your state government may set additional home health aide requirements. For example, Maine requires HHAs to complete 180 hours of training with 70 hours of practical/clinical instruction.

Recommended reading: Home health aide training, classes, certificate: Guide

Passing the HHA exam

You must pass a competency exam to receive your home health aide certification. This exam varies from state to state but typically includes written and practical sections designed to test your knowledge and skills.

The written section of the test is usually multiple choice. It covers information essential to working as an HHA, from basic medical knowledge and safety to patients’ rights and data collection. You might find study guides and practice tests online to help you prepare.

In the practical section, your skills will be tested using a dummy or a volunteer pretending to be a patient. You will be asked to perform some basic medical procedures, such as measuring blood pressure and taking a temperature, as well as common tasks you will likely encounter on the job. This may include safely transferring a patient into bed or demonstrating the correct way to wash your hands.

How Home Health Aides can protect themselves at work?

Home health aides work closely with people in their own homes. While this can help create a strong bond between carer and patient, it also creates the potential for accidents and mistakes. You may consider business insurance designed for HHAs to help protect you financially.

An HHA may face different claims or lawsuits brought by a patient or their family. Common causes are allegations of negligence, mistakes in your work, a patient suffering an injury while under your care, or accidentally damaging a patient’s personal property. Insurance for home health aides—such as General Liability and Professional Liability coverage—could help you defend yourself against these and other potential risks.

The cost of a lawsuit can be financially crippling, especially if it drags on for months or even years. Business insurance helps by covering your legal expenses and compensation costs in many situations. Your policies could provide a safety net should the worst happen while you’re on the job, so you can work with greater peace of mind and confidence.

Compare insurance for Home Health Aides now with BizInsure.
*As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. The information contained on this web page is general only and should not be relied upon as advice.

Get Free Online Quotes and get coverage instantly

The coverage you need for your business.

Business insurance is divided into different policies. We offer 4 types so it's easy to design the coverage that fits your business.

Professional Liability Insurance

Get a quote

General Liability Insurance

Get a quote

Business Owner’s Policy (BOP)

Get a quote

Workers Compensation Insurance

Get a quote

Let's find

The coverage you need for your business

Professional Liability Insurance

Get a quote

General Liability Insurance

Get a quote

Business Owner’s Policy (BOP)

Get a quote

Workers Compensation Insurance

Get a quote

Friendly and very fast service!
Patricia S.
Jennifer Whiscombe, is an amazing agent. She was very knowledgeable, thorough and friendly. I highly recommend.
Ebony D.
They make it very easy to buy insurance and renew.
Bill N.
As a business owner I love not wasting time. Thank you so much for giving me more time
mario S.
Very straight forward, the cost of coverage amount made sense, simplicity was appreciated.
Jean H.
Always easy. Thank you.
Dave C.
A Company that is easy to deal with and that I have used for several years. I appreciate the continued support.
Sam M.
Very easy and affordable!
Volanda H.
Very easy to work with, cost effective, prompt renewal and easy to get certificates of insurance instantly. I use them exclusively for my professional and general liability insurance needs as a consultant.
Larry (.
Responsive and professionalCompetitive price. I highly recommend Bizlnsure as an insurance provider
Zynab B.
Your service is easy to renew as needed and your company informs the client in advance for renewal.
Henry B.
It has been a pleasure doing business with Biz Insure Llc.Their representatives are very courteous, helpful and customer service oriented.
Shonta I.
Quick and easy....
Tammy K.
I follow the instructions & would prefer to paid every month. I did not have the options to pay every month.
Alamo H.
Thank you, Amy, for making my experience enjoyable and funny. Thank you so much for your kindness!!!
George J.
I'm pleased with the business quote I received from Bizinsure LLC. Thank You!
Shanda J.
Very satisfied with the online experience
Nicole h
Been a happy customer for years! Easiest company to receive a quote and get insured. No hassles! Easy payment! Finance plans, if needed!
jodi H.
Love it
Hanna R.
Every year, BizInsure is my go to for general and professional liability insurance! Thenrates are unbeatable.
Calandra K.
The agent was quick and efficient in generating a quote for my needs.
Theresa F.
I enjoy working BizInsure they always answer all my questions and make sure i have the correct coverage for my business.
Prompt and professional service from Biz Insure. Thanks Leslie and Liza!
Bev G.
Very easy to sign up for insurance.
Great company
Brown G.
Fast and efficient!
Kim C.
It was great being able to get a policy that suits my company's need in less than 30 minutes. They were vey thorough. Very competitively priced.
Lynette C.
I worked with Andrea for another start up business. She was very knowledgeable and help me pick the correct policy. Amazed at how quickly the process went.
Representative was very kind, helpful, and educated me well. I appreciated today's prompt service with confirmation that I was satisfied with what was provided to me.
Tina P.
Great company for.your low cost business insurance needs.
constantin T.
Staff was very fessional and friendly. I was able to get a quote and move forward within 20 minutes.
Pebbles S.
Complete C.
Super easy process.
Ashley G.
It’s very easy to understand and at a very reasonable price.
Mary M.
Professionalism, Quality, Responsive and budget friendly
Great rates, easy to understand and select appropriate coverage, can get in a jiffy
Brie C.
I have been a customer of BizInsure for a few years now and I love it. There customer service is awesome and the prices are affordable.
Danyale W.
Quick easy experience! The rep was knowledgeable & pleasant. Customer care was awesome to respond and clarify my concerns.
Kathy Ann A.
Google Rating
Based on 262 reviews