Personal Care Attendant (PCA) Salary
Most Personal Care Attendants in the United States are women. The workforce as a whole earns a median of approximately $10.10 per hour. Residence and career length each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Slightly less than a fifth enjoy medical while close to a tenth get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to less than one in ten. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Personal Care Attendants. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Job Description for Personal Care Attendant (PCA)
Personal care attendants are responsible for providing care to the sick and injured of any age, from children with disabilities to the elderly. This position requires professionalism and compassion at all times. Some duties include checking the patient’s vital signs, helping the patient with personal hygiene, dressing the patient, feeding the patient, and taking the patient to appointments. Basic housekeeping is also necessary in order to provide a safe, clean environment. In day to day activities, personal care attendants will normally work alone, but they will report to a registered nurse.Read More...
Personal care attendants will typically work in the home of the patient or in an assisted living facility. They work in shifts of eight or twelve hours, including overnight and weekend shifts. Some physical fitness is required to aid the patient in rehabilitative exercises and help them get in and out of bed.
A personal care attendant is required to have at least a high school diploma or GED. He or she must have a valid drivers’ license and reliable transportation. Personal care attendants are also subjected to a criminal background check and drug testing. Candidates for this position must have knowledge in the areas of nutrition and fitness and be aware of emotional issues that may arise. In some states, personal care attendants are required to pass a personal aide training program or nurse’s aide program. Prospective candidates are also required to be certified to provide first aid and CPR in the event of an emergency. He or she will also be required to have strong written and verbal skills in communicating with both the patient and the patient’s family.
Personal Care Attendant (PCA) Tasks
- Administer bedside and personal care, such as ambulation and personal hygiene assistance.
- Train family members to provide bedside care.
- Transport clients to locations outside the home, such as to physicians' offices or on outings.
- Participate in case reviews, consulting with the team caring for the client, to evaluate the client's needs and plan for continuing services.
- Instruct, advise and perform housekeeping duties and running errands.
Common Career Paths for Personal Care Attendant (PCA)
Personal Care Attendants sometimes assume positions such as Emergency Room Registered Nurses. That role pays $61K per year on average. Certified Nurse Assistants or Registered Nurses are common next-step roles for Personal Care Attendants moving up in their careers; annual pay for Certified Nurse Assistants is $2K higher on average, and it's $35K higher for Registered Nurses.
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Pay by Experience Level for Personal Care Attendant (PCA)
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For Personal Care Attendants, level of experience appears to be a somewhat less important part of the salary calculation — more experience does not correlate to noticeably higher pay. People who have worked for fewer than five years earn around $21K, and folks with five to 10 years of experience see a modestly higher median of $22K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Personal Care Attendants make a median salary of $22K. In the end, more experience does seem to mean larger paychecks; seasoned Personal Care Attendants with more than 20 years of experience earn a predictably higher median salary of $24K.
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