Caregivers are referred to as personal care aides in the professional world, and because there are so many settings in which they can find employment, their salaries are widely ranged. The following caregiver salary information provides details about average salaries in a variety of settings and locations.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, caregivers earned an average annual salary of about $19,640 in 2010. This is less than all other occupations in the home care industry. However, this figure encompasses a variety of professions—babysitting, sitting with the elderly and even working for non-profit organizations to provide basic care and companionship. National averages for each of these professions may be slightly higher or slightly lower than the average for all caregivers combined. Indeed.com, another source of salary information, reports that caregivers nationwide earn an average of $22,000 annually. This slight deviance is likely due to the inclusion or exclusion of some professions.
Salary by Location
According to Indeed.com, caregiver salaries fluctuate only very slightly based upon geographic location. As an example, although career professionals on the east coast usually earn the highest salaries in the nation, caregivers in New York City and Boston earned salaries of $28,000 and $25,000 respectively. Midwestern career professionals often earn the lowest salaries; caregivers in Chicago, IL and Indianapolis, IN earned salaries of $23,000 and $17,000 per year respectively. Although there is an obvious difference, these salaries are still very close in range. Salaries in states such as Texas, Florida and Connecticut range from $21,000 to $24,000 annually.
Amount of Education and Experience
Since there are no formal education requirements for caregivers, these individuals can often obtain entry level positions even without a high school diploma. The entry level salary for this career choice is less than $16,300, however. Some caregivers take courses at vocational schools in order to better develop their abilities to perform basic household tasks. Thus, after completing these courses and obtaining optional certification in CPR and AED use, these individuals may be able to earn more than $29,390 per year. With a bit of extra training and some certification, caregivers may opt to become home health aides. In this profession, they can earn between $5000 and $10,000 more with experience.
Other Contributing Factors
Since caregivers are typically self-employed and rely on referrals and basic advertising to find clients, it is very important that they develop a great reputation. The number of tasks that a caregiver is expected to perform in the client’s home will have an effect on the amount of money he or she can charge, as well. For instance, a caregiver who is responsible for entertaining and looking after a single child may only earn $17,000 per year; conversely, a caregiver who must care for three children and perform basic household duties such as dusting, vacuuming and laundry can charge clients $20,000 per year or more.
Caregivers do not enjoy the highest paid profession, but they do have jobs that can be potentially rewarding in the long run. In order for these individuals to earn the highest salaries possible, they should be sure to work on developing great relationships with their clients and offering to take on more responsibilities for increased pay.