Assisted living caregivers, also known officially as personal and home care aides, provide help in both private and public institutions where patients require care and assistance with daily tasks such as bed-making and meal preparations. These assisted living institutions can include mental retardation residences, long-term care wings at general medical hospitals, and sometimes even the patient's personal home. The average salaries earned by these caregivers can vary depending on factors like work environment and geographic location.
There are approximately 686,030 caregivers working in various assisted living situations throughout the United States, reports the 2010-2011 occupational handbook published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), from which all salary data comes. These caregivers earn an average of $20,420 every year, which works out to $9.82 an hour. In contrast, the national average for all jobs rings in at $44,410 a year, or $21.35 an hour.
Averages by Largest Employers
Individual and family service institutes employ the largest percentage of the total caregiver job pool, just over 25 percent. There, the caregivers earn an average of $20,650 a year, or $9.93 an hour. Rounding out the top three largest employers of caregivers come home health care services, at $19,020 a year, and vocational rehabilitation institutes, at $21,650.
Averages by Highest-Paying Employers
If you're currently working as an assisted living caregiver and are thinking of trying for a higher-paying position, you may wish to check for jobs at a psychiatric or substance abuse hospitals. Assisted living caregivers in this industry get paid the highest industry average, $30,960 per year, or more than $10,000 higher than the national average for this job. State government institutes rank second, at $29,250, followed by general medical hospitals at $25,200.
Averages by Geographic Location
Some say that everything's bigger in Texas, and when it comes to the national proportion of caregivers, it's true. Texas has the highest employment levels for this occupation, over 101,000 workers, and pays an average of $17,390 a year. New York follows, also with 100,000 caregivers, and pays $21,250, while California rounds out the top three at $21,900. Switching gears, Alaska pays its assisted living caregivers the highest state-by-state average in the nation, ringing in at $29,690. New Jersey comes second at $26,470, followed by the District of Columbia at a close $26,420.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011; Home Health Aides; U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; December 2009
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; 39-9021 Personal Care Aides; May 2010
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Occupational Employment and Wages News Release -- May 2010; May 2011