The need for companions and personal assistants for the elderly, typically called personal care aides, will increase by 46 percent from 2008 through 2018, making it the fourth fastest-growing occupation in the United States, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This growth in the demand for personal case aides in the United States will create an estimated 375,800 new jobs during that time frame.
Personal care aides earned an average $20,420 per year as of May 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Typically, personal care aides receive their pay based upon an hourly wage rather than as a percentage of an annual salary; the average hourly wage was $9.82. The lowest-paid fourth of all personal care aides in the United States made $8.35 per hour or $17,360 per year or less. For the highest-paid fourth, salaries were $10.98 per hour or $22,830 per year or more.
Home Health Care
Home health care services often employ personal care aides to assist elderly clients who require supervision, assistance and companionship, but not medical care. Personal care aides who worked for home health care agencies made an average of $9.14 per hour or $19,020 per year as of May 2010, explains the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Salaries for aides in the industry ranged from $7.89 per hour or $16,420 per year at the 25th percentile and $10.09 per hour or $20,990 per year at the 75th percentile.
Services for the Elderly
Nonprofit and for-profit services for the elderly and disabled often place personal care aides in the homes of elderly people who need someone to talk to and help them with chores around the house and everyday activities. Personal care aides who worked for services for the elderly and disabled received an average of $9.88 per hour and $20,560 per year as of May 2010, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The lowest-paid fourth of aides in the industry made a maximum of $8.57 per hour or $17,820 per year, while the highest-paid fourth made a minimum of $11.03 per hour or $22,940 per year.
Personal care aides working in Alaska were the highest-paid of those in any state as of May 2010 with average wages of $14.27 per hour and $29,690 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. New Jersey ranked as the second highest-paying state with average salaries of $12.73 per hour or $26,470 per year. With average wages of $18.94 per hour and $39,420 per year, Vineland, Millville and Bridgeton, New Jersey, were the highest-paying metropolitan area for personal care workers.