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Q&A: “What kind of employment opportunities are available in senior care?”


iStockphoto | ThinkStock

iStockphoto | ThinkStock

If you’re lucky, you leave nursing school knowing exactly which part of the hospital you want to work in. Picking a specialty can be very gratifying! For those who are considering going into senior care, we’ve got some great tips on how to make that dream a reality.

Do you enjoy spending time with your grandparents or with older adults? If so, you’re right in thinking that senior care might be best for you. Regardless of your work experience, you can probably find a position which will meet your skill level and give you job satisfaction!

So, what positions are available in senior care? 

If you have experience in marketing, sales, human resources, logistics, management or caregiving, you will find a compatible position in senior care. Senior home care agencies hire case managers who may be required to be a registered nurse or licensed practical nurse. Depending on the size of the agency, they may require supervisors. Usually supervisors are experienced caregivers who train and supervise other caregivers.

Caregivers may be required to have certification as a nursing aide or home health aide, or just to have a caring attitude and receive customized training as a companion caregiver.

What is the pay level?  

All salary compensation will keep pace with industry standards for management and office staff positions. Caregivers generally receive from $8.00 to $14.00 per hour, plus benefits, depending on their geographic location and skill level.

What type of care do seniors require? 

Senior care varies from just companion care to complete care for all activities of daily living. Companion care may be required for a senior who is experiencing some memory loss or needs extra assistance with mobility. Almost anyone is qualified for companion care, as long as they receive necessary training from the senior care company and can demonstrate a dependable and trustworthy work history.

Complete care usually requires a certified nursing aide who has been trained in assisting with transfers, bathing, toileting and eating. Cooking skills are sometimes required, along with the ability to do some light housekeeping. Still, the most important needed trait is the same across many landscapes of nursing – a great attitude, caring heart and patience.

What work schedules are available? 

Senior care requires both part-time and full-time caregivers. Some clients will just require a caregiver to assist them for part of the day and other clients will require 24-hour around-the-clock care. This usually occurs when a senior is bedridden either because they are on hospice care or recovering from a major surgery or illness.

In order to honor the 40-hour work week required by law, unless over-time is paid, multiple caregivers are needed to staff 24-hour cases. Live-in caregivers are also needed for clients who need someone available to assist them at night. Live-in caregivers will work for a few days at a time and then return to their own home. Morning, afternoon and evening schedules are usually available for part-time caregivers, with morning schedules being the most common.

What are the hiring requirements? 

Senior care companies require all employees to pass multi-state criminal background checks and reference checks. A regular work history and experience in volunteering or assisting a senior family member will enhance your application.

The best way to gain experience in senior care is to start volunteering at a nursing home or with a local hospice. Many hospice companies offer free training for volunteers. If you have assisted a family member with care in the past, you will likely find caregiving to be a very fulfilling choice! provides information on becoming a Certified Nursing Aide and working as a Certified Nursing Aide for a senior home care agency. is the nation’s online destination dedicated to connecting seniors with quality senior care choices. helps seniors and their loved ones define care needs, understand the many caregiving options and costs and connect to senior home care agencies that meet’s checklist of quality standards. is also a leading caregiving career and recruitment resource. Visit

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