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HHA jobs for Maryland CNA: getting certified & hired in DC

HHA jobs for Maryland CNA: getting certified & hired in DC

Dr. Charlene Brown
Dr. Charlene Brown
Founder, Caregiver Jobs Now

Maryland minimum wage vs. DC minimum wage

Home Health Aides jobs pay higher hourly wages in the District of Columbia than CNA and Caregiver jobs in Maryland, in many cases. This means that a certified nursing assistant in Maryland who makes $11 per hour can become certified as a home health aide in DC and earn $14 per hour. The Maryland  Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation ("DLLR") just announced that Maryland’s minimum wage has increased to $11 per hour (from $10.10 per hour) on January 1, 2020.

That’s great news, but is it enough when the minimum wage in DC will soon be $15 per hour?  Fortunately, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County, two Maryland counties that border DC, have minimum wage thresholds that are higher than the rest of Maryland. These higher wages, however, are still not on par with DC. 

This article will explain how you can use your Maryland CNA to get HHA certification and apply for home health aide jobs in DC. As an HHA working in home care in DC, you can earn higher wages when compared to working in home care in most parts of Maryland. 

Table 1: Minimum Wage in DC and Maryland (2020-21)


Minimum Wage (1/1/2020)

Minimum Wage (1/1/2021)

Washington DC

$14 (until 7/1/2020)

$15 (as of 7/1/2020)

The State of Maryland

For employers with more than 15 employees



Prince George’s County

For all employers



Montgomery County

For employers with more than 50 employees

$13 (until 7/1/2020)

$14 (as of 7/1/2020)

HHA Certification by Endorsement 

How does this impact Maryland CNAs who live near Washington DC?  As a CNA in Maryland, you can apply for your HHA certification and HHA license without even taking home health aide training or the HHA exam in DC.  This is how to obtain HHA certification by endorsement. This is possible because Maryland’s CNA requirements include enough hours of CNA classes, and those classes include enough home health aide training material to meet eligibility requirements for HHA certification via endorsement. So, you may be eligible to apply for an HHA license to work as a home care worker in DC. If you have enough hours working as a CNA under your belt, you can have your new Washington DC employer to apply for HHA certification on your behalf.  

What you'll need:

  • 󠆴An application from the DC Department of Health
  • $50.00 non-refundable fee  
  • Two Passport photos ( 2x2 size)
  • Your SSN or Social Security number (or signed affidavit)
  • An email address, of course
  • If you’ve changed your name, a name change document
  • A government-issued photo identification
  • Evidence of a clean criminal background check ($50.00)
  • Most important, a Home Health Aide Attestation form that must be completed by your employer and supervising nurse

HHA Certification through HHA Training in DC

If you’re not eligible to apply for HHA certification by endorsement, you can still register for home health aide training at schools in the District. The DC government has approved seven organizations to offer home health aide training programs. Graduates of these programs are eligible to take the HHA certification exam and apply for an HHA license.

Luckily, the DC Department of Health publishes the pass rates for all 7 programs (see Table 2). You can use this information to figure out which home health aide training program is right for you. Among the private career schools in DC that offer home health aide training, The Opportunities Industrialization Center had the most students who passed the HHA exam in 2018. In 2016 and 2017, that honor went to the Allied Health and Technology Training Institute. They had the highest HHA exam pass rates for two years in a row!   

Table 2: Approved DC Home Health Aide Training Programs

Home Health Aide Training Program

Contact Information

HHA Exam Pass Rate (2018) 

Opportunities Industrialization Center of Washington DC 

3016 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE; Washington, DC 20032. Phone: (202) 373-0330. [email protected]


Immaculate School of Allied Health 

2512 24th Street NE 1st Floor; Washington, DC 20018. Phone: (202) 735-5925. [email protected] 


Allied Health and Technology Institute

2010 Rhode Island Ave, NE; Washington, DC 20018. Phone:(202) 526-3535. [email protected]


Innovative Institute 

1805 Montana Avenue NE; Washington, DC 20002. Phone: (202 ) 747-3450 / 202 747-3453


Intellect Health Institute  

1809 Benning Road, NE; Washington, DC. 20002. Phone: (202) 239-2666. [email protected]


HealthWrite Training Center 

2303 14th St NW, Suite 100; Washington, DC 20009. Phone: (202)-349-3934.


Bethel Training Institute Inc. 

824 Upshur Street NW; Washington, DC 20011. Phone: (202) 723-0755. Email: [email protected]


Community Care Training Services  

6031 Kansas Avenue, NW #201; Washington, DC 20011. Phone: (202) 733-3591

Not listed

Home health aide jobs are within reach

Once you are endorsed as an HHA by DC Department of Health or have become certified through DC home health aide training, you can apply for home health aide jobs in the District of Columbia. Washington DC is one of several jurisdictions that has strict regulations about the type of certification needed to work as a home health aide.

For example, DC CNAs are not allowed to work as home health aides unless they have taken additional training and gotten their formal HHA certification. That's more evidence of the value of your HHA certification on the job market. Only an elite, well-trained few can work in home health aide jobs in DC. There's also a shortage of home health aides to fill HHA roles in DC. A quick Google search for “HHA jobs in DC”  delivers 422,000 results. Not all of these entries are home health aide jobs, but there are thousands of home health aide job vacancies.

Getting an additional HHA certification is a  great way to advance your caregiver career, obtain a new certification credential, and possibly make a lot more money by working as a DC HHA instead of as a Maryland CNA. Yet, it can be a really long ride from many parts of Maryland to commute to Washington DC. Compare the personal and financial cost of the additional time and travel to extra money that you can make in the District where pay rates are higher. For CNA who live in the parts of Maryland that are near DC (e.g. Montgomery and Prince George's Counties), the benefits of HHA certification seem to outweigh the costs.

If working in DC is a good fit for your life and finances, apply for your HHA certification, and find the new, higher-paying  HHA jobs that are waiting for you in the District of Columbia! For information on how to transfer your CNA from any other state to DC, you can learn more here.




Dr. Charlene Brown

Dr. Charlene Brown is the Founder of Caregiver Jobs Now where we connect CNA and Caregivers to meaningful jobs. She is a recognized expert in public health who is Board-certified in Preventive Medicine, a graduate of Harvard Medical School, and licensed to practice medicine in the State of Maryland. She is also the founder of, a company creating CNA simulations for certified nursing assistants during the pandemic.

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