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PCA Salary Expectations - 2020

PCA Salary Expectations - 2020

Victoria Young
Victoria Young
Digital Marketing Strategist

PCA Job Description: What is a PCA?

Personal Care Aides (PCAs)—also known as patient care assistants, personal care aides, patient care aides, or personal care attendants—are trained caretakers who work under nurses and doctors to help take care of patients who are elderly, cognitively impaired, chronically ill, or physically challenged, as well as hospice patients and those in various stages of rehabilitation or recovery. As a PCA, you will assist patients with bathing, getting dressed, cooking food, eating, and performing simple housekeeping tasks. PCAs also assist with checking patients’ body temperatures, blood pressure, pulse, and respiration. Additional functions include preparing and administering medications, collecting specimens for lab tests, monitoring patients, and taking records of treatment. You will engage clients in activities like reading, talking, and playing games, and you might consult with a client’s family members to address their concerns regarding the client’s health, nutrition, and overall well-being.

Strong communication skills play a vital role in the success of a PCA. Because PCAs are in constant contact with patients, it is important to practice compassionate communication in order to gain a patient’s trust, learn and document important information about a patient’s condition, then relay all necessary information to nurses or doctors. PCAs often work on a team alongside other nurses and aides, so they must be able to follow directions, anticipate when to offer assistance, and communicate effectively between the patient and other health care providers.

To find PCA jobs, be sure to visit our jobs page to find new and exciting Personal Care Aide and Personal Care Assistant jobs and opportunities. You can also upload your resume to make it easier for employers to find you.

PCA Salary

PCA pay is determined by a few different factors. Factors that influence your PCA pay include the type of employer you work for, your specialized skill set, your experience level, and the geographic region where you work. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median pay for a PCA was $11.57 per hour, or $24,060 per year in 2018.

Type of Employer

As a PCA, you can work for public or private agencies, or you can be hired directly by clients’ families. Other work environments include small group homes or larger care communities. You might visit several clients a day or be assigned to one specific client--in some cases, you may stay with one client on a long-term basis. Shifts can vary, but most PCAs work full time, and are expected to work nights, weekends, and holidays.

2018 BLS data shows that the largest employers of 2.4 million PCAs were as follows:

  • 50% - services for the elderly or persons with disabilities
  • 15% - home healthcare services
  • 9% - residential intellectual and developmental disability facilities
  • 7% - continuing care retirement communities and assisted living facilities for the elderly
  • 4% - private households

As of May 2018, the median annual wages for personal care aides in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Nursing care facilities (skilled nursing facilities)

$25,110

Continuing care retirement communities and assisted living facilities for the elderly

$24,600

Residential intellectual and developmental disability facilities

$24,230

Services for the elderly and persons with disabilities

$24,160

Home healthcare services

$23,980

Source: United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (2018)



Specialized Skills

According to Payscale, PCAs with the following skills are likely to receive above-average compensation:

  • Medicine / Surgery (13% higher than average pay)
  • Telemetry (13% higher than average pay)
  • Phlebotomy (11% higher than average pay)
  • Critical Care (9% higher than average pay)
  • Pediatrics (7% higher than average pay)
  • Acute Care (7% higher than average pay)

PCAs with the following skills are likely to receive pay below market rate:

  • Elder Care (4% less than average pay)
  • Home Health/Home Care (6% less than average pay)
  • Cleaning (12% less than average pay)

In May 2018, the median annual wages for personal care aides in the top industries in which they worked were:

Residential intellectual and developmental disability facilities

$24,520

Continuing care retirement communities and assisted living facilities for the elderly

$24,260

Services for the elderly and persons with disabilities

$24,120

Home healthcare services

$22,310

Source: United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (2018)



Experience Level

As you add more years of experience to your career as a PCA, you can expect gradual increases in average total compensation.

  • With 1-4 years of experience, an early-career PCA can expect to earn 10% less than average, with an average total compensation of $11.89, based on 1,075 salaries.
  • With 5-9 years of experience, a mid-career PCA can expect to earn 5% less than average, with an average total compensation of $13.15 based on 478 salaries.
  • With 20+ years of experience, a late-career PCA can expect to earn 22% more than average, with an average total compensation of $15.



Location

Your pay rate is influenced by where you live and work. In general, metropolitan areas with higher costs of living tend to offer higher-paying positions. For example:

  • New York, NY (48% higher than national average)
  • Houston, TX (14% higher than national average)
  • Cleveland, OH (9% higher than national average)
  • Cincinnati, OH (6% higher than national average)
  • Indianapolis, IN (3% higher than national average)

Top 5 states with the highest median pay for PCAs:

State

Hourly Wage Range

Monthly Salary Range

Annual Salary Range

Alaska

$11.55 - $15.94

$2,001 - $2,763

$24,020 - $33,160

North Dakota

$11.55 - $15.54

$2,001 - $2,693

$24,020 - $32,320

District of Columbia

$11.55 - $14.21

$2,001 - $2,462

$24,020 - $29,550

New Jersey

$11.55 - $13.87

$2,001 - $2,403

$24,020 - $28,840

Vermont

$11.55 - $13.24

$2,001 - $2,296

$24,020 - $27,550

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2018)



Median PCA wage and salary information by state:

State

Hourly Wage Range

Monthly Salary Range

Annual Salary Range

Alabama

$8.98 - $11.55

$1,556 - $2,001

$18,680 - $24,020

Alaska

$11.55 - $15.94

$2,001 - $2,763

$24,020 - $33,160

Arizona

$11.39 - $11.55

$1,975 - $2,001

$23,700 - $24,020

Arkansas

$9.83 - $11.55

$1,703 - $2,001

$20,440 - $24,020

California

$11.55 - $11.80

$2,001 - $2,045

$24,020 - $24,550

Colorado

$11.55 - $11.68

$2,001 - $2,024

$24,020 - $24,290

Connecticut

$11.55 - $12.48

$2,001 - $2,162

$24,020 - $25,950

Delaware

$11.16 - $11.55

$1,935 - $2,001

$23,220 - $24,020

District of Columbia

$11.55 - $14.21

$2,001 - $2,462

$24,020 - $29,550

Florida

$10.68 - $11.55

$1,850 - $2,001

$22,210 - $24,020

Georgia

$10.25 - $11.55

$1.775 - $2,001

$21,310 - $24,020

Hawaii

$11.55 - $13.16

$2,001 - $2,282

$24,020 - $27,380

Idaho

$10.73 - $11.55

$1,860 - $2,001

$22,320 - $24,020

Illinois

$11.31 - $11.55

$1,960 - $2,001

$23,520 - $24,020

Indiana

$10.84 - $11.55

$1,879 - $2,001

$22,550 - $24,020

Iowa

$11.55 - $11.57

$2,001 - $2,005

$24,020 - $24,060

Kansas

$10.52 - $11.55

$1,826 - $2,001

$21,920 - $24,020

Kentucky

$11.38 - $11.55

$1,971 - $2,001

$23,660 - $24,020

Louisiana

$8.96 - $11.55

$1,552 - $2,001

$18,640 - $24,020

Maine

$11.55 - $11.85

$2,001 - $2,054

$24,020 - $24,650

Maryland

$11.55 - $12.36

$2,001 - $2,141

$24,020 - $25,700

Massachusetts

$11.55 - $13.88

$2,001 - $2,406

$24,020 - $28,870

Michigan

$11.06 - $11.55

$1,916 - $2,001

$23,000 - $24,020

Minnesota

$11.55 - $12.38

$2,001 - $2,146

$24,020 - $25,750

Mississippi

$9.96 - $11.55

$1,726 - $2,001

$20,720 - $24,020

Missouri

$10.71 - $11.55

$1,857 - $2,001

$22,280 - $24,020

Montana

$11.36 - $11.55

$1,970 - $2,001

$23,640 - $24,020

Nebraska

$11.55 - $11.88

$2,001 - $2,059

$24,020 - $24,710

Nevada

$11.07 - $11.55

$1,918 - $2,001

$23,020 - $24,020

New Hampshire

$11.55 - $12.73

$2,001 - $2,205

$24,020 - $26,470

New Jersey

$11.55 - $13.87

$2,001 - $2,403

$24,020 - $28,840

New Mexico

$9.57 - $11.55

$1,659 - $2,001

$19,910 - $24,020

New York

$11.55 - $12.49

$2,001 - $2,165

$24,020 - $25,990

North Carolina

$10.10 - $11.55

$1,751 - $2,001

$21,010 - $24,020

North Dakota

$11.55 - $15.54

$2,001 - $2,693

$24,020 - $32,320

Ohio

$10.94 - $11.55

$1,896 - $2,001

$22,750 - $24,020

Oklahoma

$9.27 - $11.55

$1,607 - $2,001

$19,280 - $24,020

Oregon

$11.55 - $12.68

$2,001 - $2,198

$24,020 - $26,370

Pennsylvania

$11.55 - $11.62

$2,001 - $2,015

$24,020 - $24,180

Rhode Island

$11.55 - $12.93

$2,001 - $2,441

$24,020 - $26,890

South Carolina

$9.91 - $11.55

$1,718 - $2,001

$20,620 - $24,020

South Dakota

$11.46 - $11.55

$1,987 - $2,001

$23,840 - $24,020

Tennessee

$9.84 - $11.55

$1,706 - $2,001

$20,470 - $24,020

Texas

$9.30 - $11.55

$1,612 - $2,001

$19,340 - $24,020

Utah

$11.55 - $11.70

$2,001 - $2,028

$24,020 - $24,340

Vermont

$11.55 - $13.24

$2,001 - $2,296

$24,020 - $27,550

Virginia

$9.47 - $11.55

$1,641 - $2,001

$19,700 - $24,020

Washington

$11.55 - $13.77

$2,001 - $2,387

$24,020 - $28,650

West Virginia

$9.57 - $11.55

$1,659 - $2,001

$19,910 - $24,020

Wisconsin

$11.43 - $11.55

$1,982 - $2,001

$23,780 - $24,020

Wyoming

$11.55 - $12.42

$2,001 - $2,153

$24,020 - $25,840

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2018)



Career Outlook for PCAs

Because PCAs play a vital role on the home health care team, their role will continue to grow more important over the next decade. As the Baby Boomer generation continues to age and the elderly population continues to grow, employment of PCAs will increase by 36% between 2018 and 2028, much faster than the national average for all occupations.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 3.25 million PCAs employed in the United States in 2018. By 2028, there will be an additional 1,185,800 available PCA positions. PCAs will take on the role of caregiving home settings, in assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and more.

Conclusion

PCAs are front line caregivers that assist patients with most of the tasks of daily living. They have the privilege of providing emotional, mental, social, and physical support to those who need it the most, and becoming a PCA means having the chance to make a positive difference in someone’s life. Without PCAs, individuals who are elderly, mentally or physically disabled, and sick would not be able to live at home and lead an independent life. As a PCA, you are responsible for your client’s well-being and for being a reliable presence in their life. Being their PCA means you will be the constant, unwavering professional that your patient, and their family, can trust. Additionally, your personality and individual talents are what make the caregiving experience a memorable and positive one. As a PCA, you have an instrumental role in helping disadvantaged individuals maintain dignity and independence for longer than would have otherwise been possible. When you work as a PCA, you become a helper, a healer, and a source of strength.

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Victoria Young

Victoria Young is a Digital Marketing Strategist. She developed a life-long interest in business, creative, and techy stuff after spending her entire life in the Silicon Valley. When she isn't helping business owners achieve their digital growth goals, she's doing a vinyasa flow, lifting heavy weights, or throwing one of her epic dinner parties.

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