With more baby boomers retiring daily, a caregiver career has never been more ideal. But this leaves some people asking,"What is a caregiver?" 

Becoming a caregiver is a great place to start a rewarding career. Caregivers can work in a clinic, hospital, homecare agency, or assisted living and make a difference in their patients’ lives. A caregiver is someone who provides direct care and assists another person who needs assistance with daily living tasks.
This guide is a compilation of general information that answers:

  • What is a Caregiver?
  • What is the role of a caregiver?
  • How do I become a caregiver?
  • How do I find a Caregiver Training Program?
  • What is the average caregiver pay? 


What is a caregiver: the Definition and the Roles

With 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day, caregiving is a great place to start a rewarding career. Depending on the state, caregiver jobs typically do not require state certification. Unlike Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), Home Health Aides (HHAs), or State Tested Nursing Assistants (STNAs), a caregiver is a non-medical role. They often work with a team to provide quality care and comfort for patients. Some caregiver duties include: 

  • Running errands
  • Assisting patients pay bills
  • Light house cleaning
  • Medication reminders
  • Helping the patient prepare meals
  • Making a difference in someone’s life

Caregivers and CNAs may have similar duties, but caregivers tend to build more personal relationships. The role of a caregiver focuses on comforting the patient and their families or creating a warm, inviting environment for the patients. 

How to become a caregiver

Although some agencies do not require certification or further education, training can be a key component to a caregiver’s success. Some agencies provide their own training program, while others will accept certification from an accredited online caregiver training program. It is important to check with the state nurse aide registry or employers to make sure the training program is acceptable. Each state has their own restrictions and requirements that caregivers must consider when looking for a credible caregiver training program. 

Through specialized experience or training, caregivers can administer shots, change bandages, or work with patients with special needs. The most important quality of a successful caregiver includes a compassionate heart, understanding personality, and willingness to learn and grow from their experiences.

Caregiver Pay

Caregiver pay varies depending on many factors: location, certification, and experience. Some states offer a higher income than others. Certification is also very valuable to most home care agencies and caregivers with certification twnd to earn a higher salary. As a caregiver gains merit in their company and through their years of experience, their salaries also increase. Some caregivers choose to build their career by earning a CNA certificate. Getting certified may be a small initial investment, but caregivers can earn more once they’re certified. To learn more, check out our Caregiver Pay Guide.

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