Personal Care Aides Lend a Helping Hand
February 18, 2016 - The largest occupation within the health care and social assistance industry in Minnesota is the Personal Care Aide, with more than 60,450 workers statewide. In Central Minnesota there are an estimated 7,540 personal care aide jobs. For many job seekers interested in providing direct care, becoming a personal care aide (PCA) is a great place to start.
For job seekers new to the workforce, a PCA position is not only readily available, it’s also easily attainable. With few entrance requirements preventing new workers from securing a personal care aide job, the occupation provides a great opportunity to gain experience and knowledge about health care careers.
According to DEED’s Job Vacancy Survey tool there were 229 job openings in Central Minnesota during the second quarter of 2015, while results from the 4th quarter of 2014 found 543 job openings. Between 77 and 87 percent of these recent personal care aide openings were part-time. The typically flexible shift schedules and numerous part-time opportunities provide excellent pathways for workers to test the water in direct patient care, and many personal care aide positions are filled by students, both high school and those in higher education.
DEED’s most recent Job Vacancy Survey data provides a closer look at PCA openings in Central Minnesota:
- More than three-quarters of PCA openings are part-time
- Only 3% of openings are temporary or seasonal
- 98% of openings don’t require education beyond high school
- 86% of openings require less than a year of work experience
- 7 out of 8 don’t require any license or certification
While PCA jobs offer the chance to explore the health care industry, job seekers shouldn’t expect to get rich in this entry-level occupation. The Job Vacancy Survey data pegs the typical starting wage for PCAs in Central Minnesota at $10.27 per hour, about $1.00 less than the typical starting wage across all occupations. Table 1 illustrates the relatively flat earning potential of personal care aide jobs. The bottom 10 percent of PCA jobs in Central Minnesota pay $9.42 per hour, while the top 10 percent pay $13.71 or more, with most PCAs earning between $10.05 and $11.80 per hour.
The demand for personal care aides will continue for at least the next decade, with the occupation projected to have the fastest growth in the state occurring in Central Minnesota (+59.1% compared to +44.7% statewide). According to DEED’s Employment Outlook, Central Minnesota is projected to have over 3,500 personal care aide job openings from 2012-2022.
For More Information
Contact Luke Greiner at 320-308-5378.