Home Health Aides Find Much Meaning, Less Satisfaction in the Job

Most home health aides believe that they work they are doing is meaningful, but fewer report that they are highly satisfied in their job, according to recently released survey findings.

Between June 2013 and June 2015, 2.7 million people took the survey from PayScale, a cloud-based compensation software company that maintains a database of salary profiles.

Among home health aides, 78% reported that their job is highly meaningful. That means they answered “very much so” or “yes” to the question, “Does your job make the world a better place?”

Many other health care professions had similar showings on the “highly meaningful” index, with pharmacists, dental hygienists, dietitians and nutritionists, and licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses all tying home health aides at 78%. All were within the top 100 out of 454 total jobs ranked.

However, home health aides scored lower for job satisfaction, with 65% of aides reporting that they have high satisfaction. This is compared to 77% of pharmacists, 79% of dental hygienists and 68% of licensed practical and vocational nurses.

Their median annual pay of $21,500 also is notably lower than many of the comparably meaningful health care professions. Pharmacists’ median annual pay is $113,000, dental hygienists’ is $66,800, and licensed practical and vocational nurses’ is $39,700.

Home health aides have undertaken a nationwide campaign for higher wages, and recently made their case at the White House Conference on Aging.

Clergy scored the highest for job meaningfulness, at 98%. Surgeons were the highest-scoring health care professionals, at 96%, followed by radiation therapists at 93%.

Parking lot attendants topped the “least meaningful jobs” rankings, followed by gaming supervisors.

Written by Tim Mullaney