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How to become a certified caregiver

Updated: Mar 29, 2023

A happy Caregiver

Are you a kind, caring and compassionate person, who would love to work in the healthcare industry, and wondering what type of job you can take up that can help you make good use of these wonderful qualities? I have a career suggestion for you! You can become an excellent caregiver. I know by now you are wondering what does a caregiver even do? Well, in this article you will learn the duties of a caregiver and how you can become one.

The duties one is expected to perform as a caregiver

The duties one is expected to perform as a caregiver depend on whether one will be or not be providing medical services. The duties also range from one patient to the others. However, generally speaking, a caregiver can be assigned to do the following duties;

  • Enhance the quality of life for the patient they are working for by assisting them with the activities of daily living

  • Run errands for the client

  • Provide companionship to the client

  • Plan and prepare meals

  • Provide support for clients that need physical or cognitive help

  • Remind clients about their medication and administer medication

  • Assist the client with primary care

General requirements for becoming a caregiver

Factors such as the client’s needs, and state requirements determine the kind of duties you will provide to your client as well as determine the kind of caregiver you will end up being. However, generally speaking, being a caregiver involves your ability to:

  • Work well when working under different living situations

  • Be comfortable working in different locations

  • Be patient with the elderly

  • Be kind, respectful, and professional when dealing with the elderly

  • Respect client’s homes

Guide to becoming a certified caregiver

Being certified as a caregiver is the first step you need to take so you can establish yourself as an expert in this field.

The first step you need to take as a caregiver is to ask yourself if the services you provide need medical services.

The caregivers who do not provide medical services do not necessarily require a certification to do the job. Their duties may generally include:

  • Companionship

  • Meal planning and preparation

  • Light housekeeping

The caregivers that provide medical services do need to get certified. The certification requirements do vary from state to state thus it's advisable to research online what your state requires. You can get started on this search by checking out the national agencies and state websites for these requirements.

After you understand these requirements you need to find an institution that offers a training program for caregivers and is approved by your state health department.

Depending on the type of caregiver you want to become, below are some of the courses you can look into and get certified in.

  • Certification as a primary caregiver- where you will learn how to carry out your activities of daily living and what to do in case of an emergency.

  • Certification for caregivers who want to work in hospice, or end-of-life care- where you will learn how to provide support and care for patients who are terminally ill.

  • Certified nursing assistant (CNA)- where you will learn how to provide medical primary care to your client.

  • Emergency care and first aid- where you will learn critical skills on emergency procedures that can save the patient’s life.

  • Home health aide(HHA) certification- where you will learn how to provide elderly and primary medical care. This certification is similar to basic caregiver certification, the only difference is that in this course you will receive some medical training.

In most states, you can get certified as a basic caregiver after 8 hours of training although other states require more hours of training. Also, some courses do take longer to get trained like being a CNA which takes about 1 to 4 months to finish the course.

Also, it is important to keep in mind that for most states you will need to be renewing your certification annually.

After you get certified you can look for work with a healthcare agency, or a nursing home facility or sign up with online platforms like where clients can reach out to you and hire you directly.


If you are really interested in becoming a caregiver, I hope this article will be a good guide for you on how to become one. Being a caregiver is a very rewarding career as you improve people’s lives daily with your services.

If you have any questions regarding the topic you can post a comment or send me a direct email and I’ll see how I can be of help.

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