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Caregiver Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: October 13, 2023

A Caregiver assists people who are unable to complete basic tasks, such as the elderly, the mentally ill or those with disabilities. Caregiver duties include administering medications, helping clients complete personal care tasks, such as bathing, dressing, eating or grooming, and following the patient’s prescribed healthcare plan.

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Caregiver duties and responsibilities

Illustration of a caregiver pushing an elderly, or mobility impaired individual in a wheelchair. Text reads: "Sample caregiver duties:Transport clients to & from appointments,Serve as a companion to clients,Manage medication schedule,Prepare meals for clients"

Caregivers help clients with everyday activities, from cooking and cleaning to completing errands. Other essential duties and responsibilities include:

  • Offering companionship to patients
  • Taking clients to their medical appointments, the grocery store and other important places
  • Managing medication
  • Preparing meals when needed
  • Providing care across a variety of settings, including group homes and day service programs
  • Keeping the house clean and doing laundry when needed
  • Providing bathing and dressing assistance
  • Keeping proper care records 
  • Encouraging socialization and participation in community activities
  • Communicating with medical professionals about the patient care plan
  • Maintaining a safe and comfortable home environment
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Caregiver Job Description Examples

What does a Caregiver do?

Caregiver duties may depend on the setting they operate in. Some work independently, while others are employed at healthcare or long-term care facilities. They sometimes travel to a patient’s home. Caregivers help clients perform basic tasks such as cleaning the house and bathing, as well as provide companionship and emotional support. Additionally, they may be responsible for driving and escorting patients to appointments, grocery trips and other important errands. They may also help the client with mobility tasks such as getting out of bed and being pushed in a wheelchair.

Caregiver skills and qualifications

Caregivers may possess a wide range of skills or abilities. They need to be highly organized and able to multitask, and they must be able to help with a range of home chores, such as preparing meals and cleaning. Depending on the level of care needed, your Caregivers may require specialized skills, such as:

  • Experience with Alzheimer’s or dementia care
  • Mental health training for patients dealing with social, emotional or mental health concerns
  • First aid and CPR training so they can respond in an emergency
  • Training in any special areas of care you provide

Caregiver salary expectations

According to information collected from over 199,000 job listings on Indeed, the average pay for a Caregiver in the United States is $15.61 per hour to start. Caregivers who have plenty of experience can expect to make over $20 per hour.

You can set your pay based on the amount of experience you prefer, any training or qualifications you’d like them to have and special areas of care your organization provides (e.g., care for Alzheimer’s patients or clients with diabetes).

Caregiver education and training requirements

The minimum education requirement for Caregivers is a high school diploma or GED. Caregivers learn many skills through short-term or on-the-job training, but it’s also common for them to earn certifications on the job and through training programs. There is no official Caregiver license, however.

When deciding what your education requirements should be for the position, know that many organizations offer online certifications and training courses for Caregivers. If a Caregiver has experience working in healthcare, such as working as a Certified Nursing Aide, they might have a state-mandated license. If you’re operating a special care facility, you may need your Caregivers to have certifications in areas such as memory care.

Caregiver experience requirements

Many Caregivers are entry-level employees that require a minimal amount of education and training. The amount of experience you should seek depends on the types of patients you’re working with and whether you’re willing to offer on-the-job training. For example, you may want to hire a more experienced Caregiver to handle patients who have more advanced medical needs, such as patients with mobility challenges or dementia.

Frequently asked questions about Caregivers

What qualities should you look for in a Caregiver?

The ideal Caregiver should be compassionate, friendly and good with people. Caregivers should also have CPR and first aid training and be ready to use it in emergency situations. Some patients may have more serious needs than others, so Caregivers should have flexible schedules and be willing to work extra hours when the job requires it. Candidates for the position should also have access to transportation and have a driver’s license. 

What settings do Caregivers typically work in?

Caregivers work in a variety of settings. While most people imagine Caregivers working in patients’ homes, they do work in nursing homes, assisted living communities and medical centers as well. Hospitals may also have the need to hire Caregivers.

Due to the many settings Caregivers work in, they may acquire valuable skills over time, which may make experienced candidates more valuable. When interviewing Caregivers with experience, ask them about the settings they’ve worked in and any certifications they may have.

What’s the difference between a Caregiver and a Caretaker?

A Caregiver is a paid employee who looks after a person to provide them with basic care and assistance. They can work in a variety of healthcare settings or in a patient’s home. A Caretaker is a person who looks after a home, person or animals while the primary Caregiver or homeowner is away. For instance, a Caretaker may be hired to care for a child while their parent is away for the weekend. Caretakers don’t typically work in a healthcare setting, as Caregivers do.

Who does a Caregiver report to?

A Caregiver who works independently may report to the patient’s family members. They may also report to Case Managers or medical professionals who are responsible for the patient’s well-being. However, in a facility, Caregivers usually report to the Manager. 

Caregiver job description examples

Need help writing a job description for a specific role? Use these job description examples to create your next great job posting. Or if you’re ready to hire, post your job on Indeed.

Ready to Hire a Caregiver?Build a Caregiver Job Description

Job Description Examples

Need help writing a job description for a specific role? Use these job description examples to create your next great job posting. Or if you’re ready to hire, post your job on Indeed.

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