How to write a health care aide job description

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In this article, we show you how to write a health care aide job description that attracts qualified candidates who want to stay. Read on to learn what to include and avoid, and grab our free template to start hiring smarter.

The wrong health care aide job description can attract workers without the skills and stamina needed. This means your new hires may resign quickly, leaving you back at square one.

As you write a job description for a health care aide, remember that this field is affected by labor shortages, burnout, and high turnover. The stakes are high.

Don’t worry – we can help.  

What is a health care aide?

A health care aide helps with patient care and cleaning of the facility. They usually report to nurse supervisors, nurses, or doctors. Working in hospitals, long-term care homes, and other facilities, these professionals may:

  • Take blood and other samples from patients

  • Keep track of patient vitals

  • Groom, bathe, and feed patients

  • Change patient bed pans and bedding

  • Serve meals and assist in feeding patients

  • Move patients over in bed and between departments

  • Tidy patient rooms

  • Carry communications between healthcare professionals and departments

  • Set up medical equipment

Key skills to look for in health care aides

Your job description should list both hard and soft skills. Listing hard skills helps you find candidates less likely to feel overwhelmed by the physical demands of the job. Listing soft skills can help you find job seekers who can overcome the stresses of the job. 

Here’s what to look for:

  • Compassion and empathy

  • Crisis management skills to handle emergency situations

  • Strong oral and written communication skills to interact with patients and healthcare professionals from different backgrounds

  • Sanitation and cleaning skills

  • Listening skills and interpersonal skills 

  • Administrative skills to keep charts and patient data updated

  • Knowledge of patient safety

  • Personal grooming skills

  • Basic medical skills for setting up medical equipment and taking vitals and samples

  • Knowledge of healthcare industry rules and best practices

How to write an effective health care aide job description

Use these best practices to craft a job description to attract top health care aides.

How to write an effective health care aide job description graphic

Emphasize soft skills and personality traits

To provide a high standard of care, health care aides must be able to empathize and communicate compassionately with patients – even difficult patients. In addition, health care aides with resilience and high motivation are more likely to stay in a job, despite the challenges it brings. Finding people with these traits can help you reduce turnover rates and ensure quality care.

Highlight any career support you offer

With a labor shortage in the healthcare industry, hiring health care aides is challenging. The work is demanding and the pay is relatively low, so many health care aides start and quit these roles regularly – or they look for positions with career growth opportunities.

One way to attract driven individuals in this competitive market is by highlighting any professional development you offer – including continuing education opportunities like tuition reimbursement, certification programs, and on-the-job training. This shows candidates they may have more work opportunities by remaining with your organization. 

It also shows applicants you’re willing to invest in them. This can help you stand out among other job postings.

Include any compliance requirements

Health care aides must understand current regulations about patient confidentiality, safety, and more. Highlight the need to understand HIPAA (The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety standards.

Health care aide job description template

Customize our health care aide job description template for your next job posting.

Health care aide job description template graphic

Company introduction

Briefly describe your facility, including the patients you serve and the services you offer. Give the applicant a sense of the work they’ll be doing by describing your values and mission.

Benefits of working with [your company]

In this section, list any of the following you can offer your health care aides:

  • Competitive compensation 

  • Opportunities for career advancement 

  • A positive, inclusive workplace culture

  • Health and wellness benefits

  • Flexible work arrangements

  • Access to cutting-edge healthcare technology and resources

  • Your staff-to-patient ratio

  • Any additional perks you offer

Health care aide job brief

Job title: Health Care Aide

Level: Entry-Level

Reports to: [For example, Nurse Supervisor]

Position type: [Full-time, part-time, or on-site]

[Compensation details]

Responsibilities and duties

  • Provide care and support to patients, helping them with activities like bathing, dressing, and eating.

  • Endure in a high-stress environment where you may encounter difficult patients, death, and other emotionally challenging situations while maintaining composure and providing compassionate care.

  • Assist with transportation of patients.

  • Monitor and record vital signs, and report any changes in patients’ conditions to the nursing team.

  • Maintain patient confidentiality and stay compliant with all relevant healthcare regulations and guidelines.

  • Take blood, urine, and other samples.

  • Assist with setting up and removing medical equipment.

  • Maintain a clean and safe environment for patients and their families.

  • Work with the healthcare team and other departments to serve patient needs.

  • Respond to patient requests.

  • Foster a positive atmosphere that promotes quality of life for patients with different backgrounds and needs.


  • High school diploma or GED – or equivalent experience or training

  • Completion of a recognized health care aide program

  • Current state health care aide certification

  • CPR and First Aid certification 

2 things to avoid when writing a job description for health care aides

Health care aides tend to look out for red flags when reading job descriptions, so avoid the following mistakes when describing the job.

2 things to avoid when writing a job description for health care aides graphic

1. Not emphasizing flexible work schedules and support

Health care facilities like hospitals may operate 24/7, but many health care aides will find a job that offers them some control over their work hours more appealing. Highlight any scheduling flexibility you offer, such as shift swapping or a system that allows health care aides to claim open shifts.

Also note any benefits and perks you offer that can offset demanding schedules – like PTO, nap rooms, or mental health support. (This kind of support can also help prevent burnout and turnover.) 

2. Not mentioning compensation

The average health care aide wage was $16.88 per hour as of November 2023. This can feel low for the challenging work aides do, so if you can offer a more competitive wage or benefits that make the role more attractive, mention this.

In some states, you may even be required to mention pay.

Recommended reading: How to hire a healthcare aide

Next steps: Attracting and assessing health care aide candidates

Once you’ve drafted a great health care aide job description, consider what you’ll do once you start getting applications.

Skills-based hiring is especially useful in the health industry because testing for skills (instead of reviewing resumes) ensures you hire resilient individuals who can help keep patients safe.

TestGorilla is a pre-employment assessment platform that lets you assess medical assistant skills with ease. You can create a mobile-friendly assessment and send it to applicants in minutes.

With a library of more than 300 scientifically backed tests, TestGorilla offers various tests for healthcare assistants like health care aides. You can also use our tests to gain insight into candidates’ personalities, situational judgment, communication and language skills, HIPAA knowledge, and any other relevant qualities.

You’ll want someone who won’t quit, and TestGorilla’s motivation test and culture add tests can help to determine which candidates are most likely to stick to the job, despite its stresses. 

TestGorilla even has a specific test for health care aides, which measures basic life support skills, patient care techniques, soft skills, and more.


Who should my health care aide job description appeal to?

A paper in the  Journal of the American Geriatrics Society reports that about 94% of health care aides are women and 74% are at least 40 years old. However, you should emphasize that you welcome applicants of all backgrounds and ages. This ensures you don’t violate anti-discrimination laws. Plus, fair hiring can increase your applicant pool.

Use gender-neutral language, and don’t assume you’re seeking someone who’s just beginning their career.

Am I allowed to mention physical requirements in my health care aide job description?

Usually, yes. Health care aides may need to help lift patients, and The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) allows physical conditions of employment if they’re essential functions. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does require you to make reasonable accommodations, however.

Hire top health care aides with TestGorilla

Health care aides work hard in difficult circumstances, which can lead to burnout and high turnover. A clear health care aide job description attracts qualified applicants with the right skills and qualities.

Another secret to overcoming labor shortages in this field is to use a skills-based hiring approach. This ensures you hire workers with the technical abilities and behavioral attributes for long-term success at your organization.

TestGorilla is a trusted way to measure the abilities and traits of every candidate. Take a quick product tour to see how we can revolutionize your hiring process. Sign up for a free TestGorilla plan and discover how easy it is to create skills assessments.

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