Becoming a Paid Caregiver

What Caregivers do

Caregivers provide personal care to older adults and people with disabilities. This includes helping clients with their daily living tasks such as: bathing, dressing, using the toilet, personal hygiene, transferring, walking, meal preparation, light housework, grocery shopping, and trips to medical appointments.


To be a paid caregiver you must

  • Be 18 years old or older.
  • Pass an in-state and federal (FBI) criminal conviction background check.
  • Provide picture ID and be authorized to work in the U.S.
  • Successfully complete all the caregiver training requirements (see below).

Work Settings

There are several settings where paid caregivers can choose to work.

In-Home Caregivers

A care plan determines the types of care tasks that an in-home caregiver performs. The care plan also determines the number of hours a client is eligible to receive care. The client helps determine their caregiving schedule and chooses their preferred caregiver type. The care plan is the result of a CARE assessment completed by the DSHS social worker or Area Agency on Aging case manager working directly with the person who needs care.

Home Care Agency  

Home care agencies hire, train, pay, supervise, and are responsible for the care you provide as a paid caregiver in someone’s home. Contact an agency directly to see if they are hiring. Or contact your region’s Workforce Navigator to help find job opportunities in your area.

You can connect with home care agencies across Washington state by using the map below to locate one near you.

Consumer Direct Care Washington

Individual Providers (IP) are employed by the Consumer Direct Care Network Washington (CDWA) and can provide paid care to a family member (but not a spouse, unless under the Veteran Directed Home Services) or to someone they are not related to. The person who needs care hires and supervises the caregiver, and the caregiver is paid by the CDWA .

 If you do not already know someone you’d like to provide care for, after you start your Individual Provider application process with CDWA you will be able to access Carina, which is a free online care matching service available to IPs and eligible clients.

All IPs are also represented by the Services Employees International Union 775 (SEIU 775).

To begin the hiring process, you can apply directly with  CDWA

Residential Facilities

Adult family homes (AFH), assisted living facilities (ALF), enhanced services facilities (ESF), and Nursing Homes hire,  pay, and supervise their caregivers. Use the links here to learn more about these types of facilities and get a listing of facilities where you live.  Or contact your region’s Workforce Navigator to help find  job opportunities in your area.

Adult Family Homes provide licensed care in private homes in the community to 1-8 residents. They can hire Home Care Aides or NA-Cs.

Assisted Living Facilities provide licensed care in larger facilities in the community to many residents. They can hire Home Care Aides or NACs.

Nursing Homes provide 24-hour supervised nursing care, personal care, therapy, nutrition management, organized activities, social services, room, board, and laundry. They can hire NACs. Note: Home Care Aides cannot work in Nursing Home Settings.

Training Options

Home Care Aide (HCA) Training:

Home Care Aides may work with clients in their own homes, in Adult Family Homes, and Assisted Living Facilities. You can choose to complete Home Care Aide training prior to looking for employment or some employers may hire Home Care Aides without training and may provide or pay for the training for new employees.

Overview of requirements

training requirements

HCAs (Agency and Facility) and Individual Providers may begin working after completing the 5-hour Orientation and Safety trainings.

Find a DSHS-approved Home Care Aide training program here: Find a Training Class (*

For more information on training requirements: 

Find Home Care Aide Certification requirements with the Department of Health here:

*Individual Providers and those who work for SEIU-covered home care agencies receive their training through the SEIU Training Partnership after they are hired. Individual Providers providing care to a family member may have shorter training requirements and may not need to receive Home Care Aide certification based on their relationship.

Nursing Assistant-Certified (NA-C) training:

Nursing Assistant-Certified may work with clients in settings including nursing homes, hospitals, client’s homes, adult family homes, and assisted living facilities. 

For more information about NAC training please see the About Nursing Assistant Training | Washington State Board of Nursing and to learn about NAC certification requirements see the Department of Health (DOH) website.

Family Caregiver Support Program

The Family Caregiver Support Program is a service available to unpaid caregivers of adults needing care and living in Washington state. Local Family Caregiver Support Program offices throughout the state are staffed with caring and knowledgeable people who can help you:

  • Find local resources/services.
  • Find caregiver support groups and counseling.
  • Get training on specific caregiving topics.
  • Get respite care if you need a break.
  • Talk through specific issues you are having and offer practical information and caregiving suggestions.

Generally, these services are offered free or at low cost. Certain eligibility requirements may apply, and availability varies from community to community. For more information visit Agencies that Help.

Contact your regional Long-Term Care Workforce Navigator

Connect to a local Long-Term Care Workforce Navigator in your region to receive individual assistance and information to become a paid caregiver.

Central & Eastern Washington
Julie Gardner

King County & North West Washington
Naomi Spector

Pierce County & South West Washington
Yan Heng