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Salary, Wages, Pay: Nursing, Psychiatric & Home Health Aides




Median hourly earnings of nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants were $10.09 in May 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $8.59 and $12.09 an hour. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $7.31, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $14.02 an hour. Median hourly earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants in May 2004 were as follows:

Employment services $11.29
Local government 11.10
General medical and surgical hospitals 10.44
Nursing care facilities 9.86
Community care facilities for the elderly 9.56

Nursing and psychiatric aides in hospitals generally receive at least 1 week of paid vacation after 1 year of service. Paid holidays and sick leave, hospital and medical benefits, extra pay for late-shift work, and pension plans also are available to many hospital employees and to some nursing care facility employees.

Median hourly earnings of home health aides were $8.81 in May 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $7.52and $10.38an hour. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $6.52, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $12.32an hour. Median hourly earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of home health aides in May 2004 were as follows:

Nursing care facilities $9.11
Residential mental retardation, mental health and substance abuse facilities 8.97
Home health care services 8.57
Community care facilities for the elderly 8.57
Individual and family services 8.47

Home health aides receive slight pay increases with experience and added responsibility. Usually, they are paid only for the time worked in the home, not for travel time between jobs. Most employers hire only on-call hourly workers and provide no benefits.

Median hourly earnings of psychiatric aides were $11.19 in May2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $9.09and $14.09 an hour. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $7.63, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $16.74an hour. Median hourly earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of psychiatric aides in May 2004 were as follows:

General medical and surgical hospitals $11.31
Psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals 11.06
Residential mental retardation, mental health and substance abuse facilities 9.37