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

In-home caregivers provide care to clients living in a home setting. There are two options for where you can apply for a job to work with clients living at home: Home Care Agencies or Consumer Direct Care Washington.

Home Care Agencies  

Home care agencies hire, train, pay, supervise, and are responsible for the care you provide as a paid caregiver working 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.

Consumer Direct Care Washington

Individual providers, or IPs, are people who provide in-home caregiving to another person, a client, who is eligible for Medicaid in-home care services. IPs are employed by the Consumer Direct Care Network of Washington. Sometimes they are friends or family members of the client.

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

To be a Paid Caregiver for a Family Member* or Friend

The person needing care needs to be eligible for Apple Health (Medicaid) Long Term Services and Supports before they can receive care in their home. They can apply online: and select that they are applying for “In-Home Long Term Care Services.” They can also apply by contacting their local Home & Community Services office: Find Local Services, Information, and Resources | DSHS (

For more detailed information about the application and eligibility criteria for clients see this booklet Washington Apple Health and Long-Term Services and Supports for Adults.

To apply to be a paid caregiver for a family member or friend (Individual Provider) you can complete the CDWA application to begin the hiring process at any time. More information on the CDWA hiring process see this Individual Provider Hiring Guide.

*Individual Providers can provide care to any family members, but not to a spouse, unless under the Veteran Directed Home Services.


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

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 Nursing Assistants. 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.

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

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

Get  more information on the Home Care Aide Certification and 75-hour training page.

Find the Home Care Aide Certification requirements on the Department of Health Home Care Aide page.

*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 visit the About Nursing Assistant Training | Washington State Board of Nursing and to learn about NAC certification requirements see the Department of Health Nursing Assistant page.

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 & Northwest Washington
Naomi Spector

Pierce County & Southwest Washington
Yan Heng