Personal Support Worker

Personal support workers (PSWs) care for people who are ill, elderly or need help with daily tasks.

NOC Code: 4412

Job Duties

Personal support workers (PSWs) care for people who are ill, elderly or need help with daily tasks. You make sure your clients are comfortable, safe and enjoy emotional and physical well-being. You may work for a long-term care facility or in your clients' homes as an employee of a home care agency. You may also be self-employed and provide your services on a contract basis. This is considered an entry-level position in the healthcare field as it does not require a lot of training. People often say "PSW" when talking about this job. You may also be called a personal aide, home support worker, or personal care attendant.

Generally, PSWs:

  • Care for people and families during periods of illness or recovery.
  • Provide bedside and personal care to clients and help them move, bathe, groom and get dressed and undressed.
  • Plan and prepare meals.
  • Teach new parents to care for an infant.
  • Change non-sterile dressings and give oral medications as instructed by your home care agency or supervisor.
  • Help with light housekeeping - for example, do laundry, wash dishes and make beds.
  • Spend time talking with your clients.

Source: HRSDC

Job Requirements


This job requires: High School

Comparison with other jobs in this profession
JobLevel of Education Required
Health EducatorCollege or University
Medical Laboratory TechnicianCollege or University
Health Policy AnalystCollege or University
Personal Support WorkerHigh School
Public Health InspectorCollege or University


This job requires 0 - 2 years of work experience.

Comparison with other jobs in this profession
JobYears of Work Experience Required
Health Educator2 - 5
Medical Laboratory Technician0 - 2
Health Policy Analyst2 - 5
Personal Support Worker0 - 2
Public Health Inspector2 - 5

Source: HRSDC

Essential Skills

As a PSW, you need to:

  • Speak, write and read English.
  • Know how to care for patients safely—for example,  changing bandages, turning patients to prevent bed sores, applying medicinal lotions, helping with oral medication, and bathing patients.
  • Understand and follow emergency procedures.
  • Have good problem solving skills.
  • Work well with others and on your own.

Source: Ontario Skills Passport

Language Skills

You need to communicate in person, on the phone and in writing with clients and their families. You also need to take notes and write reports about your clients. You need to read instructions about your clients' medicine. You may need to read books in English to your clients to comfort them.

Labour Market Information


In Canada, the population is aging – many people are above age 65. Now, more people work outside the home and cannot give full-time care to family members who are elderly, ill or have a disability. As well, the Ontario government is promoting home health care such as Aging at Home Strategy. This means that more people may get health care at home instead of at the hospital. This may lead to more job openings for PSWs.


The work prospects for this job are: GOOD

Comparison with other jobs in this profession
JobWork Prospects
Health EducatorGood
Medical Laboratory TechnicianFair
Health Policy AnalystFair
Personal Support WorkerGood
Public Health InspectorGood


The average hourly wage for this job is: C$14.85/hour.

Comparison with other jobs in this profession
JobAverage Wage/Hour
Health Educator$21.75
Medical Laboratory Technician$22.00
Health Policy Analyst$33.00
Personal Support Worker$14.85
Public Health Inspector$33.65

Source: Job Bank


Educational Programs

These links will give you a list of related educational programs or where you can search for them. There may be other schools that have similar programs, such as private career colleges. You may be able to get advanced standing.

Bridging Programs

Here is a list of some bridging programs. These programs can help you assess your education and skills, get practical training or improve your language skills so that you can work in your field.

Language Training

Here is a list of some language training programs, such as Enhanced Language Training (ELT) and Occupation Specific Language Training (OSLT).

Work Experience Programs

Many college programs and bridging programs in this field include co-operative (co-op) work experience.

Voluntary Membership Opportunities

Helpful Links

The data in this profile is provided for informational purposes only. Some of the information may have changed since this profile was written. Please check the source for the most up-to-date information.