Updated Personal Support Worker Job Description

Updated Personal Support Worker Job Description

Article #27 in our series. Taking a look at how employers define PSW duties using recent online postings

Updated PSW Qualifications & Nature of Work

(This is an update to an older article, PSW Job Description . The previous article is a more, let’s say “text book” version.)

In this update, a very small sample of job postings has been used. 20 to be exact, from Nov 15 – 25th, 2010. The postings were taken from PSWJobs.com , the Canadian Job Bank, Workopolis and various municipal governmental boards.

The purpose of checking 20 postings was simply to find the most common descriptions of work, qualifications needed, etc.


Nearly all listings required a PSW Certificate or an equivalent (such as any type of nursing certificate/degree or out of province courses such as Health Care Aide or Home Support Attendant).

Employers typically require recent First-Aid and CPR training. Companies expect new employees to successfully pass a police check, plus have up-to-date immunization records.

Around 75% of employers requested applicants to have a valid drivers license. This is likely due to some jobs being out-reach (going to clients house), or having some aspect
of client mobility and activities outside of the care setting.

Another regular qualification is the ability to speak, read and write in english.

Description of Work:

The descriptions varied from a list of tasks to human resources sounding jargon. For simplicities sake, here are the most frequently used words to describe the nature of work for a personal support worker


  • Personal Care (assist with feeding, dressing, walking, etc)




  • Personal Hygiene (usually helping clients with bathing, toileting, grooming, etc)




  • Light Housekeeping (clean up clients living individual living area, collective living areas, laundry, dishes, etc)




  • Comfortable working with multiple types of clients in varying environments (with seniors, children, in long-term care centres, in clients households)




  • Be able to compete repetitive tasks, lift 40lbs, work with a team environment, problem solving skills, attention to detail, decision making skills, etc (These are listed on by almost every employer. And these resume buzz words do accurately describe what takes place during a typical PSW shift.) If you’re applying for a job, make sure to include most if not all of these words in your cover letter.


And that wraps up this quick look at job postings idea of a personal support worker job description. Below are additional employment resources:

Collected PSW Employment Resources

Top Skills to Put in Your PSW Resume

Sample PSW Cover Letter