The average Direct Care Worker in the United States can expect to rake in roughly $10.04 per hour. Residence is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by years of experience. Most workers in this position report moderate levels of job satisfaction. Although a little more than half lack health benefits of any kind, close to two-fifths do enjoy medical insurance, and nearly one in three get dental coverage, too. Women make up the vast majority of Direct Care Workers (82 percent) who answered the questionnaire. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.
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$14,520 - $39,832
(Median)
$15K
$24K
$40K
MEDIAN: $23,948
10%
50%
90%

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$8.19 - $13.63
(Median)
$8
$10
$14
MEDIAN: $10
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$14K$28K$42K
Salary
$14,520 - $39,832  
   
Bonus
$25.25 - $1,216  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$17,039 - $31,520  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 68
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$7$14$21
Hourly Rate
$8.19 - $13.63  
   
Hourly Tips
$1.67  
Overtime
$11.03 - $19.30  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$14K$28K$42K
Bonus
$25.25 - $1,216  
   
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$17,039 - $31,520  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 754
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Job Description for Direct Care Worker (DCW)

Direct care workers (DCWs) provide hands-on, generally long term for patients; these patients may include older adults, patients with chronic diseases, and others who require regular direct care. the elderly, disease patients, and other chronic conditions. Direct care workers can generally be divided into two main categories: those that provide home-based care in clients' homes, and those that provide community-based care in organizations such as assisted living facilities. These professionals perform a number of duties in their day-to-day work, such as wrapping bandages on patients, administering IVs, administering medication, and assisting with cleaning when the patient is unable. In all tasks, direct care workers must maintain patient confidentiality and follow all organizational rules.

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Direct Care Worker (DCW) Tasks

  • Check patients' pulse, temperature and respiration.
  • Provide patients with help moving in and out of beds, baths, wheelchairs or automobiles, and with dressing and grooming.
  • Maintain records of patient care, progress, or problems to report and discuss observations with supervisor or case manager.
  • Change bed linens, wash and iron patients' laundry, and clean patients' quarters.
  • Entertain, converse with, or read aloud to patients to keep them mentally healthy and alert.

Common Career Paths for Direct Care Worker (DCW)


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At the upper end, Direct Care Workers who move into a Non-Profit Program Manager role can end up with a hefty increase in pay. The average income for Non-Profit Program Managers is a much higher $44K per year. Direct Care Workers typically move into roles as Certified Nurse Assistants or Case Managers, and those positions pay $2K more and $14K more, respectively.

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Pay by Experience Level for Direct Care Worker (DCW)

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


For Direct Care Workers, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. In this position, someone who has worked for fewer than five years can expect a median salary of $21K. The median for people with five to 10 years of experience is only a little bit higher at $22K. Direct Care Workers bring in $24K after working for 10 to 20 years. Veterans who have acquired more than 20 years report a median income of $26K, which is generally higher than the pay reported by other tenure groups.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $21,657

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Home to some of the best pay for Direct Care Workers, Fall River offers exceptional salaries, 40 percent above the national average. Direct Care Workers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like New York (+17 percent), Minneapolis (+15 percent), Cincinnati (+13 percent), and Cleveland (+12 percent). Location significantly influences compensation, with Houston Direct Care Workers earning much less — 28 percent less — than the national average. Below-median salaries also turn up in Baton Rouge and San Antonio (23 percent lower and 20 percent lower, respectively).

Direct Care Worker (DCW) Reviews

What is it like working as a Direct Care Worker (DCW)?

Direct Care Worker (DCW) in Detroit:
"Health Care Business."
Pros: Be there to support the clients on their up and down days because they really depend on someone caring and being considerate to their everyday problems and issues.
Cons: Working too many hours.

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Experience Affects Direct Care Worker (DCW) Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 19%

Experienced
up arrow 9%

Mid-Career
up arrow 2%

National Average
$22,000


Skills That Affect Direct Care Worker (DCW) Salaries

Counseling
up arrow 37%

National Average
$22,000

CPR
up arrow 2%

Home Health/Home Care
up arrow 3%

Customer Service
up arrow 4%

Oral / Verbal Communication
up arrow 11%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 99 votes.

Gender

Female
82 %
Male
18 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
50%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
16%
20 years or more
8%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 41%
dental benefits
Dental: 34%
medical benefits
Vision: 27%
dental benefits
None: 55%
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