Direct Care Worker (DCW) Salary

Median pay for Direct Care Workers in the United States lies in the neighborhood of $9.90 per hour. Lower pay rates hover around $8.03 per hour, and the higher rates verge on $13.37. Residence is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career duration. Job satisfaction is considered about average by most people in this profession. Health benefits are not enjoyed by everyone in this line of work, and about one-half lack any coverage at all. Medical benefits are reported by just over two-fifths and dental coverage is claimed by over a third. Direct Care Workers who responded to the questionnaire are largely women, dominating at 81 percent. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$14,121 - $39,646
(Median)
$14K
$25K
$40K
MEDIAN: $24,807
10%
50%
90%

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$8.03 - $13.37
(Median)
$8
$9
$13
MEDIAN: $9.00
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
$14,121 - $39,646  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $493.16  
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).
)
$16,753 - $30,540  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 67
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
$8.03 - $13.37  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00  
Overtime
$11.09 - $19.38  
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
$0.00 - $493.16  
   
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).
)
$16,753 - $30,540  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 764
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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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Direct Care Workers who advance into the role of a Non-Profit Program Manager are fairly uncommon. Non-Profit Program Managers on average earn $44K per year. Direct Care Workers moving up in their careers tend to step into positions as Certified Nurse Assistants or Social Services Case Managers. The median paychecks in those roles are $2K higher and $10K higher, respectively.

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Typical Direct Care Workers report a focused set of job skills. Fortunate workers who know Counseling can expect a significant pay bump, scoring salaries 39 percent above average. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Oral / Verbal Communication and Home Health/Home Care.

Pay by Experience Level for Direct Care Worker (DCW)

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


For many Direct Care Workers, extensive experience does not lead to significantly more money. Survey participants with less than five years' experience report a median income of $21K, and earnings aren't much higher for respondents who have five to 10 years under their belts; respondents in the latter group report a median of just $22K. Direct Care Workers claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $23K. Ultimately, more time spent in the workforce does seem to translate to bigger paychecks; seasoned veterans with more than 20 years of experience report a median income of $25K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $21,351

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

Surpassing the national average by 16 percent, Direct Care Workers in New York receive some of the highest pay in the country. Direct Care Workers will also find cushy salaries in Cincinnati (+14 percent) and Pittsburgh (+10 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Baton Rouge, 20 percent below the national average. Employers also pay below the national average in Detroit (16 percent lower) and Houston (7 percent lower).

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 15%

Experienced
up arrow 9%

Mid-Career
up arrow 2%

National Average
$21,000


Skills That Affect Direct Care Worker (DCW) Salaries

Counseling
up arrow 39%

CPR
up arrow 2%

National Average
$21,000

Home Health/Home Care
up arrow 4%

Oral / Verbal Communication
up arrow 10%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 121 votes.

Gender

Female
81 %
Male
19 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
52%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
16%
20 years or more
6%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 44%
dental benefits
Dental: 38%
medical benefits
Vision: 29%
dental benefits
None: 51%
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