Direct Care Worker (DCW) Salary
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.Read More...
Educational requirements for direct care worker positions vary depending on the position and the needs of the employer. Some employers require these employees hold a high school diploma or equivalent; others require at least a postsecondary degree such as a bachelor's degree. Physical requirements for this position include potential exposure to harmful illnesses from patients; direct care workers must also be able to physically provide care to patients and assist them as necessary. Direct care workers must be able to work well independently with minimal supervision, as well as in a team setting.
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)
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
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).