Direct Care Worker (DCW) Salary (United States)

Direct Care Workers in the United States typically take home $9.73 per hour. Pay starts at $7.90 per hour and can approach $13.09 on the higher side. Career duration is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by the particular city. While some workers in this profession—about half—do not have any health coverage, more than half do receive medical benefits and 42 percent have dental insurance. The majority of individuals in this role claim moderate levels of job satisfaction. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.
Direct Care Worker (DCW) Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$14,363 - $34,490
(Median)
14K
20K
24K
29K
34K
MEDIAN: $23,973
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Direct Care Worker (DCW) Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$7.90 - $13.09
(Median)
7
11
13
MEDIAN: $9.00
10%
75%
90%
Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px

National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$12K$24K$36K
Salary
$14,363 - $34,490  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $393.76  
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).
)
$16,574 - $28,938  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 48
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$7$14$21
Hourly Rate
$7.90 - $13.09  
   
Overtime
$11.25 - $19.42  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$14K$28K$42K
Bonus
$0.00 - $393.76  
   
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).
)
$16,574 - $28,938  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 494
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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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Additional career progression can lead to a hefty increase in pay for Direct Care Workers. At the upper end, those who move into a Non-Profit Program Manager role can bring in an extra $22K per year. When Direct Care Workers are ready for the next step in their career, they often become Certified Nurse Assistants or Social Services Case Managers, where they can expect an additional $1,414 or $10,054 per year.

Direct Care Worker Job Listings

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Survey results show that Direct Care Workers typically report just a few professional skills. Most notably, facility with Counseling, Oral / Verbal Communication, and CPR are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 40 percent, 6 percent, and 3 percent, respectively.

Pay by Experience Level for Direct Care Worker (DCW)

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
In most cases, Direct Care Workers can expect only incremental pay growth as they advance in their careers. Starting at around $21K, salaries see a boost to $22K after five to 10 years. After 10 to 20 years, compensation comes in at $22K. Direct Care Workers experience only minor salary growth after working for two decades, bringing in around $24K. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up 16 percent of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise 5 percent, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining less than five percent. One to nine years of experience is standard for most employees in this area; most of respondents fit between this range.

Pay Difference By Location

Cincinnati
up arrow 17%
New York
up arrow 15%
Houston
up arrow 13%
Philadelphia
up arrow 4%
National Average
$21,000
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
Cincinnati offers some of the highest pay in the country for Direct Care Workers, 17 percent above the national average. Direct Care Workers will also find cushy salaries in New York (+15 percent) and Houston (+13 percent).

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 12%
Experienced
up arrow 5%
Mid-Career
up arrow 3%
National Average
$21,000
Entry-Level
up arrow 2%

Skills That Affect Direct Care Worker (DCW) Salaries

Counseling
up arrow 40%
Oral / Verbal Communication
up arrow 6%
CPR
up arrow 3%
National Average
$21,000
Home Health/Home Care
up arrow 1%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied Image
Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5 based on 97 votes.

Gender

Female
80%
female alumni
 
Male
20%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
53%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
16%
20 years or more
5%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 50% dental benefits Dental: 42%
vision benefits Vision: 29% employee benefits None: 45%