Direct Support Professional Salary

Pay for Direct Support Professionals in the United States sits in the ballpark of $10.29 per hour. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is residence, though the company and experience level have a (lesser) impact as well. Some workers in this field — about two in five — are not awarded benefits. Medical coverage is reported by a majority and dental plans are enjoyed by one-half. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Direct Support Professionals. The vast majority (81 percent) of Direct Support Professionals who took the survey are female. The data for this synopsis comes from respondents who took the PayScale salary survey.
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$17,639 - $40,428
(Median)
$18K
$26K
$40K
MEDIAN: $25,788
10%
50%
90%

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$8.52 - $13.61
(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
$17,639 - $40,428  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $808  
Profit Sharing
$225.00  
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).
)
$18,033 - $30,980  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 139
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
$8.52 - $13.61  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.96  
Overtime
$11.79 - $20.29  
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 - $808  
   
Profit Sharing
$225.00  
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).
)
$18,033 - $30,980  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 1,545
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Job Description for Direct Support Professional

Direct support professionals perform a number of tasks to aid people with disabilities, providing encouragement and instructions on specific tasks the individuals struggle with due to their disabilities. Most direct support professionals are expected to document their interactions with clients - as well as any changes they notice - so the care team may learn and develop strategies. Often, they communicate with external parties on issues related to the client's care. For example, some clients may be unable to talk on the phone; direct support professionals may help provide solutions for those clients and work with caretakers and loved ones as necessary.

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Direct Support Professional 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 Support Professional


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At the upper end, Direct Support Professionals who move into a Registered Nurse role can end up with a hefty increase in pay. The average income for Registered Nurses is a much higher $55K per year. A Direct Support Professional often moves on to become a Certified Nurse Assistant or a Non-Profit Organization Program Coordinator.

Direct Support Professional Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Direct Support Professional


Those at Keystone Human Services Inc. can expect to make the most, with the company offering a median salary of $28K.

Direct Support Professionals will find the worst pay at The Mentor Network, where the median salary crawls in at $20K. Furthermore, compensation is curbed at $28K, leaving little room for growth.


Survey takers working as Direct Support Professionals report using a large range of professional skills. Most notably, skills in Oral / Verbal Communication, DSP, Cleaning, and Disability Support are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 8 percent and 18 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include Documentation and CPR.

Pay by Experience Level for Direct Support Professional

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


More years of relevant experience do not necessarily translate to higher paychecks. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $22K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $24K. Direct Support Professionals bring in $25K after working for 10 to 20 years. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $26K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.

Direct Support Professional Reviews

What is it like working as a Direct Support Professional?

Direct Support Professional in Staten Island:
"Work Flexibility."
Pros: I like that my job is flexible and theirs growth within the company. Mostly the importance are my guys and they are the ones who brighten up my day.
Cons: Coordination can be a bit overwhelming at times along with communication towards the employees.

Direct Support Professional in Washington:
"Awesome & Needed."
Pros: The response from my client and how they look forward to my presence for any assistance.
Cons: Severe behavior issues, abuse stories and mis handling of our more physically challenged adults or children.

Direct Support Professional in Kansas City:
"Not too bad."
Pros: Health insurance available. Can pick up extra hours. Can go out with clients out to eat, take part in events. You get to help and make a difference in someone's life who needs it.
Cons: Hard to change schedules. Coworkers slack on the job. Vacation time is small. It is hard to have a schedule that makes study and work possible. Can become stressful.

Direct Support Professional in Quincy:
"Working family."
Pros: The family like staff and boss. Feeling like I have people to talk to about personal problems.
Cons: The pay could be better or larger. Sometimes it is an emotionaly draining and I get burnt out if I work five or six days in a row.

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Experience Affects Direct Support Professional Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 14%

Experienced
up arrow 10%


National Average
$22,000


Skills That Affect Direct Support Professional Salaries

Oral / Verbal Communication
up arrow 18%

DSP
up arrow 13%

Cleaning
up arrow 8%


Medication Administration
up arrow 1%

Problem Solving
up arrow 1%

Transport
0%

National Average
$22,000

Residential
up arrow 1%

Home Health/Home Care
up arrow 2%

CPR Certified
up arrow 2%

CPR
up arrow 4%

Documentation
up arrow 8%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 240 votes.

Gender

Female
81 %
Male
19 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
53%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
14%
20 years or more
4%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 57%
dental benefits
Dental: 48%
medical benefits
Vision: 36%
dental benefits
None: 39%
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