Direct Support Professional Salary

The average Direct Support Professional in the United States earns approximately $10.14 per hour. The bottom of the pay range sits near $8.39 per hour, and the top verges on $13.50. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by residence, followed by career duration and the specific company. Although two in five lack health benefits of any kind, the larger part do enjoy medical insurance, and about one-half get dental coverage, too. Most Direct Support Professionals report high levels of job satisfaction. The vast majority of Direct Support Professionals (80 percent) who responded to the survey are women. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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$18,419 - $39,283
(Median)
$18K
$25K
$39K
MEDIAN: $25,491
10%
50%
90%

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$8.39 - $13.50
(Median)
$8
$10
$13
MEDIAN: $10
10%
50%
90%

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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$14K$28K$42K
Salary
$18,419 - $39,283  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $758  
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).
)
$17,918 - $30,241  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 94
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
$8.39 - $13.50  
   
Overtime
$11.26 - $19.32  
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 - $758  
   
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).
)
$17,918 - $30,241  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,035
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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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As Direct Support Professionals transition into upper-level roles such as Licensed Practical Nurse, they may see a strong upturn in salary. Licensed Practical Nurses earn $37K on average per year. Becoming a Certified Nurse Assistant or a Qualified Mental Retardation Professional is often the next step for a Direct Support Professional.

Direct Support Professional Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Direct Support Professional


The biggest paychecks can be found at Keystone Human Services Inc. — the median salary there is $22K.

The Mentor Network doles out the lowest salaries in town — median pay is $20K — not to mention workers can only make as much as $27K and scope of pay is rather limited.


Survey results show that Direct Support Professionals use a fair number of skills. Most notably, skills in DSP, Cleaning, Disability Support, and Medication Administration are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 11 percent and 15 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include CPR. It is not unusual for someone who knows Cleaning to be familiar with Home Health/Home Care as well.

Pay by Experience Level for Direct Support Professional

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


The average inexperienced worker earns $21K, and someone who has worked for five to 10 years can expect a bigger median salary of $23K. Direct Support Professionals bring in $25K after working for 10 to 20 years. Direct Support Professionals who surpass 20 years on the job report pay that isn't higher than those with 10 to 20 years.

Direct Support Professional Reviews

What is it like working as a Direct Support Professional?

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

Experienced
up arrow 15%

Late-Career
up arrow 15%

Mid-Career
up arrow 5%

National Average
$22,000


Skills That Affect Direct Support Professional Salaries

DSP
up arrow 15%

Cleaning
up arrow 13%

Disability Support
up arrow 11%

Medication Administration
up arrow 2%

Residential
up arrow 1%

National Average
$22,000

Home Health/Home Care
up arrow 3%

CPR
up arrow 4%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 197 votes.

Gender

Female
80 %
Male
20 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
54%
5-9 years
23%
10-19 years
14%
20 years or more
4%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 57% dental benefits Dental: 48%
vision benefits Vision: 35% employee benefits None: 40%
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