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Direct Support Professional Salary (United States)

Direct Support Professionals in the United States typically take home $10.04 per hour. Lower pay rates hover around $8.36 per hour, and the higher rates verge on $13.32. Geographic location and experience level each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. While more than a third report receiving no health benefits, more than half do receive medical coverage, and half have dental, as well. Women make up the vast majority of Direct Support Professionals (82 percent). Work is reasonably fulfilling for most Direct Support Professionals — the majority report average levels of job satisfaction. The numbers for this synopsis were furnished by individuals who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Direct Support Professional 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.
)
$18,580 - $32,164
(Median)
19K
25K
29K
32K
MEDIAN: $24,570
10%
50%
75%
90%
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Direct Support Professional 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.
)
$8.36 - $13.32
(Median)
8
12
13
MEDIAN: $10
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$11K$22K$33K
Salary
$18,580 - $32,164  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $726  
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).
)
$17,877 - $29,846  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 59
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
$8.36 - $13.32  
   
Overtime
$11.37 - $18.96  
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 - $726  
   
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).
)
$17,877 - $29,846  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 660
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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.
Read More...
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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Though not the most common occurrence, Direct Support Professionals sometimes become Non-Profit Organization Program Coordinators, where the average income is $36K per year. More often, however, Direct Support Professionals go on to become Certified Nurse Assistants or Qualified Mental Retardation Professionals.

Direct Support Professional Job Listings

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Typical Direct Support Professionals report a focused set of job skills. Residential and Home Health/Home Care are considered valuable skills and can increase employee pay.

Pay by Experience Level for Direct Support Professional

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For Direct Support Professionals, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. The median compensation for relatively untried workers is $21K; in the five-to-10 year group, it's higher at around $23K. On average, Direct Support Professionals make $26K following one to two decades on the job. Folks who have racked up more than 20 years in the field report incomes that aren't that much higher than less experienced individuals' earnings; the veterans make just $26K on average. One to nine years of experience is standard for most employees in this area; a fair portion of respondents fit between this range. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up about an eighth of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise fewer than one in twenty, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining less than five percent.

Pay Difference By Location

Fargo
up arrow 43%
New York
up arrow 17%
Buffalo
up arrow 17%
Washington
up arrow 16%
Philadelphia
up arrow 9%
Pittsburgh
up arrow 2%
National Average
$22,000
Phoenix
up arrow 15%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
Direct Support Professionals will find that Fargo offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 43 percent. Also paying near the top of the field are New York, Buffalo, Washington, and Philadelphia, where Direct Support Professionals annually earn 17 percent, 17 percent, 16 percent, and 9 percent more than the national average. Phoenix ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 15 percent below the national average.

Direct Support Professional Advice

What do you wish you knew about your job when you first started out?
Direct Support Professional in Sioux Falls:
"That You Get Beat Up At Times."
Check into how much training you get before you take the job and ask about the policy when people get violent.
Direct Support Professional in Toledo:
"Stress, Levels, Responsibilities."
Be prepared for anything and everything. T0here are things they don't tell you to expect.

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Direct Support Professional Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 18%
Experienced
up arrow 17%
Mid-Career
up arrow 6%
National Average
$22,000
Entry-Level
up arrow 3%

Skills That Affect Direct Support Professional Salaries

Residential
up arrow 4%
National Average
$22,000
Home Health/Home Care
up arrow 2%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied Image
Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5 based on 154 votes.

Gender

Female
82%
female alumni
 
Male
18%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
58%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
13%
20 years or more
4%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 58% dental benefits Dental: 50%
vision benefits Vision: 36% employee benefits None: 38%