Direct Support Professionals in the United States pull down an average of $10.50 per hour. While geography and tenure impact pay for this group, the specific employer is the most influential factor. Although a little more than half have medical coverage and a little less than half have dental coverage, just over two-fifths claim no health benefits at all. Most Direct Support Professionals report high levels of job satisfaction. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.
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$17,697 - $50,443
(Median)
$18K
$28K
$50K
MEDIAN: $27,831
10%
50%
90%

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$8.68 - $13.75
(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$17K$34K$51K
Salary
$17,697 - $50,443  
   
Bonus
$100.78 - $2,525  
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).
)
$18,298 - $31,999  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 174
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
$8.68 - $13.75  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.96  
Overtime
$12.32 - $20.67  
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
$100.78 - $2,525  
   
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).
)
$18,298 - $31,999  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 1,871
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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 Registered Nurse, they may see a strong upturn in salary. Registered Nurses earn $56K on average per year. A Direct Support Professional may also move into a role as 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


Direct Support Professionals flock to The Mentor Network, Rescare, Inc, Ahrc Nyc, Rescare Homecare, and Yai/Nipd, highly regarded companies that employ a generous number of people in this profession. Keystone Human Services Inc. offers the largest salaries in town — $32K on average. Yai/Nipd, Ahrc Nyc, and The Mentor Network also offer top salaries for Direct Support Professionals. Workers at these firms can expect to earn about $26K, $26K, and $21K, respectively.

A few other companies with smaller-than-average paychecks include RHA Health Services, Inc., Community Options, Inc., and Rescare, Inc. They all pay $20K.

Popular Skills for Direct Support Professional


Direct Support Professionals seem to require a rather large skill set. Most notably, skills in Medication Administration, First Aid, Safety Compliance, and Counseling are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 3 percent and 10 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Documentation, Transport, and DSP. Those with knowledge of Cleaning tend to be skilled in 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.


For Direct Support Professionals, level of experience appears to be a somewhat less important part of the salary calculation — more experience does not correlate to noticeably higher pay. Relatively untried employees who have fewer than five years of experience earn around $22K on average. People who have worked for five to 10 years can expect a higher median salary of $24K. Direct Support Professionals bring in $25K after working for 10 to 20 years. Veterans who have acquired more than 20 years report a median income of $27K, which is generally higher than the pay reported by other tenure groups.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $22,981

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Direct Support Professionals will find that Washington offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 26 percent. Direct Support Professionals can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Philadelphia (+19 percent), Rochester (+18 percent), New York (+17 percent), and Sioux Falls (+6 percent). Fort Wayne is the lowest-paying area, 19 percent south of the national average. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Memphis and Cleveland (18 percent lower and 10 percent lower, respectively).

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.

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Direct Support Professional Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 20%



National Average
$23,000


Skills That Affect Direct Support Professional Salaries

Medication Administration
up arrow 10%

First Aid
up arrow 4%

Safety Compliance
up arrow 3%

Counseling
up arrow 3%

Cleaning
up arrow 2%

Disability Support
up arrow 1%

Assisted Living
0%

Problem Solving
0%

National Average
$23,000

Home Health/Home Care
up arrow 2%

CPR
up arrow 3%

Residential
up arrow 4%

CPR Certified
up arrow 4%

DSP
up arrow 7%

Transport
up arrow 8%

Documentation
up arrow 10%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 238 votes.

Gender

Female
80 %
Male
20 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
52%
5-9 years
23%
10-19 years
15%
20 years or more
4%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 55%
dental benefits
Dental: 46%
medical benefits
Vision: 35%
dental benefits
None: 42%
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