Direct Support Professional Salary

The average Direct Support Professional in the United States can expect to rake in roughly $10.17 per hour. Pay ranges from $8.41 per hour on the low end to $13.47 on the high end. Geographic location is the main element affecting pay for this group — career duration and the particular employer are driving factors as well. Although approximately two in five lack health benefits of any kind, more than half do enjoy medical insurance, and approximately half get dental coverage, too. The vast majority of Direct Support Professionals (81 percent) who responded to the survey are women. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.
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$18,513 - $39,149

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$8.41 - $13.47

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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
$18,513 - $39,149  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $755  
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).
)
$17,933 - $30,124  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 97
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
$8.41 - $13.47  
   
Overtime
$11.37 - $19.57  
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 - $755  
   
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).
)
$17,933 - $30,124  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,091
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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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Direct Support Professionals may progress into high-paying roles like Licensed Practical Nurse, where median compensation is $37K annually. A Direct Support Professional may also move into a role as a Certified Nurse Assistant or a Medical Assistant.

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.

Employees at The Mentor Network take home the smallest paychecks, and $19K is the median salary. Furthermore, range in pay is narrow, with salaries starting at $17K and quickly nearing the top at only $27K.


Survey results suggest that Direct Support Professionals put a wide range of professional skills to use. Most notably, skills in DSP, Cleaning, Disability Support, and Medication Administration are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 9 percent and 15 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like CPR. 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.


Direct Support Professionals with more experience do not necessarily bring home bigger paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to impact compensation minimally. People who have worked for fewer than five years bring home $21K on average. Median compensation in the five-to-10 year group, however, is higher at approximately $23K. Direct Support Professionals who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $25K. 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 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 16%

Experienced
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 11%

Disability Support
up arrow 9%

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 195 votes.

Gender

Female
81 %
Male
19 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
54%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
14%
20 years or more
4%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 57% dental benefits Dental: 48%
vision benefits Vision: 36% employee benefits None: 40%
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