Direct Support Professional Salary

The average Direct Support Professional in the United States earns approximately $10.15 per hour. The bottom of the pay range sits near $8.40 per hour, and the top verges on $13.47. While career duration and the specific company impact pay for this group, geographic location is the most influential factor. There are far more female Direct Support Professionals who answered the questionnaire than men, making up 81 percent. For the most part, Direct Support Professionals enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Health benefits are not claimed by all — about two-fifths lack any form of coverage — but the greater part have medical insurance, and approximately half have dental, too. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$18,442 - $39,238
(Median)
$18K
$25K
$39K
MEDIAN: $25,429
10%
50%
90%

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$8.40 - $13.47
(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
$18,442 - $39,238  
   
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).
)
$17,919 - $30,214  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 95
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
$8.40 - $13.47  
   
Overtime
$11.27 - $19.39  
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).
)
$17,919 - $30,214  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,052
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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 who go on to become Licensed Practical Nurses may see their salaries climb quite a bit. Median pay for Licensed Practical Nurses is $37K annually. It is not uncommon for a Direct Support Professional to continue on to become a Certified Nurse Assistant or a Medical Assistant.

Direct Support Professional Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Direct Support Professional


For Direct Support Professionals, comfortable salaries can be found at Keystone Human Services Inc.; in fact, median earnings sit around $22K, the highest in the area.

Pay for Direct Support Professionals is the lowest at The Mentor Network, which has a median salary of $20K. In addition, there's little room to grow there, with salaries maxing out at $27K.


Direct Support Professionals generally report applying a varied skill set to their work. 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 seem to negatively impact pay include CPR. Experience with Cleaning is often linked with knowledge of Home Health/Home Care.

Pay by Experience Level for Direct Support Professional

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


Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience have a median salary of $21K. Those who have been around for five to 10 years can expect to take home more — $23K on average. Direct Support Professionals who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $25K. Individuals who have achieved more than 20 years of experience don't seem to earn any more than people who have 10 to 20 years under their belts.

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 196 votes.

Gender

Female
81 %
Male
19 %

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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