Direct Support Professional Salary
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...
Most direct support professionals do not work in a centralized location and make regular visits to clients' homes. However, in some cases, direct support professionals may report to a specific building in which several residents need their services. Although direct support professionals typically work during regular business hours, help outside of these hours may be required unexpectedly (such as in emergencies). As most direct support professionals are employed by contractors, many support professionals may need to report their activities to their employer, a care home manager, and/or clients' families. For this reason, direct support professionals must have excellent communications and interpersonal skills.
A high school diploma or equivalent is generally required for direct support professionals, as is daily access to a vehicle. Additional qualifications - and previous experience in the field of patient care and disability services - are often preferred.
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
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
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).