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Direct Support Worker Salary

The average Direct Support Worker in the United States can expect to rake in roughly $10.20 per hour. Lower pay rates hover around $8.01 per hour, and the higher rates verge on $13.11. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. Men are in the minority of survey respondents, with female Direct Support Workers making up 71 percent. While some workers in this profession — just over two-fifths — do not have any health coverage, more than half do receive medical benefits and more than two-fifths have dental insurance. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.

$8.01 - $13.11

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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.
Hourly Rate
$8.01 - $13.11  
$0.21 - $18.61  
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.
$0.00 - $2,013  
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).
$16,883 - $31,355  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 100

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United States (change)

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Job Description for Direct Support Worker

Direct support workers are responsible for assisting people with daily living activities who cannot perform them independently; this includes individuals with mental retardation, developmental disabilities, or medical disabilities such as stroke, heart attack, or trauma. These workers actively support patients in daily living, and are responsible for overseeing the programs implemented by their doctors or therapists. They often assist with minor around-the-house tasks such as cleaning and paying bills, as well.


Direct Support Worker 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.

Direct Support Professional Job Listings

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Pay by Experience Level for Direct Support Worker

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 Workers who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $26K. Folks with more than two decades of experience actually report lower incomes overall; their average comes out to a mere $19K.

United States (change)

Experience Affects Direct Support Worker Salaries

up arrow 19%

up arrow 4%

National Average

up arrow 3%

up arrow 12%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 18 votes.


71 %
29 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 52% dental benefits Dental: 43%
vision benefits Vision: 35% employee benefits None: 42%