There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a direct care aide. For example, did you know that they make an average of $14.63 an hour? That's $30,429 a year! Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 36% and produce 1,185,800 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Direct Care Aide Do

Personal care aides help clients with self-care and everyday tasks. They also provide social supports and assistance that enable clients to participate in their communities.

Learn more about what a Direct Care Aide does

How To Become a Direct Care Aide

Most personal care aides are trained on the job. There are no formal education requirements for personal care aides, but most aides have a high school diploma.

Learn More About How To Become a Direct Care Aide

Direct Care Aide Career Paths

Average Salary for a Direct Care Aide

Direct Care Aides in America make an average salary of $30,429 per year or $15 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $41,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $22,000 per year.
Average Direct Care Aide Salary
$30,429 Yearly
$14.63 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Direct Care Aide

There are several types of direct care aide, including:

Direct Support Professional


A direct support professional is a trained professional responsible for providing support to people with learning and other developmental disabilities with the goal of achieving more stability and independence as well as creating and maintaining a safe and healthy environment for them to do so. Their duties mainly center around the residents of the facility they work in and thus include administering medication and other forms of therapy and treatment, assisting with everyday tasks and processes, including basic personal hygiene, and monitoring and documenting patient developments and status.

  • Average Salary: $32,077
  • Degree: High School Diploma



Aides make it possible for patients to stay at home with less severe conditions, instead of staying in hospitals or retirement homes. They monitor the patients' condition, keep them company, and help practicing hygiene and with chores around the house. Aides perform basic health care as well and help with transportation, if necessary.

Home health aides are the fastest-growing occupation in the U.S., with an increase in demand of 70% from 2010 to 2020. This tendency is likely to continue in rapid growth up to 2030, as the Baby Boomer generation reaches seniority.

Aides make $18 per hour, on average, and generally work 40 hours a week, sometimes taking night shifts and working on weekends, too. Part-time and live-in arrangements are both common as well, so you have a lot of options to figure out what works best for you.

  • Average Salary: $27,793
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Direct Care Worker


Direct care workers are specialists in caregiving. Direct care specialists' role is known as a noble cause as it takes serving other people. You will be assisting patients who have certain disabilities or illnesses with their hygiene and personal care. Hence you will need to be present by the patient's side for hours. Similarly, you will observe the patient's state while ensuring that they recover from their illness soon. As a result, you will meet with the family of the patients to discuss the condition with them.

You tend to play a critical role in serving society. Hence, you will enjoy a respectable position in society. You will need to possess interpersonal skills which work well with different kinds of people. Being compassionate and having the physical stamina to help patients is also required. Another skill required is the ability to communicate clearly and effectively. Direct care worker exhibits the ability to think quickly and act calmly in an emergency. They earn an average of $24,090 yearly.

  • Average Salary: $29,343
  • Degree: High School Diploma

States With The Most Direct Care Aide Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active direct care aide jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where direct care aides earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Direct Care Aide Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
3New York4,505$29,343
6North Carolina2,351$26,027
12New Jersey1,713$36,068
24South Carolina862$21,950
34New Mexico456$22,691
37West Virginia383$29,425
41New Hampshire304$30,604
43North Dakota257$25,560
44Rhode Island229$29,376
46South Dakota199$28,159

Direct Care Aide Education

Direct Care Aide Majors

14.2 %
12.9 %

Direct Care Aide Degrees

High School Diploma

34.7 %


20.3 %


18.8 %

Top Skills For a Direct Care Aide

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 16.8% of direct care aides listed home health on their resume, but soft skills such as detail oriented and integrity are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Direct Care Aide Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Direct Care Aide templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Direct Care Aide resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Direct Care Aide diversity

Direct Care Aide Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among direct care aides, 79.2% of them are women, while 20.8% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among direct care aides is White, which makes up 61.3% of all direct care aides.

  • The most common foreign language among direct care aides is Spanish at 66.7%.

Online Courses For Direct Care Aide That You May Like

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1. Essentials of Palliative Care


This course starts you on your journey of integrating primary palliative care into your daily lives. You will learn what palliative care is, how to communicate with patients, show empathy, and practice difficult conversations. You will learn how to screen for distress and provide psychosocial support. You will learn about goals of care and advance care planning and how to improve your success with having these conversations with patients. Finally, you will explore important cultural...

2. Transitions in Care from Survivorship to Hospice


This course should be taken after the Symptom Management course and continues building your primary palliative care skills – communication, psychosocial support, goals of care, and symptom management. You will explore transitions in care such as survivorship and hospice. You will learn how to create a survivorship care plan and how to best support a patient. The course also covers spiritual care and will teach you how to screen for spiritual distress. Finally, you will learn the requirements...

3. Home Health Aide, Nurse Aide, Caregiver Certification Course


Become A Certified Home Health Aide, Personal Care Aide, Nurse Aide/ Caregiver At The End Of This Course. Enroll Now!...

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Best States For a Direct Care Aide

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a direct care aide. The best states for people in this position are Vermont, New Jersey, Maryland, and Massachusetts. Direct care aides make the most in Vermont with an average salary of $36,206. Whereas in New Jersey and Maryland, they would average $36,068 and $34,121, respectively. While direct care aides would only make an average of $34,053 in Massachusetts, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. New Jersey

Total Direct Care Aide Jobs: 1,713
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Maine

Total Direct Care Aide Jobs: 365
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Massachusetts

Total Direct Care Aide Jobs: 2,160
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Direct Care Aides

How Do Direct Care Aides Rate Their Jobs?

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Top Direct Care Aide Employers

Most Common Employers For Direct Care Aide

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
2Aspire of WNY$31,051$14.936
3UCP of Long Island$30,902$14.869
4Brian's House$30,787$14.8025
5Pony Bird$29,873$14.3612
6Rainbow International$29,479$14.176
7Courtyard Manor$29,120$14.006
9United Cerebral Palsy of Georgia$28,492$13.7031
10Yellowstone Bank$28,211$13.565

Direct Care Aide Videos