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PERSONALIZED JOBS

Become A Direct Care Worker

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Working As A Direct Care Worker

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Getting Information
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • $20,980

    Average Salary

What Does A Direct Care Worker 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.

Duties

Personal care aides typically do the following:

  • Care for and assist clients with cognitive impairments, such as Alzheimer’s or mental illness
  • Engage clients by talking to or playing games with them, or by taking them for walks
  • Help clients with hygiene-related tasks, such as bathing, brushing teeth, and going to the bathroom
  • Transfer clients to and from a bed or a wheelchair
  • Complete housekeeping tasks, such as changing bed linens, washing dishes, and cleaning living areas
  • Help prepare and plan meals
  • Assist with organizing a client’s schedule and schedule appointments
  • Arrange transportation to and from doctors’ offices or the store
  • Help clients pay bills or manage money
  • Shop for personal items and groceries
  • Assist clients in going to work and participating in their communities

Personal care aides—also called caregivers and personal attendants—help clients with self-care and daily activities. Personal care aides perform tasks that are similar to those of home health aides. However, personal care aides cannot provide any medical services, whereas home health aides may provide basic medical services.

Direct support professionals work with people who have developmental or intellectual disabilities. They may help create a behavior plan and teach self-care skills, such as doing laundry or cooking meals. They may also provide other personal assistance services.

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How To Become A Direct Care Worker

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.

Education

Although there are no formal education requirements for personal care aides, employers may prefer candidates with a high school diploma.

Training

Aides may be trained on the job by registered nurses, other personal care aides, or their direct employer. They are trained in specific tasks, such as how to work with a client who has a cognitive impairment and how to assist a client in preparing meals.

Most employers require aides to have training or certification in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Important Qualities

Detail oriented. Personal care aides must follow specific rules and protocols to help take care of clients. They must pay close attention to a client’s medical condition, quickly noting any changes that may require assistance from medical personnel.

Integrity. Personal care aides should make clients feel comfortable when the aides tend to personal activities, such as helping a client bathe. In addition, personal care aides must be dependable and trustworthy so that clients and their families can rely on them.

Interpersonal skills. Sometimes clients are in extreme pain or distress, and aides must be sensitive to their emotions. Aides must be compassionate, and they must enjoy helping people.

Physical stamina. Personal care aides should be comfortable performing physical tasks. They often need to lift or turn clients who have a disability.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Personal care aides may be required to complete a formal training program depending on the state where they work, and state laws vary widely in terms of the requirements that must be met. Some states and organizations may conduct background checks on prospective aides. A competency evaluation also may be required to ensure that the aide can perform certain tasks.

There are no federal training requirements for personal care aides. For specific state requirements, contact the state’s health board.

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Direct Care Worker jobs

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Average Length of Employment
Developmental Aide 3.9 years
Home Care Giver 2.8 years
Care Provider 2.5 years
Provider 2.4 years
Elderly Caregiver 2.4 years
Live In Caregiver 2.3 years
Care Taker 2.3 years
Direct Care Aide 2.2 years
Support Worker 2.2 years
Residential Worker 2.1 years
Child Care Worker 2.1 years
Companion 2.0 years
Residential Aide 2.0 years
Personal Attendant 2.0 years
Direct Care Worker 2.0 years
Home Help Aide 1.9 years
Top Employers Before
Cashier 19.3%
Internship 4.4%
Waitress 2.4%
Server 2.4%
Volunteer 2.3%
Manager 2.2%
Top Employers After
Cashier 9.8%
Internship 3.7%
Server 2.3%

Direct Care Worker Demographics

Gender

Female

76.4%

Male

21.2%

Unknown

2.4%
Ethnicity

White

83.2%

Hispanic or Latino

8.7%

Asian

6.1%

Unknown

1.4%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

67.7%

French

10.6%

Hebrew

2.5%

Russian

1.9%

Chinese

1.9%

German

1.9%

Japanese

1.9%

Arabic

1.9%

Swedish

1.2%

Mandarin

1.2%

Korean

1.2%

Carrier

1.2%

Sami

0.6%

Turkish

0.6%

Hindi

0.6%

Bulgarian

0.6%

Igbo

0.6%

Yoruba

0.6%

Uzbek

0.6%

Armenian

0.6%
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Direct Care Worker Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

10.3%

Baker College

7.6%

Hinds Community College

7.4%

Central Michigan University

7.0%

Henry Ford College

5.8%

Northern Michigan University

5.8%

Wayne State University

5.2%

Eastern Michigan University

4.9%

Liberty University

4.8%

Michigan State University

4.7%

Jackson State University

4.4%

Charles Stewart Mott Community College

4.0%

Jones County Junior College

3.8%

Everest Institute

3.7%

Wayne County Community College District

3.6%

Lansing Community College

3.6%

Tarleton State University

3.5%

Ashford University

3.4%

Kaplan University

3.3%

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

3.1%
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Majors

Nursing

12.2%

Psychology

10.2%

Business

10.1%

Medical Assisting Services

9.1%

Criminal Justice

9.0%

Social Work

7.3%

Health Care Administration

6.2%

General Studies

6.0%

Nursing Assistants

5.9%

Human Services

5.6%

Education

2.4%

Sociology

2.1%

Liberal Arts

2.0%

Mental Health Counseling

1.9%

Accounting

1.9%

Medical Technician

1.8%

Cosmetology

1.8%

Communication

1.5%

Human Development

1.5%

Pharmacy

1.4%
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Degrees

Other

37.9%

Bachelors

25.5%

Associate

14.9%

Masters

9.1%

Certificate

8.0%

Diploma

3.3%

License

0.9%

Doctorate

0.4%
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Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills for A Direct Care Worker

DailyLivingSkillsDirectCareLaundrySafeEnvironmentPersonalCareDailyLivingActivitiesMealPrepPersonalHygieneAssistanceADLCPRCompanionshipCareWorkerDevelopmentalDisabilitiesPassCrisisInterventionVitalSignsLifeSkillsAdministerMedicationDirectSupervisionRecreationalActivities

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Top Direct Care Worker Skills

  1. Daily Living Skills
  2. Direct Care
  3. Laundry
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided personal assistance for daily living skills for the mentally disabled population.
  • Provided direct care to individuals who are mentally challenged by assisting and training them to reach their maximum independency.
  • Changed bed linens, washed and ironed patients' laundry, and cleaned patients' quarters.
  • Promoted healthy eating and provided safe environment to individuals with developmental disabilities.
  • Care for patients by changing bed linens, washing and ironing laundry, cleaning, or assisting with their personal care.

Top Direct Care Worker Employers

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Direct Care Worker Videos

Information on having a Healthcare Career as a Direct Care Worker (PCW)

Direct Care Workers Save Lives

N.C. Direct Care Workers Recruitment

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