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.

What Does a Direct Care Worker Do

There are certain skills that many direct care workers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed detail oriented, integrity and interpersonal skills.

Learn more about what a Direct Care Worker does

How To Become a Direct Care Worker

If you're interested in becoming a direct care worker, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 25.1% of direct care workers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 2.6% of direct care workers have master's degrees. Even though some direct care workers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Direct Care Worker

Direct Care Worker Career Paths

Average Salary for a Direct Care Worker

Direct Care Workers in America make an average salary of $29,343 per year or $14 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $36,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $23,000 per year.
Average Direct Care Worker Salary
$29,343 Yearly
$14.11 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Direct Care Worker

The role of a direct care worker includes a wide range of responsibilities. These responsibilities can vary based on an individual's specific job, company, or industry.Here are some general direct care worker responsibilities:

  • The position interacts with and supports the individual in a variety of potential settings, including community, family or individual homes
  • Assistance for each individual can range from occasional verbal reminders to total assistance by the staff according to the functioning level of the individual. Provide services
  • Chaperones participants into the community on a daily basis

There are several types of direct care worker, 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 Staffer


Direct care workers give care and assistance to people that are physically disabled or old people. You will help the patient run errands when needed. Also, you will assist the elderly or physically challenged move around the house. Furthermore, you will ensure you cook for the patient and make sure they eat the special dietary considerations and take prescribed medications. You will meet with the family to discuss the needs and improvement of the patients while you serve as the companion for elders who live alone.

Direct care staffers must have great knowledge of proper first aid and emergency response procedures. They must be compassionate and have patience. Similarly, you need the ability to think quickly and act calmly in an emergency case. You need physical stamina to be able to run errands and help move patients around in the house. Another required skill is a strong listening ability. You will earn an average of $12.96 an hour or $26,954 yearly.
  • Average Salary: $30,480
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

States With The Most Direct Care Worker Jobs

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

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Direct Care Worker Jobs By State

Direct Care Worker Education

Direct Care Worker Majors

9.9 %

Direct Care Worker Degrees

High School Diploma

32.3 %


25.1 %


18.9 %

Top Skills For a Direct Care Worker

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, 21.8% of direct care workers listed direct care on their resume, but soft skills such as detail oriented and integrity are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Direct Care Worker Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Direct Care Worker templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Direct Care Worker 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 Worker Demographics

Direct Care Worker Gender Distribution


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

  • Among direct care workers, 76.6% of them are women, while 23.4% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among direct care workers is White, which makes up 61.1% of all direct care workers.

  • The most common foreign language among direct care workers is Spanish at 69.3%.

Online Courses For Direct Care Worker 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...

See More on Coursera

2. Health After Cancer: Cancer Survivorship for Primary Care


This course presents basic principles of cancer survivorship to primary-care physicians. Developed by a team of experts in caring for cancer survivors, and narrated by a primary-care physician, this course provides practical tips and tools that can be easily integrated into medical practice. You will learn about the complex physical and psychosocial needs and concerns of the growing number of cancer survivors, along with the key role that primary care physicians have in guiding these patients...

See More on Coursera

3. 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...

See More on Coursera
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Best States For a Direct Care Worker

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a direct care worker. The best states for people in this position are Washington, Hawaii, Maine, and California. Direct care workers make the most in Washington with an average salary of $34,899. Whereas in Hawaii and Maine, they would average $34,468 and $33,187, respectively. While direct care workers would only make an average of $33,078 in California, 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. Washington

Total Direct Care Worker Jobs: 1,743
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Oregon

Total Direct Care Worker Jobs: 1,094
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Maine

Total Direct Care Worker Jobs: 287
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Direct Care Workers

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Top Direct Care Worker Employers

Most Common Employers For Direct Care Worker

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1Pathways of Pennsylvania$32,068$15.42121
2Hudspeth Regional Center$31,484$15.14278
3Open Systems Healthcare$31,012$14.91121
4Life Center Ministries$30,404$14.6292
5Community Care$29,878$14.3661
7Heritage Home Group$29,558$14.2167
8Spectrum Human Services$29,097$13.9991
9Central States Group$28,940$13.9194
10Everest Holdings LLC$28,916$13.90109

Direct Care Worker Videos

Becoming a Direct Care Worker FAQs

How Long Does It Take To Become A Direct Care Worker?

It takes 3 years of professional experience to become a direct care worker. That is the time it takes to learn specific direct care worker skills, but does not account for time spent in formal education.

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