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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
  • $26,000

    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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Average Length of Employment
Developmental Aide 4.5 years
Care Provider 2.6 years
Group Home Worker 2.6 years
Direct Care Aide 2.3 years
Direct Care Worker 2.0 years
Top Careers Before Direct Care Worker
Cashier 21.7%
Internship 3.5%
Server 3.0%
Volunteer 2.2%
Waitress 2.0%
Top Careers After Direct Care Worker
Cashier 10.9%
Internship 2.9%
Server 2.3%
Driver 2.1%

Do you work as a Direct Care Worker?

Average Yearly Salary
$26,000
Show Salaries
$19,000
Min 10%
$26,000
Median 50%
$26,000
Median 50%
$26,000
Median 50%
$26,000
Median 50%
$26,000
Median 50%
$26,000
Median 50%
$26,000
Median 50%
$35,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
ManpowerGroup
Highest Paying City
Pikesville, MD
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
2.3 years
How much does a Direct Care Worker make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Direct Care Worker in the United States is $26,521 per year or $13 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $19,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $35,000.

Top Skills for A Direct Care Worker

  1. Independent Living
  2. Personal Care
  3. Patient Care
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Supported and supervised resident work and skill development in sheltered environments, identifying and coordinating independent living objectives.
  • Promoted a high quality of living that included; personal care, meal preparation, medication administration, and routine maintenance/housekeeping.
  • Adhered to patient care directives, as well as implementation of additional activities and progressive responsibilities of patient functionality.
  • Supervised and maintained a safe environment for the physically and developmentally disabled in Jackson and surrounding areas.
  • Supervised and assisted residents during meal preparation, housekeeping responsibilities, personal hygiene, grooming and other activities as needed.

Rank:

Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Direct Care Workers

  1. Alaska
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Minnesota
  4. South Dakota
  5. West Virginia
  6. Nebraska
  7. New Jersey
  8. New Hampshire
  9. New York
  10. Maryland
  • (31 jobs)
  • (501 jobs)
  • (959 jobs)
  • (31 jobs)
  • (44 jobs)
  • (56 jobs)
  • (366 jobs)
  • (58 jobs)
  • (1,129 jobs)
  • (207 jobs)

Direct Care Worker Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 30,126 Direct Care Worker resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Direct Care Worker Resume

View Resume Examples

Direct Care Worker Demographics

Gender

Female

64.5%

Male

19.3%

Unknown

16.1%
Ethnicity

White

67.8%

Black or African American

13.4%

Hispanic or Latino

10.3%

Asian

5.7%

Unknown

2.8%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

69.3%

French

11.0%

Russian

2.6%

Portuguese

1.9%

Italian

1.6%

Hebrew

1.6%

Arabic

1.6%

Swedish

1.3%

Chinese

1.3%

German

1.3%

Carrier

1.0%

Japanese

1.0%

Mandarin

0.6%

Korean

0.6%

Igbo

0.6%

Thai

0.6%

Tagalog

0.6%

Polish

0.6%

Sami

0.3%

Turkish

0.3%
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Direct Care Worker Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

10.9%

Baker College

10.2%

Everest Institute

9.2%

Wayne County Community College District

6.7%

Oakland Community College

5.7%

Wayne State University

5.3%

Charles Stewart Mott Community College

4.5%

Eastern Michigan University

4.4%

Henry Ford College

4.2%

Hinds Community College

4.2%

Macomb Community College

4.1%

Ross Medical Education Center

4.1%

The Academy

3.9%

Central Michigan University

3.9%

Jackson State University

3.4%

Michigan State University

3.4%

Northern Michigan University

3.2%

Kaplan University

3.0%

Western Michigan University

3.0%

Community College of Philadelphia

2.9%
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Majors

Nursing

15.0%

Medical Assisting Services

12.9%

Business

9.4%

Psychology

8.4%

Criminal Justice

7.9%

General Studies

6.5%

Health Care Administration

6.3%

Social Work

6.3%

Human Services

5.4%

Nursing Assistants

4.6%

Mental Health Counseling

2.2%

Education

2.2%

Cosmetology

1.9%

Liberal Arts

1.9%

Medical Technician

1.8%

Sociology

1.7%

Accounting

1.6%

Pharmacy

1.4%

Early Childhood Education

1.3%

Human Development

1.3%
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Degrees

Other

40.2%

Bachelors

22.2%

Associate

15.1%

Certificate

9.1%

Masters

7.2%

Diploma

4.9%

License

1.1%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Direct Care Worker Employers

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Jobs From Top Direct Care Worker Employers

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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Updated May 19, 2020