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Become A Direct Service Professional

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Working As A Direct Service Professional

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Getting Information
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • $55,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Direct Service Professional 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 Service Professional

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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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Direct Care Worker 2.3 years
Direct Care Aide 2.3 years
Top Careers Before Direct Service Professional
Cashier 13.4%
Internship 9.5%
Volunteer 4.6%
Server 3.9%
Assistant 3.5%
Manager 2.6%
Waitress 2.4%
Top Careers After Direct Service Professional
Cashier 8.6%
Internship 5.2%
Server 2.9%
Volunteer 2.6%
Assistant 2.6%
Specialist 2.3%

Do you work as a Direct Service Professional?

Highest Direct Service Professional Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Direct Service Professional II YAI-National Institute for People With Disabilitie New York, NY Jul 08, 2013 $38,000
Direct Service Professional II YAI-National Institute for People With Disabilitie New York, NY Sep 30, 2013 $34,000
Direct Service Professional II YAI-National Institute for People With Disabilitie New York, NY May 06, 2013 $34,000
Direct Service Professional II YAI-National Institute for People With Disabilitie New York, NY Mar 27, 2014 $32,750
Direct Service Professional II YAI-National Institute for People With Disabilitie New York, NY Jun 01, 2015 $32,640

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How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Direct Service Professional?

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Top Skills for A Direct Service Professional

  1. Independent Living
  2. Developmental Disabilities
  3. Personal Care
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provide independent living skills, community living and recreation instruction to individuals in community settings both individually and in small groups.
  • Direct Service Professionals -- Supports individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in a community home setting or vocational setting.
  • Direct Service Professionals assume responsibility for direct personal care of persons with disabilities.
  • Accompanied individuals on medical appointments ranging from physical therapy to annual physical exams, and occasional hospital visits.
  • Provided direct care services to ensure the health and well being of developmentally disabled adults residing in a group home.

Direct Service Professional Demographics

Gender

Female

58.8%

Male

28.1%

Unknown

13.2%
Ethnicity

White

67.2%

Hispanic or Latino

12.7%

Black or African American

10.3%

Asian

6.3%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

65.2%

French

6.5%

German

4.3%

Russian

4.3%

Mandarin

4.3%

Portuguese

2.2%

Chinese

2.2%

Malay

2.2%

Hindi

2.2%

Urdu

2.2%

Arabic

2.2%

Thai

2.2%
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Direct Service Professional Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

12.0%

State University of New York Stony Brook

9.6%

Eastern Illinois University

7.2%

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

6.4%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

5.6%

Pennsylvania State University

4.8%

Walden University

4.8%

Cuyahoga Community College

4.8%

Liberty University

4.8%

Mercy College - Dobbs Ferry

4.0%

Concordia College (Minnesota)

4.0%

Edinboro University of Pennsylvania

4.0%

Adelphi University

4.0%

Luzerne County Community College

4.0%

Southwest Minnesota State University

4.0%

Minnesota State University - Moorhead

3.2%

Monroe College

3.2%

West Virginia University

3.2%

DePaul University

3.2%

Hunter College of the City University of New York

3.2%
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Majors

Psychology

16.3%

Social Work

11.1%

Business

8.9%

Nursing

7.9%

Criminal Justice

7.9%

Human Services

6.0%

Medical Assisting Services

5.8%

Liberal Arts

3.9%

Health Care Administration

3.9%

Sociology

3.7%

Mental Health Counseling

3.3%

Nursing Assistants

3.3%

Education

2.5%

Counseling Psychology

2.5%

Political Science

2.5%

Special Education

2.5%

Human Development

2.3%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.1%

School Counseling

1.9%

Elementary Education

1.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

38.1%

Other

24.9%

Masters

16.1%

Associate

13.1%

Certificate

5.2%

Diploma

1.4%

Doctorate

0.7%

License

0.5%
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Top Direct Service Professional Employers

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Jobs From Top Direct Service Professional Employers

Direct Service Professional Videos

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