What is a Direct Support Associate

Direct support associates provide direct care to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Your duties include administering their prescribed medication, supervising their meal preparation, scheduling organization, and producing patient progress report. You will also be expected to coach patients to develop money management, income-building skills, and social skills. You must foster and maintain a supportive relationship with your clients.

Some of your other duties include assisting patients with ADL's, performing first aid, CPR, and handling emergency calls/situations as needed. It is equally important that you adhere to confidentiality guidelines as outlined by organization policy and HIPAA regulations. A direct support associate must be empathetic, patient, detail-oriented, easy to communicate with, and possess great interpersonal skills.

Other important skills are intellectual disabilities, independent living, emotional support, personal care, and daily routines. Direct support associates make an average of $10.39 per hour and $21,000 yearly.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a Direct Support Associate. For example, did you know that they make an average of $14.08 an hour? That's $29,280 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 Support Associate Do

There are certain skills that many Direct Support Associates 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 Support Associate does

How To Become a Direct Support Associate

If you're interested in becoming a Direct Support Associate, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 31.2% of Direct Support Associates have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 2.7% of Direct Support Associates have master's degrees. Even though some Direct Support Associates have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a Direct Support Associate. When we researched the most common majors for a Direct Support Associate, we found that they most commonly earn Bachelor's Degree degrees or High School Diploma degrees. Other degrees that we often see on Direct Support Associate resumes include Associate Degree degrees or Diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a Direct Support Associate. In fact, many Direct Support Associate jobs require experience in a role such as Cashier. Meanwhile, many Direct Support Associates also have previous career experience in roles such as Certified Nursing Assistant or Customer Service Representative.

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. JPMorgan Chase & Co. Jobs (12)
  2. Walmart Jobs (15)
  3. RHA Health Services Jobs (232)
  4. Support Solutions of The Mid-South Jobs (4)
  5. The Mosaic Company Jobs (661)
Average Salary
$29,280
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
36%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
84,956
Job Openings
resume document icon

Don't Have A Professional Resume?

0 selections

Direct Support Associate Career Paths

Direct Support Associate Jobs You Might Like

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Direct Support Associate

Direct Support Associates in America make an average salary of $29,280 per year or $14 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $42,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $20,000 per year.
Average Salary
$29,280
Find Your Salary Estimate
How much should you be earning as an Direct Support Associate? Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to get an estimation of how much you should be earning.
See More Salary Information

Calculate your salary

Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to see how your pay matches up.

5 Direct Support Associate Resume Examples

Learn How To Write a Direct Support Associate Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Direct Support Associate resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Direct Support Associate Resume Examples And Templates

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. JPMorgan Chase & Co. Jobs (12)
  2. Walmart Jobs (15)
  3. RHA Health Services Jobs (232)
  4. Support Solutions of The Mid-South Jobs (4)
  5. The Mosaic Company Jobs (661)

Choose From 10+ Customizable Direct Support Associate Resume templates

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

Direct Support Associate Resume
Direct Support Associate Resume
Direct Support Associate Resume
Direct Support Associate Resume
Direct Support Associate Resume
Direct Support Associate Resume
Direct Support Associate Resume
Direct Support Associate Resume
Direct Support Associate Resume
Direct Support Associate Resume
Direct Support Associate Resume
Direct Support Associate Resume
Direct Support Associate Resume
Direct Support Associate Resume
Direct Support Associate Resume
Direct Support Associate Resume

Direct Support Associate Demographics

Direct Support Associate Gender Statistics

female

73.8 %

male

26.2 %

Direct Support Associate Ethnicity Statistics

White

67.1 %

Hispanic or Latino

12.2 %

Black or African American

10.1 %

Direct Support Associate Foreign Languages Spoken Statistics

Spanish

50.0 %

French

14.5 %

German

5.3 %
Job Openings

Find the best Direct Support Associate job for you

0 selections
0 selections

Direct Support Associate Jobs You Might Like

Direct Support Associate Education

Direct Support Associate Majors

13.3 %
10.5 %

Direct Support Associate Degrees

Bachelors

31.2 %

High School Diploma

29.2 %

Associate

20.6 %
Job Openings

Find the best Direct Support Associate job for you

0 selections
0 selections

Direct Support Associate Jobs You Might Like

Online Courses For Direct Support Associate That You May Like

Supporting Families and Caregivers
coursera

This course takes a deep dive into the challenges families and friends of a patient with serious illness face and how you can care for and support them as a provider, social worker or family friend. Supporting Families and Caregivers especially focuses on the children of a patient with serious illness and their caregiver, and teaches you the best way to empower them to get the support they need. By the end of this course, you will be able to provide critical avenues of support for the people who...

Traditional herbal medicine in supportive cancer care: From alternative to integrative
coursera

Please join us for an exciting and innovative journey, examining one of the most important and often overlooked aspects of the oncology setting: Traditional Herbal Medicine in Supportive Cancer Care. This course is presented with short lectures offering a wide range of issues related to the principles and practice of herbal medicine in cancer care. The course includes interviews with leading world experts from the field of Integrative Oncology, from the U.S. and Canada, as well as Europe, the Mi...

Severe to Profound Intellectual Disability: Circles of Care and Education
coursera

This course is about caring for and educating children (and youth) with severe to profound intellectual disability. We use the idea of 'circles' to position the child at the center of the many levels of support needed. Around the child are circles of care and education - such as the parents, family, friends, caregivers, educators, health care workers and others such as neighbors, business owners and community members. Each one has an important role to play in the life of a person with an intelle...

Show More Direct Support Associate Courses
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Direct Support Associate

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, 22.8% of Direct Support Associates listed Intellectual Disabilities on their resume, but soft skills such as Detail oriented and Integrity are important as well.

Best States For a Direct Support Associate

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a Direct Support Associate. The best states for people in this position are Oregon, Alaska, New York, and Washington. Direct Support Associates make the most in Oregon with an average salary of $36,872. Whereas in Alaska and New York, they would average $35,334 and $34,748, respectively. While Direct Support Associates would only make an average of $34,196 in Washington, 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 York

Total Direct Support Associate Jobs:
2,833
Highest 10% Earn:
$54,000
Location Quotient:
1.93
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Pennsylvania

Total Direct Support Associate Jobs:
2,126
Highest 10% Earn:
$46,000
Location Quotient:
1.6
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Washington

Total Direct Support Associate Jobs:
1,234
Highest 10% Earn:
$45,000
Location Quotient:
1.48
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Direct Support Associates

How Do Direct Support Associate Rate Their Jobs?

Working as a Direct Support Associate? Share your experience anonymously.
Do you work as a Direct Support Associate?
Rate how you like work as Direct Support Associate. It's anonymous and will only take a minute.

Top Direct Support Associate Employers

Most Common Employers For Direct Support Associate

RankCompanyZippia ScoreAverage Direct Support Associate SalaryAverage Salary
1$128,074
2$30,778
3$29,047
4$27,935
5$27,845
6$27,731

Direct Support Associate Videos