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Become A Direct Support Professional

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Working As A Direct Support Professional

  • 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 Support Professional Do

A Direct Support Professional provides assistance to disabled clients or to people recovering from serious illnesses. They are responsible for helping patients with daily activities.

How To Become A Direct Support 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.


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


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 Support Professional jobs

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Direct Support Professional Demographics


  • Female

  • Male

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • German

  • Chinese

  • Mandarin

  • Arabic

  • Russian

  • Carrier

  • Somali

  • Japanese

  • Hmong

  • Dakota

  • Tagalog

  • Portuguese

  • Italian

  • Swahili

  • Korean

  • Hindi

  • Swedish

  • Ukrainian

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Direct Support Professional

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Direct Support Professional Education

Direct Support Professional

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Real Direct Support Professional Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Director, Production Commercialization DSP Platforms DTS, Inc. Los Gatos, CA Jan 05, 2016 $190,000 -
DSP Design Manager Cavium Networks Sunnyvale, CA Mar 14, 2011 $169,000
DSP Design Manager Wavesat USA Inc. San Mateo, CA Oct 01, 2010 $165,000
Director, Product Commercialization, DSP Platforms DTS, Inc. Los Gatos, CA May 01, 2013 $147,368 -
DSP Design Manager Cavium Networks Sunnyvale, CA Mar 14, 2011 $140,650 -
DSP Design Manager Wavesat USA Inc. San Mateo, CA Oct 01, 2010 $121,680 -
Coordinator/Direct Support Professional Friendship Home, Inc. Norwell, MA Aug 01, 2015 $33,809

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Top Skills for A Direct Support Professional


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Top Direct Support Professional Skills

  1. Daily Living Skills
  2. Direct Support
  3. Assistance
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided hands on support for adults with developmental disabilities for daily living skills, medication administration, and documentation of services.
  • Direct Support Professional Cared for individuals with severe to profound mental retardation Assisted individuals with daily activities i.e.
  • Provided assistance to developmentally disabled adults in a community residential environment to acquire and maintain independent living skills.
  • Provide services to children, adults and the elderly with developmental disabilities and/or behavioral health issues.
  • Support included counseling, education, physical aid, transportation and personal care for 5 adults daily.

Top Direct Support Professional Employers

Direct Support Professional Videos

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