The direct support staff is a professional who takes responsibility for the overall care of people with developmental disabilities. Direct support professionals work directly with developmental illness patients in long-term health care facilities. They perform their jobs as home health and companion care providers who assist their clients in their daily movements and actions. It is their duty to ensure the comfort and safety of their clients. Also, they encourage behaviors and attitudes which strengthen community inclusion.

Take a few minutes to create or upgrade your resume. Browse through our resume examples to identify the best way to word your resume. Then choose from 10+ resume templates to create your Direct Support Staff resume.

Direct Support Staff Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real direct support staff resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Ensure HIPAA compliance and provide client education.
  • Perform first aid, CPR and seizure care when require.
  • Assist mentally disable adults with ADL such as bathing cooking clothing, cleaning and medication administration.
  • Administer medication, provide transportation, assist with ADL skills, and inspire consumers to be independent.
  • Provide caring and companionship to elderly and developmentally disable consumers and provide primary resident care and assistance with daily living activities.
  • Maintain a safe and supportive environment while learning proper case management and the importance of ISP's and BSP's.
  • Conduct, ISP s, monthly reports, safety assessments, family service plans, crises safety plans and progress notes.
  • Care for residents that have dementia, Alzheimer's, and other health conditions relate to aging.
  • Train to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
  • Administer care to MRDD patients in a group home setting.
  • Assist MRDD (mentally retard disable disabilities) with daily living skills.
  • Implement behavioral plans for children with autism to teach communication, social, self-help, and play skills

Direct Support Staff Job Description

Between the years 2018 and 2028, direct support staff jobs are expected to undergo a growth rate described as "much faster than average" at 36%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So if the thought "should I become a direct support staff?" Has crossed your mind, maybe you should take the growth rate into account. In addition, the number of direct support staff opportunities that are projected to become available by 2028 is 1,185,800.

A direct support staff annual salary averages $31,268, which breaks down to $15.03 an hour. However, direct support staff can earn anywhere from upwards of $18,000 to $53,000 a year. This means that the top-earning direct support staff make $25,000 more than the lowest-earning ones.

Once you've become a direct support staff, you may be curious about what other opportunities are out there. Careers aren't one size fits all. For that reason, we discovered some other jobs that you may find appealing. Some jobs you might find interesting include an attending, ambulatory care, companion, provider, and habilitation specialist.

Learn More About Direct Support Staff Job Descriptions
Find Better Talent in Less Time
Post a Job on Zippia and take the best from over 7 million monthly job seekers.

Direct Support Staff Jobs You Might Like

12 Direct Support Staff Resume Examples

Direct Support Staff Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 17% of Direct Support Staff are proficient in Direct Support, Direct Care, and Transport Clients. They’re also known for soft skills such as Detail oriented, Integrity, and Interpersonal skills.

We break down the percentage of Direct Support Staff that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Direct Support, 17%

    Direct support provides services assisting in the daily living for mentally challenged adults including transportation to special events and personal appointments.

  • Direct Care, 11%

    Provided direct care to individuals with developmental disabilities in attempt to help them gain autonomy and integrate into the community.

  • Transport Clients, 11%

    Transport clients to locations outside of home, such as physicians' offices, or outings, using a motor vehicle.

  • Good Judgment, 9%

    Have a good judgment and able to handle crisis situations.

  • Home Maintenance, 7%

    Train persons served on daily living skills such as meal planning/preparation, shopping, grooming, job skills, home maintenance/cleaning.

  • Ongoing Support, 7%

    Complete service documentation to record interventions and supports provided and reflect the goals and ongoing supports of the individuals served.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Direct Support Staff Resume templates

Build a professional Direct Support Staff resume in minutes. Browse through our resume examples to identify the best way to word your resume. Then choose from 10+ resume templates to create your Direct Support Staff resume.

Direct Support Staff Resume
Direct Support Staff Resume
Direct Support Staff Resume
Direct Support Staff Resume
Direct Support Staff Resume
Direct Support Staff Resume
Direct Support Staff Resume
Direct Support Staff Resume
Direct Support Staff Resume
Direct Support Staff Resume
Direct Support Staff Resume
Direct Support Staff Resume
Direct Support Staff Resume
Direct Support Staff Resume
Direct Support Staff Resume
Direct Support Staff Resume

Most direct support staff list "direct support," "direct care," and "transport clients" as skills on their resumes. We go into more details on the most important direct support staff responsibilities here:

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for a direct support staff to have happens to be detail oriented. An example from a resume said this about the skill, "home health aides and personal care aides must adhere to specific rules and protocols and carefully follow instructions to help take care of clients" Additionally, other resumes have pointed out that direct support staff can use detail oriented to "maintain detailed monitoring and data collection logs and records for clients. "
  • While it may not be the most important skill, we found that many direct support staff duties rely on integrity. This example from a direct support staff explains why: "home health aides and personal care aides should make clients feel comfortable when they tend to personal activities, such as helping a client bathe." This resume example is just one of many ways direct support staff are able to utilize integrity: "entrusted with the care of both developmentally disabled clients and those with mental health conditions. "
  • Another skill that is quite popular among direct support staff is interpersonal skills. This skill is very critical to fulfilling every day responsibilities as is shown in this example from a direct support staff resume: "home health aides and personal care aides must work closely with clients" This example from a resume shows how this skill is used: "helped enrich participant's interpersonal and communication skills with community outings and recreation on the farm. "
  • A thorough review of lots of resumes revealed to us that "physical stamina" is important to completing direct support staff responsibilities. This resume example shows just one way direct support staff use this skill: "home health aides and personal care aides should be comfortable performing physical tasks" Here's an example of how this skill is used from a resume that represents typical direct support staff tasks: "provide emotional and physical support. "
  • See the full list of direct support staff skills.

    Before becoming a direct support staff, 30.1% earned their bachelor's degree. When it comes down to graduating with a master's degree, 3.1% direct support staff went for the extra education. If you're wanting to pursue this career, it may be possible to be successful with a high school degree. In fact, some direct support staff have a college degree. But about one out of every three direct support staff didn't attend college at all.

    The direct support staff who went onto college to earn a more in-depth education generally studied psychology and business, while a small population of direct support staff studied nursing and criminal justice.

    Once you've obtained the level of education you're comfortable with, you might start applying to companies to become a direct support staff. We've found that most direct support staff resumes include experience from Advocates, The Salvation Army, and Preferred Family Healthcare. Of recent, Advocates had 57 positions open for direct support staff. Meanwhile, there are 36 job openings at The Salvation Army and 25 at Preferred Family Healthcare.

    If you're interested in companies where direct support staff make the most money, you'll want to apply for positions at Rockwell Medical, El Paso Electric, and Maxim Healthcare Group. We found that at Rockwell Medical, the average direct support staff salary is $113,084. Whereas at El Paso Electric, direct support staff earn roughly $95,225. And at Maxim Healthcare Group, they make an average salary of $40,589.

    View more details on direct support staff salaries across the United States.

    In general, direct support staff fulfill roles in the non profits and government industries. While employment numbers are high in those industries, the direct support staff annual salary is the highest in the professional industry with $30,215 as the average salary. Meanwhile, the education and non profits industries pay $30,072 and $29,886 respectively. This means that direct support staff who are employed in the professional industry make 1.3% more than direct support staff who work in the health care Industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious direct support staffs are:

    Build a professional resume in minutes.

    Our AI resume builder helps you write a compelling and relevant resume for the jobs you want. See 10+ resume templates and create your resume here.

    resume document icon

    Don't Have A Professional Resume?

    What Attending, Ambulatory Cares Do

    An attending, ambulatory care is responsible for providing patient care, supporting ongoing treatment of health issues, and managing recovery through coordinating with attending physicians or other medical professionals. They evaluate medical records, including history and consultation purposes, develop a necessary care plan, keep an accurate medical chart, and schedule laboratory tests and follow-up as needed. An attending, ambulatory care must have extensive knowledge of the medical principles and disciplines to monitor the patients' condition and observe medical measures.

    We looked at the average direct support staff annual salary and compared it with the average of an attending, ambulatory care. Generally speaking, attendings, ambulatory care receive $1,642 lower pay than direct support staff per year.

    While their salaries may differ, one common ground between direct support staff and attendings, ambulatory care are a few of the skills required in each craft. In both careers, employees bring forth skills like direct care, good judgment, and home maintenance.

    There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a direct support staff responsibilities require skills like "direct support," "excellent interpersonal," "team-oriented environment," and "transport clients." Meanwhile a typical attending, ambulatory care has skills in areas such as "patients," "customer service," "quality care," and "rehabilitation." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

    Attendings, ambulatory care really shine in the government industry with an average salary of $30,236. Whereas direct support staff tend to make the most money in the professional industry with an average salary of $30,215.

    On average, attendings, ambulatory care reach similar levels of education than direct support staff. Attendings, ambulatory care are 0.0% less likely to earn a Master's Degree and 0.2% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Companion?

    A companion is responsible for assisting sick and recovered patients, as well as the elderly. Companions perform housekeeping duties, ensuring that a facility is well-maintained and safe for the use of the patients. They also monitor the patients' medication, prepare their meals based on a medical professional's prescription, support them on their daily activities, respond to the patients' needs and special requests as allowed, and report any developments to their family or guardians. A companion must be compassionate enough to extend physical and emotional support, depending on the client's condition.

    The next role we're going to look at is the companion profession. Typically, this position earns a lower pay. In fact, they earn a $2,022 lower salary than direct support staff per year.

    Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Direct support staff and companions both include similar skills like "direct care," "meal prep," and "independent living" on their resumes.

    While some skills are similar in these professions, other skills aren't so similar. For example, several resumes showed us that direct support staff responsibilities requires skills like "direct support," "excellent interpersonal," "team-oriented environment," and "transport clients." But a companion might use skills, such as, "companionship," "patients," "home health," and "provide emotional support."

    On average, companions earn a lower salary than direct support staff. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, companions earn the most pay in the non profits industry with an average salary of $30,973. Whereas, direct support staff have higher paychecks in the professional industry where they earn an average of $30,215.

    On the topic of education, companions earn similar levels of education than direct support staff. In general, they're 0.0% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.2% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Provider Compares

    Health care providers are health professionals and health organizations offering health care treatment and diagnosis services. These professionals play significant roles with patients through consultation, treatment, and advice. The health care they provide is of different variations. They even perform other procedures depending on the needs of the patients. Their responsibilities include comprehensive care and specialist work. Also, they help in duties, medication, and housekeeping. They transport clients to and from errands, activities, and appointments.

    The provider profession generally makes a higher amount of money when compared to the average salary of direct support staff. The difference in salaries is providers making $30,644 higher than direct support staff.

    While looking through the resumes of several direct support staff and providers we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "excellent interpersonal," "direct care," and "mental health," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

    Some important key differences between the two careers are a few of the skills necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Some examples from direct support staff resumes include skills like "direct support," "team-oriented environment," "transport clients," and "good judgment," whereas a provider might be skilled in "patients," "healthcare," "customer service," and "cpr. "

    Providers make a very good living in the health care industry with an average annual salary of $55,214. Whereas direct support staff are paid the highest salary in the professional industry with the average being $30,215.

    When it comes to education, providers tend to earn similar education levels than direct support staff. In fact, they're 3.6% more likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 0.6% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Habilitation Specialist

    The fourth career we look at typically earns higher pay than direct support staff. On average, habilitation specialists earn a difference of $3,329 higher per year.

    While both direct support staff and habilitation specialists complete day-to-day tasks using similar skills like direct support, money management, and behavioral issues, the two careers also vary in other skills.

    While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "excellent interpersonal," "team-oriented environment," "direct care," and "transport clients" are skills that have shown up on direct support staff resumes. Additionally, habilitation specialist uses skills like developmental disabilities, cpr, opwdd, and habilitation services on their resumes.

    In general, habilitation specialists make a higher salary in the non profits industry with an average of $33,867. The highest direct support staff annual salary stems from the professional industry.

    The average resume of habilitation specialists showed that they earn similar levels of education to direct support staff. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 4.3% more. Additionally, they're more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 0.1%.