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Working as a Direct Support Worker

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a direct support worker. For example, did you know that they make an average of $10.79 an hour? That's $22,434 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 Worker Do

There are certain skills that many direct support workers 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.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a direct support worker, we found that a lot of resumes listed 16.7% of direct support workers included intellectual disabilities, while 13.4% of resumes included personal care, and 9.4% of resumes included daily living activities. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

How To Become a Direct Support Worker

If you're interested in becoming a direct support worker, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 26.9% of direct support workers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 4.8% of direct support workers have master's degrees. Even though some direct support workers 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 worker. When we researched the most common majors for a direct support worker, 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 worker resumes include associate degree degrees or diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a direct support worker. In fact, many direct support worker jobs require experience in a role such as cashier. Meanwhile, many direct support workers also have previous career experience in roles such as certified nursing assistant or sales associate.

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Average Salary$22,434
Job Growth Rate36%

Direct Support Worker Career Paths

Top Careers Before Direct Support Worker

Cashier
19.2 %

Top Careers After Direct Support Worker

Cashier
10.8 %

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 Worker

Direct Support Workers in America make an average salary of $22,434 per year or $11 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $27,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $18,000 per year.
Average Salary
$22,434

Best Paying Cities

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Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Direct Support Worker
Direct Support Worker
Oconomowoc Residential Programs
Oconomowoc Residential Programs
08/20/2020
08/20/2020
$24,00108/20/2020
$24,001
Direct Support Worker-Group Home
Direct Support Worker-Group Home
Oconomowoc Residential Programs
Oconomowoc Residential Programs
07/11/2020
07/11/2020
$26,60907/11/2020
$26,609
Direct Support Worker
Direct Support Worker
Oconomowoc Residential Programs
Oconomowoc Residential Programs
06/09/2020
06/09/2020
$24,00106/09/2020
$24,001
Caregiver/Direct Support Worker
Caregiver/Direct Support Worker
Leading Health Care of Louisiana
Leading Health Care of Louisiana
05/06/2020
05/06/2020
$15,13105/06/2020
$15,131
Direct Support Worker/Mental Health
Direct Support Worker/Mental Health
Oconomowoc Residential Programs
Oconomowoc Residential Programs
04/24/2020
04/24/2020
$22,95704/24/2020
$22,957

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Direct Support Worker Demographics

Gender

female

74.7 %

male

19.6 %

unknown

5.8 %

Ethnicity

White

61.5 %

Black or African American

17.2 %

Hispanic or Latino

11.0 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

66.7 %

French

22.2 %

Carrier

11.1 %
See More Demographics

Direct Support Worker Education

Majors

Nursing
16.6 %

Degrees

Bachelors

26.9 %

High School Diploma

26.5 %

Associate

19.5 %
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Direct Support Worker

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, 16.7% of direct support workers listed intellectual disabilities on their resume, but soft skills such as detail oriented and integrity are important as well.

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Top Direct Support Worker Employers

1. Arc of Acadiana
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$23,763
Direct Support Workers Hired: 
17+
2. ARCO, A Community Resource
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$22,379
Direct Support Workers Hired: 
11+
3. Resource Center for Independent Living
3.6
Avg. Salary: 
$23,105
Direct Support Workers Hired: 
10+
4. Independent Living Services
3.8
Avg. Salary: 
$25,703
Direct Support Workers Hired: 
9+
5. The Stepping Stones Group
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$23,427
Direct Support Workers Hired: 
8+
6. TARC
3.6
Avg. Salary: 
$24,705
Direct Support Workers Hired: 
7+
Updated October 2, 2020