A direct support professional, or DSP, provides one-on-one care for a person who has become injured or ill, or mentally or physically challenged at birth. DSP workers typically work in residences, but might also be employed in a group setting at a health-care center.
DSP workers assist patients in eating, bathing, dressing and getting to and from appointments. DSP workers also play a crucial role in helping patients relax.
DSP workers must possess sound communication skills and the strength to lift patients when needed. They should own a high degree of integrity, patience and compassion.
There are no set education requirements to become a DSP worker. Many are expected to possess a high school diploma, but most are able to be taught by other health-care professionals while on the job.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for home health aides such as DSP workers are expected to increase by 48 percent, or more than four times the national average, from 2012 to 2022.
Home health aides earned a median hourly wage of $10.01 in 2012, the BLS reported, or$20,820 per year.
2016 Salary Information for Home Health Aides
Home health aides earned a median annual salary of $22,600 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, home health aides earned a 25th percentile salary of $19,890, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $25,760, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 911,500 people were employed in the U.S. as home health aides.