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DSP Job Description

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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 $13.02 in 2020, the BLS reported, or $27,080 per year.

Home Health Aides salary

  • Top 10% Annual Salary: More than $36,990 ($17.78/hour)
  • Median Annual Salary: $27,080 ($13.02/hour)
  • Bottom 10% Annual Salary: Less than $20,130 ($9.68/hour)

Sam Amico is a reporter for and worked as a writer and editor at daily newspapers for more than a decade, covering everything from rock concerts to college football to courts and crime. He attended Kent State University and is the author of the book, "A Basketball Summer." He also is the co-host of a nationally-syndicated television show, "The Wine & Gold Zone."

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