Direct support workforce supporting individuals with IDD: Current wages, benefits, and stability

Matthew D. Bogenschutz, Amy S Hewitt, Derek K Nord, Renee Hepperlen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Direct support professionals (DSPs) and frontline supervisors (FLSs) play an integral role in the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and are often the individuals directly responsible for assisting people with IDD to live and fully participate in their communities. These two groups of workers have typically been employed at lower wages with limited access to fringe benefits, contributing to high rates of turnover compared to a similarly skilled worker in the United States. This article summarizes findings and is the first investigation in several years to systematically examine the wages, fringe benefits, and stability of the DSP and FLS workforces supporting individuals with IDD. Findings suggest that a typical DSP may expect to earn about $11.25 per hour, while FLSs may expect wages of about $15.45 hourly. Of concern, however, is that fringe benefit provision was quite limited in this sample. Implications, including relation to past reports of DSP workforce development, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-329
Number of pages13
JournalIntellectual and developmental disabilities
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

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  • Community supports
  • Direct support
  • Frontline supervision
  • Intellectual and developmental disabilities


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