Senior Direct Support Professional 

(Female, Age 28) from East Rochester, NY

This is a REAL-LIFE job profile written by a Female aged 28 who works as a Senior Direct Support Professional in East Rochester, NY. We have removed all names and personal information in order to protect privacy. This professional kindly spent a bit of their time to complete one of our job profile surveys so that prospective job seekers like you could read their insights. Please excuse any punctuation or grammatical errors in this profile.

At a Glance

Current Job

Basic data on your current job

Job Title Senior Direct Support Professional
Salary $26,500
Other Compensation None Set
Hours/Week 40
Company Size (not answered)
Location East Rochester, NY
Years Experience 3 years

Career Ratings

Opinions on your CAREER overall (i.e. not just your current job)

Years in Career 0
Education (not answered)
Income Rating 0 / 10
Interest Rating 0 / 10
Work-Life Rating 0 / 10
Fulfilment Rating 0 / 10

Current job Q&A

Describe the type of organization you work for.
I work for an agency that supports people with developmental disabilities. We have 1500 employees, and I do not know how many people we serve.

Describe your job role and responsibilities.
Personal care and individualized programming for people with developmental disabilities, in a day/workplace environment.

Please list an additional benefits (beyond compensation) that you receive.
3 weeks vacation, 6 days sick time, health insurance through blue cross, flexible spending/health reimbursement plan, 403b retirement plan (for nonprofits)

Do you feel you are under/over or well/fairly compensated at your current position?

Does your job entail you working with others on a daily basis? Is this something you like/dislike about your job? Please explain.
I work closely with clients and I enjoy it very much. I also work closely with about 10 staff and that is often more difficult. Right now, we have created a strong team.

Do you work collaboratively with supervisors/managers?

Do you work collaboratively with your co-workers?

Describe your work location (e.g., office, home, theatre, in the field) and what you like/dislike about working in it.
I work in a day habilitation program, but it is really just two rooms that our agency rents from a church. I like how our agency uses community resources.

Please rate each of the following aspects of your current job on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest/best):
Income: 5
Benefits: 6
Hours: 3
Co-Workers: 4
Supervisors: 7
Job Title: 8
Level of Responsibility: 2
The Actual Work: 1

A day in the life of…

Please describe a typical workday for you in your current job:

5am to 6am
6am to 7am
7am to 8am Arrived at a residence to leave my car and pick up a van. Every morning I transport 4-6 people with developmental disabilities from their individual houses to our worksite. Many are in wheelchairs and require the use of a lift van. This is often exhausting work, securing the wheelchairs in the van and making sure everyone has what they need before we leave each house. Hot and cold weather is a big factor.
8am to 9am Continue to transport individuals, stopping at 4-6 houses. Van drivers are the same staff that work at the site all day. This is a huge positive in our agency, being able to have face time with each person’s residence staff as we pick them up and drop them off.
9am to 10am Arrive at the day program site, and assist (never say “unload”) individuals to come inside and prepare for their day (take coats off, put away lunches, lookat and discuss the scheduled activites, personal hygiene/assistance to use restroom)
10am to 11am Individualized programming time. This may include assisting individuals to volunteer in the community, work on daily living skills, socialize, exercise, etc., as determined by their individual goals.
11am to 12pm Individualized programming time. In addition, and at the same time, I may be administering medications, assisting with physical interventions if a crisis arises, implementing behavior guidelines, etc.
12pm to 1pm Assist individuals with lunch, which may include setting up/cleaning up, physical assistance to eat, or supervision for safety while eating based on swallowing conditions that may exist. I have been trained about various adaptive food consistencies that individuals may need such as a pureed diet, ground diet, thickened liquids, etc.
1pm to 2pm Cleaning up activities and lunch area, and assisting individuals with freshening.
2pm to 3pm Getting ready to get back on the van for the ride home, dropping off individuals at their residences along the way. This includes gathering personal belongings, assisting individuals onto the van, checking safety lists for necessary items, etc.
3pm to 4pm Finish driving the van at 4 and pick up my own car to drive home.
4pm to 5pm
5pm to 6pm
6pm to 7pm
7pm to 8pm
8pm to 9pm
9pm to 10pm
10pm to 11pm
11pm to 12am

Table of Contents

How you got your job

How did you get your current job?
Family referral

What was the application process?
open interviews with paper application

Did you have to interview for your current job? If yes, what did the interview process entail?
One interview with a recruiter, then a site visit to tour and meet my potential supervisor.

If you can remember, what questions were you asked during the interview?
Many, many questions about personal integrity, opinions on standards of care, compliance with agency policies, etc. Past examples of good and bad experiences in human services field.

Do you feel your employer properly prepared you for your job? Explain.
Yes, very well. Besides the official required trainings, I often worked side-by-side with a coworker or supervisor at first to “shadow” and learn the details that are so important to providing quality services.

Was there training for your current position? If yes, what did it entail?
Yes, there was a general orientation, training in human development, standards and abuse reporting, crisis intervention, first aid/cpr, medical administration, and a course through the college of direct support.

Do you feel your educational background prepared you for your job? Explain.
While my degree was not directly related or even required, I feel that my organization and literacy skills have made me more competent.

If applicable, do you feel your internship experience helped you prepare for your job?

If someone wanted to go about getting a job similar to yours, what would you recommend for him or her to do?
Get to know someone who works for the agency. There may be open interviews, but personal referrals are taken much more seriously, and are highly sought after by recruiters.

What skills do you think a person should have if they want to pursue a position like yours?
A strong sense of personal responsibility and an appreciation for providing quality services.

Do you feel that you need a certain level of education or training to be successful in your job?
Training is provided onsite and through the agency. Programs are made available through the College of Direct Support.

What advice would you give to someone who was about to start work in your position/ line of work?
Ask around to know in advance if your potential agency has a good reputation for quality services and job satisfaction. I switched agencies to do the same job somewhere else, where I knew I’d be happier with the standards.

Long-term career plans

Is your current employment part of your overall career plan? Why or why not?
Yes, because it is the only job that feels satisfying enough. I need to know that I contribute something to someone else’s life.

What are your current career goals?
I am taking evening classes to become a sign language interpreter within the same field.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your career?

Prior work history

Please list your most recent jobs prior to this current job:

Title Length Salary Description
Prior Job 1 Treatment Coordinator 1 year 26500 Supervisor for staff and participants in a day habilitation program.
Prior Job 2 Service Volunteer 2 years stipend Full-time volunteer with room and board at a farm that employs and houses people with developmental disabilities.

Educational background

Please list your educational background:

High School GPA:3.8

GPA School Degree
College (Undergraduate)
or Technical/Vocational
3.6 Alfred University Art and Design BFA
Graduate or Professional
(Masters or Doctorate)