State of Maryland


- Hourly / - BiWeekly /
- Monthly / $39,421.00-$64,814.00 Yearly






A Direct Care Assistant I is the intermediate level of work assisting in the care, treatment, habilitation or rehabilitation of mentally or physically ill patients, aged or developmentally disabled clients in State treatment facilities or community based programs.  Employees in this classification do not supervise other positions.

Employees in this classification receive moderate supervision from nursing staff or other designated healthcare administrator.  Employees may be assigned to day, evening, night or rotating shifts which may include holidays and weekends.  Employees are subject to call-in and overtime based on staffing needs.  The work involves the lifting and positioning of patients or clients and the lifting of wheelchairs and other heavy objects.

Positions in this classification are evaluated using the classification job evaluation methodology.  The use of this method involves comparing the assigned duties and responsibilities of a position to the job criteria found in the Nature of Work and Examples of Work sections of the class specification.

The Direct Care Trainee, Direct Care Assistant I and Direct Care Assistant II levels are differentiated on the basis of degree of supervisory control exercised by the supervisor over these employees.  The Direct Care Trainee learns to perform duties under close supervision.  The Direct Care Assistant I performs duties under close supervision at times and under general supervision at other times depending on the complexity of the specific duty being performed.  The Direct Care Assistant II performs the full range of duties and responsibilities under general supervision.


Observes, reports, and records information related to patient or client behavior and appearances into clinical records;

Provides activities of daily living including nourishment, personal hygiene, and grooming;

Lifts and positions patients/clients;

Carries out procedures for the safety of oneself and patients and clients who may pose a danger to themselves and others;

Interacts with and encourages patients/clients to participate in prescribed activities;

Reports and corrects, if possible, safety hazards in buildings and patient areas;

Attends and participates in team meetings where individual program plans (IPP), goals and treatment strategies are set or modified, in-service and other training courses;

Attends to patient or client infections and disposes of infectious waste;

Drives or escorts patients or clients to daily activities;

Collects patient specimens, charts, x-rays and other data and delivers them to appropriate locations on and off the facility;

Takes and records vital signs, disposes of soiled laundry and cleans accidental spillage;

Assists licensed staff in carrying out prescribed treatment programs;

Completes records describing clients' behavior, physical limitations and skill level;

Performs other related duties.


Knowledge of medical terminology, procedures, practices and notation;

Knowledge of techniques used in teaching self-help skills and the application of goal planning principles;

Knowledge of the provisions and applications of patient or client Bill of Rights;

Ability to comprehend and follow instructions and maintain confidential information;

Ability to add, subtract, multiply, divide and work with fractions;

Ability to make and clearly describe observations; Ability to carry out safety procedures;

Ability to establish and maintain working relationships with patients or clients and their family members, supervisors, and staff;

Ability to communicate effectively with patients, clients, supervisors, co-workers and the general public.


Education:   Graduation from an accredited high school or possession of a high school equivalency certificate.

Experience: Six months of experience in work assisting in the care, treatment, habilitation or rehabilitation of mentally or physically ill patients, aged or developmentally disabled clients.


1. Applicants may substitute experience in patient or client direct care on a year-for-year basis for up to four years of the required education.

2. Candidates may substitute U.S. Armed Forces military service experience as a non-commissioned officer in Hospital Corpsman classifications or Health Care Specialist and Medical Services specialty codes in the health related field of work on a year-for-year basis for the required experience.   


1. Candidates for positions in this classification must possess a current certificate as a Nursing Assistant from the Maryland State Board of Nursing OR within sixty days from date of hire and prior to performing delegated nursing tasks, must have successfully completed a Board of Nursing approved Nursing Assistant training program and received certification as a Nursing Assistant from the Board of Nursing.

2. Employees in this classification located in facilities that provide long term care for the aged may be required to possess or obtain a Geriatric Aide certificate.

3. Employees in this classification may be assigned duties which require the operation of a motor vehicle. Employees assigned such duties will be required to possess a motor vehicle operator's license valid in the State of Maryland.

4. Some employees in this classification may be required to operate vans which require a specific motor vehicle operator's license valid in the State of Maryland.

5. Employees in this classification may be required to successfully complete training in and maintain current cardiopulmonary resuscitation certification.


1. Employees in this classification must have successfully completed a direct care training course or examination approved by the hiring facility prior to permanent appointment to a position.

2. Employees in this classification are subject to call-in and will be required to provide the facility with a telephone number at which they can be reached.

3. Employees in this classification are subject to substance abuse testing in accordance with Code of Maryland Regulations 17.04.09, Testing for Illegal Use of Drugs.


Class specifications are broad descriptions covering groups of positions used by various State departments and agencies. Position descriptions maintained by the using department or agency specifically address the essential job functions of each position.

This is a Skilled Service classification in the State Personnel Management System.  All positions in this classification are Skilled Service positions.  Some positions in Skilled Service classifications may be designated Special Appointment in accordance with the State Personnel and Pensions Article, Section 6-405, Annotated Code of Maryland.

This classification is assigned to Bargaining Unit D, Health and Human Service Nonprofessionals classes.  As provided by the State Personnel and Pensions Article, Section 3-102, special appointment, temporary, contractual, supervisory, managerial and confidential employees are excluded from collective bargaining.  Additionally, certain executive branch agencies are exempt from collective bargaining and all positions in those agencies are excluded from collective bargaining.

Employees in this classification are eligible to receive overtime compensation.   An employee who works more than the normal workweek is entitled to be compensated for that overtime, as provided by the State Personnel and Pensions Article, Section 8-305.

This classification is one level in a Non-Competitive Promotion (NCP) series.  NCP promotions are promotions by which employees may advance in grade and class level from trainee to full performance level in a classification series.  In order to be non-competitively promoted to the next level in a NCP series, an employee must: 1) perform the main purpose of the class, as defined by the Nature of Work section of the class specification; 2) receive the type of supervision defined in the class specification and 3) meet the minimum qualifications of the classification. 

Date Revised

August 31, 2018 

Approved By

Director, Division of Classification and Salary

CLASS: 004002; REV: 7/1/2020;

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