Learn how to become a direct support worker.

Direct support workers assist others with daily activities. Direct support jobs are flexible and rewarding — and vital to many people's lives.

What is a PCA?

A personal care assistant, or PCA, is the most common type of direct support worker. To become a PCA, you must complete an online training course and pass a one-time test and a background study. You don't need experience to complete the training or become a PCA. For details, check out PCA consumer information from the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

Who hires PCAs?

PCAs can be hired by a PCA agency or directly by a person who receives services.

If you'd like to work for an agency, search for local PCA agencies at MinnesotaHelp.info. If hired, the agency will assign your work.

If you'd rather work directly for the person who receives services, create your profile on Direct Support Connect to begin making connections. Once hired, you'll need to be affiliated with the person's PCA Choice agency (which bills the state for PCA services and pays and withholds taxes for direct support workers)

What about an UMPI number?

Whether you work for a PCA agency or directly for the person who receives services, you'll need to enroll as a direct support worker with the Minnesota Department of Human Services. When you enroll, you'll be given a Unique Minnesota Provider Identifier, or UMPI, number. Providing your UMPI number allows Direct Support Connect to verify your background check.

What are some of the other types of Direct Support Workers?

Consumer Directed Community Supports (CDCS) worker
As a CDCS worker, you're hired directly by a person who receives CDCS services. You must pass a background study and become affiliated with the person's selected fiscal support entity (which provides fiscal management services to people using self-directed support services). You can find more CDCS worker information here.
Consumer Support Grant (CSG) worker
As a CSG worker, you're hired directly by a person who receives CSG services. You must become affiliated with the person's selected fiscal support entity. You can find more CSG worker information here.
Photo of support worker and their employer