I work as a residential support worker with adults with autism, specializing in working with very aggressive people with autism. I have worked in this field since 2003 for the same organisation and the pay, though not the focus, is pretty decent here in Australia.
Great job - can be very draining sometimes and I've had some very near misses in the past but it is the communication / psychology side that really gets me. I have been asked a couple times if I want to move up into the supervisor / management side of things but I enjoy being at the front as supervisors are tucked away safely in offices away from the clients - I prefer getting shit done AKA proactive instead of making up strategies that sound good on paper but in real life usually useless. The further up the food chain, the more disconnected and deluded your decisions IMO.
I love having a breakthrough working with someone who doesn't communicate in the usual way - verbal etc. I feel like I am making a positive contribution in supporting individual's achieving the best quality of life and try to find their passion and encourage their gift - music for example. Another good part is community access as I enjoy the national parks we have in OZ.
That's absolutely great. Getting the best out of others, and in particular from people that society tends to isolate. And indeed there's nothing like getting the job done yourself, agreed.