Behavior Analyst Job and Salary Outlook

There are a variety of careers that someone equipped with experience in behavior analysis can consider pursuing. A lot of different factors dictate what sort of behavior analyst careers are viable options for people, two important ones being education level and amount of experience.

A report from the BACB entitled US Employment Demand For Behavior Analysts stated that the annual demand for individuals certified as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst has increased approximately 1,942% from 2010 to 2018. This report also found that the demand for assistant behavior analysts is increasing at a rapid pace.

Behavior Analyst Salary

The salary potential for careers in behavior analysis depends largely on your education level, certification level, your years of experience in the field, and location in which you are practicing.

As previously mentioned, in order to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, students must graduate from a relevant master’s-level degree program. As such, most professionals in behavior analysis hold a masters degree in the hopes of maximizing their earning potential in the field.

According to The Economic Research Institute (ERI), the average salary for behavior analysts in the U.S. is $61,538. This figure boils down to about $30 per hour, and is based off of survey data from employers and employees from across the United States. The salary survey, conducted by the ERI, also revealed that salary expectations for behavior analysts are expected to rise by as much as 16% over the next five years as the profession continues to grow.

Behavior Analyst Job Description: What does a Behavior Analyst do?

A behavior analyst, on a daily basis, will perform a variety of job functions in an effort to help clients with behavioral difficulties. A behavior analyst will identify problematic behavior patterns, create plans to manage them, and provide assessments for individuals taking part in behavior therapy.

Behavior Analyst Certification

To become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), professionals must have been certified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). BCBAs carry out the varying job functions of behavior analysis and supervise assistants and technicians in the field.

Outside of board certified behavior analysts there are multiple other careers under the umbrella of behavior analysis. One is a career as a registered behavior technician, a job that requires a high school degree and involves working as a paraprofessional under the close supervision of a BCBA. The other is a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA), which is for those at the bachelors level and involves more responsibility than a behavior technician but still requires supervision from a masters or doctorate level BCBA.

Read more about certification requirements for ABA careers.

Where do Behavior Analysts Work?

Behavior analysts work in a variety of settings including schools, mental health care centers or clinics, and residential treatment centers. The specific populations that ABA professionals want to serve will usually dictate the settings that they practice in. For example, some behavior analysts wish to help children coping with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and will likely work in schools or private clinics. Be sure to review the state specific requirements for your intended location of practice.

Below are 3 potential workplaces for behavior analysts:

1.) Schools:

As one might expect, behavior analysts who are operating in school settings are working with children K-12 on correcting problematic or debilitating behaviors. In school settings, behavior analysts are typically focused specifically on correcting behaviors that disrupt a student’s ability to learn. Their primary goal is to create a behavior plan that will help students overcome behavioral obstacles to learning.

2.) Clinics and Residential Treatment Centers:

Behavior analysts who are conducting their work in clinics and treatment centers will have a plethora of job functions. Some of these daily tasks might include: conducting intake assessments, developing behavioral plans and coping tactics, and training patients on topics like conflict resolution and communication techniques.

3.) Hospitals:

Hospitals sometimes establish programs, services, or entire centers dedicated to helping individuals with behavioral disorders cope and thrive. Often these programs are aimed at younger individuals, like in the case of Nicklaus Children’s Hospital where an applied behavior analysis program has been set up to aid individuals younger than 21 who have been diagnosed with a developmental delay or maladaptive behaviors.