How Much Does A Behavior Analyst Make

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 3 minute read

In order to make an educated decision regarding your future profession, you need to know what to expect in terms of a wage.

The typical salary for behavioral analysts is in the mid $50,000 level, however, individuals with less experience and less education might make far less than this figure. 

If you want to make the most money as a behavior analyst, you may want to work your way up to a management position, but getting there frequently involves a combination of years of experience in the industry, as well as further schooling and certification.

Being a behavioral analyst not only means you get to make money but also means you get to help people and their families live happier healthier lives.

Pay Information for Behavior Analysts

The salaries of Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) aren’t the highest in the industry, but they aren’t the lowest either.

On the top end, incomes might reach $70,000 to $80,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Despite the vast variety of earnings, the Houston Chronicle cites an average annual wage of $57,354 for behavior analysts. Some behavior analyzers make less than $40,000 while others make more than $77,000.

Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBA) have a reduced earning potential. According to PayScale, the average annual compensation is $43,364.

Income Potential Affecting Factors

For what reason are behavior analysts’ wages so wildly different? Factors such as your degree of education, your level of experience, your level of seniority, your work environment, and your location all play a role in deciding your salary.

When it comes to making money, experience is a major factor. Applied behavior analysis professionals with a master’s degree may expect to earn $5,000 or more per year more than those in entry-level employment.

More experienced workers may expect to earn between $13,000 and $20,000 more than those who are just starting out in the workforce.

After five years of work experience, ABA professionals with a master’s degree earn the same as those with only a bachelor’s degree in terms of starting salaries.

ABA professionals who rise through the ranks to become assistant directors or program directors typically command the greatest salaries.

To become a BCBA, you must have a master’s or doctoral degree in behavioral science. You can only work as a BCaBA if you have a bachelor’s degree, not as a BCaBA on your own.

Things to Keep in Mind Regarding Behavior Analyst Salaries

Behavior analysts might earn a lot more than you might anticipate based on how much they charge for applied behavioral analysis services.

Treatments might cost as much as $50 to $80 per hour on occasion. According to The Houston Chronicle, an average of $57,354 per year is a mere $27.57 per hour.

It’s because the billed amounts for therapy often don’t represent how much behavior analyzers are actually earning.

For one example, insurance companies typically pay the practitioner a reduced rate that is lower than the initial charge. Then there are the other aspects of employment that have a role.

When a behavior analyst is employed by a treatment center or other institution, he or she does not get the full amount of insurance reimbursement for the services provided.

That money goes to the corporation, which gives the practitioner a wage but also has other employees and costs to pay. 

To get the full insurance payment, a behavior analyst must be self-employed and pay for all of their business’s expenditures, including leasing office space and wages for any administrative support employees they may employ.

Behavior analysts also operate outside of the therapeutic context to analyze a client’s behavior evaluation and to build or amend an intervention plan. This job is vital, but it may not always be billable, thus it goes underpaid.

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