In case you’re considering a career in behavior analysis but aren’t sure if it’s right for you, there are a variety of related jobs you could pursue. An assistant behavior analyst and a registered behavior technician work in the field of behavior analysis. If you become a psychologist, counselor, or clinical social worker, you can work in the mental health field using a variety of approaches besides ABA.
Children with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disorders are frequently served by special education teachers, who work in a more traditional classroom setting and place more emphasis on academic performance. A career in any of these roles has the potential to be rewarding.
A Behavior Analyst’s Assistant.
A Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) credential may be a better choice if the requirement for a graduate degree is a major deterrent to your desire to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Despite the fact that assistant behavior analysts can’t practice independently like behavior analysts can, they still perform many of the same tasks, such as conducting behavior assessments and using that data to formulate treatment plans.
It is necessary that BCaBAs work under the supervision of BCBAs, but this supervision is not overly onerous. During the first 1,000 hours of practice, a BCaBA must have at least five percent of their service hours supervised each month, while after that introductory period, the minimum supervision amount drops to two percent of service hours monthly. However, this credential requires specialized coursework in behavior analysis, which can be completed at the undergraduate or graduate level with any bachelor’s degree in any subject.
BCaBAs make $43,364 on average, compared to $59,248 for BCBAs, according to PayScale, while assistant behavior analysts make less than non-assistant-level BCBAs.
A certified behavior analyst
As a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT), you don’t have to go to college if you don’t have the drive or the money. To work in this position, which involves providing one-on-one and small group interventions to clients, you only need a high school diploma as your only formal education.
There are non-degree 40-hour training programs available from colleges and universities, through external agencies, or on the job once you are hired for this role that provide the subject area-specific knowledge you need for this paraprofessional credential and practice. In addition to being fast and inexpensive, the job’s service-oriented nature makes it a rewarding one. PayScale reports an average salary of $33,507 for Registered Behavior Technicians.
Candidate preparation for the direct observation and multiple-choice assessments required for the credential is also covered in RBT training programs.
B.F. Skinner and Ivar Lovaas are well-known behavior analysts, but there are also important distinctions between the two fields of psychology and behavior analysis. If you have a master’s degree, you can become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), but if you have a doctoral degree, you can’t practice as a psychologist.
When it comes to mental health, psychologists tend to cover a wider range of topics because of their broader scope of study that includes the mind and thinking as well as behavior. Although they may have less specialized knowledge of applied behavior analysis (ABA) interventions and procedures, they may be able to draw from other therapeutic approaches and methods.
The median salary for psychologists in the United States is $79,010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Counselors are another option for working in the mental health field. There are a variety of counselors who specialize in working with specific populations. Substance abuse counselors, on the other hand, are more likely to work with people who are trying to overcome their addictions and their families. For the most part, professional counselor positions require a master’s degree, but there are exceptions where only a bachelor’s degree is required.
Depending on the area of specialization, counselors can make significantly different amounts of money. According to the BLS, rehabilitation counselors make an annual median salary of $35,630, while school and career counselors make $56,310.
Social Worker in a Mental Health Clinic
With a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree and enough clinical training, you can work in the field of counseling and mental health in a unique way. Clinical social workers, like behavior analysts, view their clients as individuals in a context. While behavior analysts focus on the scientific principles of altering environmental variables, licensed clinical social workers (LCSWs) consider the social environment’s impact on a client’s mental health as a separate factor.
LCSWs make more money than social workers with a bachelor’s degree in non-clinical roles. There is an average salary of $56,767 for LCSWs, according to PayScale’s data.
A teacher of students with special needs.
You don’t have to specialize in behavior analysis in order to work with children with developmental disabilities. A special education teacher helps students with learning, developmental, physical, mental, or emotional disabilities reach their full potential in a traditional classroom or a resource room with smaller classes. Behavior analysts and special education teachers may work together to implement classroom intervention plans. In fact, a degree in applied behavior analysis is an option for some special education teachers.
An average salary of $59,780 is reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for special education teachers.