What Is the Average Salary for Entry-Level Behavioral Science Jobs?
Behavioral science mainly studies human behavior through anthropology, psychology and sociology. With a bachelor's or associate's degree in behavioral science, you can find entry-level employment in numerous professions, including social work and other community services.
Behavioral science study can prepare you for a wide spectrum of occupations. Through interdisciplinary study of human behavior, you can learn effective communication skills that can be useful in a number of professions, such as marketing, sales, human resources, education, advertising, conflict mediation, community services and counseling. The average salary for behavioral science degree graduates depends on several factors, including the specific field, location and level of education attained.
Important Facts About Behavioral Science Jobs
|Career||Mental Health Counselor||Social Worker||Social & Human Service Assistant|
|Required Education||Master's degree||Bachelor's degree||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Work Environment||Office setting||Office setting||Office setting|
|Key Skills||Interpersonal communication, organization||Compassion, problem-solving||Time management, communication|
|Job Growth (2016-2026)*||23%||16%||16%|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Behavioral Science Salary Data
The following list details salary expectations for the various professions in the behavioral science field:
Social and Human Service Assistant
Social and human service assistants work in a variety of professional fields, such as psychology, nursing and social work, and perform a variety of interactive client assistance tasks. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), social and human service assistants earned a May 2018 mean annual wage of $35,460 (www.bls.gov). The most common industries of employment included individual and family services and residential care facilities, which offered these professionals respective median wages of $34,190 and $30,050. Legal services was the top paying industry, paying out a mean annual wage of $54,030.
Behavioral and Mental Health Technician
Behavioral and mental health technicians assist physicians and substance abuse counselors with patient assistance and support, which can include tasks such as giving patients their medication and monitoring their treatment program progress. The mean annual wage for psychiatric technicians was $36,070 as of May 2018, according to the BLS. Psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals, as well as general medical and surgical hospitals, employed the most of these professionals. These employers offered respective average wages of $37,130 and $35,640. Specialty hospitals offered the highest average wage of $50,400.
Social work involves a variety of public assistance jobs, such as helping people with family, school and relationship problems. According to the BLS, the mean annual wages in May 2018 for various industries employing social workers were as follows:
- Elementary & Secondary Schools: $62,690
- Other Schools & Instruction: $54,700
- Outpatient Care Centers: $59,880
- Psychiatric & Substance Abuse Hospitals: $53,360
According to the BLS, outpatient care centers employed the highest number of mental health and substance abuse social workers in May 2018 and offered an average wage of $47,430. Federal government employed the most social workers in the category for all others and offered them an average wage of $77,610. General medical and surgical hospitals employed the highest number of healthcare social workers and offered them an average wage of $64,910. Top employers of child, family and school social workers included individual and family services; these employers offered an average wage of $42,300.
Another career option in the field of behavioral science is to become a counselor. You could specialize in mental health, rehabilitation, substance abuse or behavioral disorders. As of May 2018, the BLS reported the following average wages for types of counselors:
- Substance Abuse & Behavioral Disorder Counselors: $44,160
- Rehabilitation Counselors: $39,930
The BLS reported that in May 2018, the median annual wages for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors in the top industries were:
- Outpatient Care Centers: $42,930
- Residential Facilities: $39,690
Vocational rehabilitation services employed the most rehabilitation counselors and offered them an average wage of $35,860.
Additional occupations associated with behavioral science include human resource assistants and health educators. The respective average salaries of these occupations were $40,700 and $59,660 in May 2018, according to the BLS. General merchandise stores were the top employer of human resources assistants and offered them an average wage of $35,410. General medical and surgical hospitals employed the highest number of health educators and paid them an average wage of $66,290.