Behavior Interventionist: Position Description, Salary & Skills

A behavior interventionist develops programs to help change negative behavior in an individual or group. Discover more about the job, including the salary and required skills, so you can see if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Applied Behavioral Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Information at a Glance

Behavior interventionists identify behavioral problems and provide services to reduce and correct this behavior. Read more about the education and skills needed to succeed in this field.

Recommended Degree Minimum of high school diploma and certification; most jobs require a bachelor's degree or higher
Education Field of Study Social work, psychology, counseling
Key Skills Communication, compassion, social perceptiveness, listening, problem-solving, patience
License Required depending on the state; some employers may require certification
Job Growth (2016-2026) 23%* (Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors)
Median Salary (2019) $37,026**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS); **PayScale.com

What Does a Behavior Interventionist Do?

A behavior interventionist evaluates a client's mental health history and current needs, focusing on behaviors that disrupt or otherwise negatively impact their life. Interventionists determine the source of negative behavior and develop treatment plans to address it, so the client can make healthier decisions. A behavior interventionist works closely with their client's family, teacher, care giver, and other team members to maintain the plans and make changes as needed.

Do You Need a Degree to Become a Behavior Interventionist?

At minimum, behavior interventionists must have a high school diploma or equivalent. However, most employers require at least a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as social work or psychology. The social work degree program generally includes courses in subjects such as human development, human behavior, social inequality, social policy, and social work practice. The program may also include fieldwork experience. Some employers may require a master's degree or higher, depending on the specific job.

Do Behavior Interventionists Need a License?

Many states require a license. Behavior interventionists should check with their employer or their state's licensing board to determine whether they need to be licensed. General licensing requirements include completing an educational program, obtaining experience through fieldwork, and successfully passing an exam.

Certification is also available and may be required depending on the employer and specific job duties. One certification option is the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA). This is available to behavior interventionists who have a bachelor's degree from an accredited university and supervised practical experience. Those interested in this certification should check with the Behavior Analyst Certification Board for exact requirements. To maintain their certification, behavior interventionists typically need to complete continuing education hours and pass a re-certification exam.

Where Other Skills Do You Need?

A behavior interventionist will work with different types of people who are dealing with stressful situations. To succeed in this field, behavior interventionists must have compassion and patience, so they can empathize with their clients and remain calm in stressful situations. They need strong communication skills, both speaking and written, so they can provide information in ways that their clients will understand. They must also have strong listening and problem-solving skills, so they can understand their clients' needs and effectively find solutions.

What Are the Salary and Job Outlook for Behavior Interventionists?

The median 2019 salary for a behavior interventionist is $37,026, with a range of $30,378 - $43,190, as stated by PayScale.com. The job outlook for all substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors is expected to grow by 23% from 2016-2016, notes the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. These jobs are expected to grow at a much faster rate than the average for all occupations.

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