How to Become a Behavior Analyst: Degree & Education Requirements

Behavior analysts use their knowledge of human behavior to assist those struggling to control their behavior. This guide will describe the education requirements for this role as well as the job duties and average salary. Schools offering Applied Behavioral Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career at a Glance

Behavior analyst help individuals struggling with issues affecting their behavior gain a higher quality of life. The table below provides a brief overview of the requirements and salary for a career as a behavior analyst.

Degree Required Master's degree
Education Field of Study Education, Applied Psychology, Psychology, Behavior Analysis
Certification and Licensure Certification required, license required in some states
Median Salary (2019) $58,329 (for board certified behavior analysts)**
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 14% (for all psychologists)*

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

What Do Behavior Analysts Do?

Behavioral analysts focus on the study of behavior and the prevention of problem behaviors. Behavior analysts also work with autistic children and adults as applied behavior analysis has been found to be a useful treatment for people who have autism spectrum disorders. The day-to-day activities of a behavior analyst will usually consist of carrying out an assessment on their clients, developing treatment plans, evaluating the progress and educating relevant caregivers, such as teachers and parents, on how to implement the plan.

How Do I Become a Behavior Analyst?

To become a behavior analyst, you will need to complete an undergraduate degree in a relevant field,such as psychology, social work, or applied psychology. You will than have to undertake a master's program or doctorate in the topic of behavior analysis, psychology or education. These programs often include education and psychology because of the nature of this role.

Do I Need a License and Certificate for a Career as a Behavior Analyst?

Many behavior analysts are board certified; this is often required by employers or in certain states. To become certified, you will need to meet the requirement listed by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB), which include specific combinations of education and experience. Board certified behavior analysts are able supervise those who implement behavior-analytic interventions.

How Much Do Behavior Analysts Earn?

According to PayScale.com, the median annual salary of board certified behavior analysts was $58,329 as of March 2019. The middle 80% of behavior analysts earn between $41,248 - $74,993. The BLS does not give detail for behavior analysts but it reports data on psychologists in general, which would include behavior analysts. Psychologists earned a median annual salary of $77,030 as reported in May 2017.

What Are the Career Outlook and Advancement Opportunities for a Behavior Analyst?

A behavior analyst can work in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, schools, community-based agencies, residential treatment facilities or in patient's homes. The career outlook for a behavior analyst is positive. The BLS reported that overall employment for psychologists are expected to increase by 14% between 2016 and 2026, which is much faster than the average. Individuals who have a doctorate degree and post-doctoral work experience will most likely gain employment in the best job opportunities in the field.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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