Can I Work in the Youth Services Field with a Bachelor’s in Applied Behavior Analysis?

Working in the youth services field with a bachelor’s in applied behavior analysis (ABA) is one option for students in one of these degree programs. ABA specialists learn how to work with those on the autism spectrum and other disorders. Those conditions often make it hard for individuals to develop interpersonal skills. They have issues being around their families and strangers, and they may have habits and behaviors that they engage in daily. Students working on an ABA degree will find that they can work in different areas of the youth services field when they graduate.

Coaches and Trainers

Those with an ABA degree can use their degrees to work as coaches and trainers. The youth services field includes positions working for nonprofit organizations that run team sports and community organizations that plan sports in the spring and summer for kids. Coaches are the ones who teach kids how to play the game, while trainers prepare them for the sport. With an ABA degree, a coach can use that experience to help students who struggle with playing and having fun around others. They can also keep an eye out for issues that might affect the child’s performance too.

Life Coach

Many people think of life coaches in terms of what they can do for adults. A life coach helps a client transform his or her life and make changes to improve the client’s overall quality of life. Life coaches might suggest that clients end bad relationships, change their jobs, go back to school and/or begin seeing a therapist. Life coaches can also work with children. Kids on the autism spectrum often struggle in school and at home. They can talk with their life coaches about the challenges they face and get the help that they need.

Residential Therapist

Residential facilities offer help to clients who need individualized care. These facilities hire residential therapists to help those clients. Someone who has an ABA degree can work in a facility among different types of children. They might work with kids taken from their homes because of abuse and other factors or with kids who have criminal records. Therapists are responsible for showing those children that they can make healthy choices in life to improve their futures. Residential therapists can offer individual counseling in one on one sessions and group sessions for small groups of kids.

Support Specialist

Another way students can work in the youth services field with a bachelor’s in applied behavior analysis is as a support specialist. This is essentially a type of occupational therapist. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, occupational therapists earn a median salary of $84,270 per year. Support specialists earn slightly less but have some of the same duties. They can work with kids to help them understand some of the ways they can handle problems at home or school, including bullies who make fun of them and issues with their siblings. Support specialists provide the support that kids need as they grow and develop.

Related Resource: 10 Best Online ABA Master’s Degree Programs

ABA programs are now available from a number of colleges and offer students the choice between earning a certificate or a degree. There are a number of online programs of this type too. Students can work in the youth services field with a bachelor’s in applied behavior analysis as support specialists, therapists and coaches.