What Factors Determine Wages for an ABA Therapist?
Those researching ABA wages may get general average ABA therapist salary information. Some might be accurate. Other wage information might be inaccurate because it’s factor-related. In other words, various factors can affect the applied behavior analyst’s wages. Here are some of the common factors that influence ABA therapist salaries.
ABA professionals are only required to have a bachelor’s degree. Still, many have master’s or doctoral degrees. The higher the education level, the better the wage and career opportunities. ABA therapists with bachelor’s degrees earned a yearly average salary of $47,581. A master’s degree in ABA average salary is likely to be around $55,862. This is an increase of more than 17 percent. Those with doctoral degrees may find even higher-paying work opportunities.
As is the case with most work, the more experience the analyst has, the better the wages. ABAs with entry-level positions earned wages ranging from $32,000 to $43,000. Those with five to 10 years of experience earned $45,000 to $55,000. ABAs working for more than 10 years earned from $50,000 to $65,000 or more. An analyst may be able to earn a higher starting salary than the median salary. This is if they already have experience working as an assistant behavior analyst. It is also possible with experience as a registered behavior technician.
- New York, NY
- Boston, MA
- Los Angeles, CA
- San Francisco, CA
- San Antonio, TX.
ABA professionals who are BCBAs earn much higher wages than the average salary. Many BCBAs earned wages that ranged from $75,000 to $145,000 or more. Families looking for an analyst usually look for someone who is as qualified as possible. Board certification will increase a family’s confidence in a given analyst.
Remember, self-employed people need to cover their portion of FICA tax (Federal Insurance Contribution tax). They also need to cover the portion that an employer would typically pay. It’s wise to set aside the approximate amount you will owe in taxes and pay estimated quarterly tax. However, if you intend to work as a self-employed professional, you may want to consult with a tax professional. They can help you develop a tax strategy and take advantage of any available deductions.
Average Salary for ABA Therapists
Applied behavior analysis is mostly known as a treatment for autism. It is now also recognized as a treatment for several other disorders. This recognition has increased the wage potential for applied behavior analysts. The wages for BCBAs can vary by who is reporting the information as well. The annual average behavior analyst salary was $33,898 as of a June 2018 wage report by PayScale. Behavior analyst salaries ranged from $24,820 to $49,098. The average behavior analyst salary hourly rate was $15.77. These statistics include ABA therapists with different degree levels. An average salary for those with a master’s degree in ABA tends to be on the higher end. This is especially true in the case of a board certified behavior analyst.
Board certification usually leads to much higher wages, and higher behavior analyst salaries. Payscale reports that the average BCBA earns $62,439 per year. The lowest 10% of earners earned about $47,000, while the highest 10% earned about $78,000. Board certification takes a good bit of time and effort, but over time, it’s likely to pay off.
Doctorate in Psychology
If you want to earn more, getting a doctorate in psychology may lead to a salary increase. According to Payscale, the base average behavior analyst salary for someone with a Ph.D.in psychology is $78,242. Of course, this takes into account all jobs someone can do with a doctorate in psychology. Some of these jobs may pay more than working as an applied behavior analyst.
Options for Someone with a Degree in ABA
Similarly, with a degree in ABA, you can work in a few other positions. Once you have some experience in the field, you may be able to work as a Clinical Director. This position has a median wage of $71,000. In this role, practitioners work to manage a team of healthcare professionals. Usually, it’s a team of behavior analysts, assistant behavior analysts, and registered behavior technicians. For this job, you need a deep understanding of best practices for ABA. A good clinical director will be able to see the big picture and manage people well.
Before you get a master’s degree, you may want to work in a job an assistant applied behavioral analyst. This will get you some hands-on experience in the field. Working as board-certified assistant behavior analyst pays fairly well, especially given the fact that this job does not require a master’s degree. On average, board-certified assistant behavior analysts make $24.75 an hour. The bottom 10% earn an average of $16.94 an hour. The top 10% earn $48.48 an hour.
Working as a registered behavior technician is a good way to get an introduction to the field. You can work as one with just a high school diploma. The median wage for these professionals is $16.50 per hour. The bottom 10% of earners make $13.05. The top 10% earn $21.96.
Of course, as mentioned above, keep in mind that wages can vary substantially. This is especially the case when it comes to cost of living in the area where you practice as a certified behavior analyst BCBA.
How to Become an Applied Behavior Analyst
Where to Start
Becoming an applied behavior analyst usually starts with a bachelor’s degree. Colleges and universities don’t often offer degrees that focus on this particular branch of psychology. This means a candidate’s bachelor’s degree must be in a related field. Commonly, candidates choose a bachelor’s degree in psychology, social work, or education. These fields will introduce students to psychological concepts. It will also give them the interpersonal skills they will need to succeed as an ABA.
Registered Behavior Technician
It may be worthwhile to become certified as a registered behavior technician (RBT). These professionals work under the supervision and guidance of an applied behavior analyst. They often do a lot of the hands-on work with clients. You don’t need a bachelor’s degree to be an RBT. You just need a high school diploma. You’ll also need to complete a 40-hour training and pass an initial competency assessment. To become certified, you need to pass an RBT exam. From there, you can begin working in the field.
Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst
Those with a bachelor’s degree may want to become certified as a board certified assistant behavior analyst. These are known as BCaBAs. These people work alongside BCBAs. They can’t perform services without the supervision of an applied behavior analyst. The certification requires some more coursework and supervised training. But it can be an excellent way to gain experience in the field.
- behavior analysis
A Day in the Life of an Applied Behavior Analyst
In Conclusion: How much do ABA Therapists make?
- 10 Best ABA Degree Programs (Master’s)
- Do I Have to Take an Exam to Become an ABA?
- What is the Difference Between an ABA and a BCBA?
- Can I Work For a School District as a BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst)?
- What is the Difference Between a BCBA and an LBA?
- What Related Degrees Would be Good to Pair with a BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) Certification?
- How is the Job Outlook for Applied Behavior Analysts?