A bachelor’s degree in applied behavior analysis isn’t enough to become a fully-certified psychologist, but it can open up a number of interesting career options on its own. Many graduates take advantage of this by seeking employment before deciding whether to advance their degree further. Students of applied behavior analysis can successfully apply their skills in dozens of different occupations and work environments, so there are plenty of opportunities to explore and try new things.
Another excellent resource: 10 Best Online ABA Degree Programs (Bachelor’s)
Behavior analysis service providers employ qualified graduates to represent their company and work directly with clients. Many of these organizations primarily serve children who have conditions on the autism spectrum, but some offer support for other behavior or learning disorders. Technicians are typically supervised, although they are expected to be able to manage children and communicate with clients independently. These positions demand a high level of organizational skills and in-home service providers may require employees to have reliable transportation.
Some schools employ behavior analysts as support staff or interventionists who assist teachers or other faculty when dealing with children. Interventionists offer flexible support to their team depending on current needs, so they may be tasked with data collection, active monitoring and development of practical treatment strategies. Behavior interventionists also communicate with staff members, including those involved in transportation, to provide logistical support for behavior management plans.
Psychologists who operate as independent consultants or as leaders of a practice may hire applied behavior analysis graduates to support their efforts. For graduates, this can be a great way to test out the field of applied psychology before committing to a master’s program. Licensed practicing psychologists earned a median salary of $77,000 in 2017 and the career has a strong growth outlook through 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Assistants can use their time in the practice to gain real-world experienced and potentially open up essential internship opportunities.
Life Coaching and Occupational Therapy
Many people who study psychology want to use their knowledge to help other people overcome internal or external challenges in their life, so occupational therapy and life coaching are attractive career choices. Counselors may work independently with a few individuals or as part of a larger organization that serves hundreds of clients daily. While most of these positions may not have strict standards or licensing requirements, they do require the practical and effective application of psychological principles.
Animal Training and Care
Conventional applied behavior analysis degrees are focused on applications to humans, but many of the basic techniques can also be used on animals. Some psychology graduates use their training to become an animal behavior therapist, where they work directly with animals and pet owners. Anyone interested in this career path should also consider adding animal science or zoology courses into their degree plan or work in a shelter or zoo to learn the basics of animal care.
Behavior analysis is a useful skill that can help graduates build a career in psychology or a number of other fields. Students can also use their bachelor’s degree in applied behavior analysis as a foundation for a master’s degree or doctorate, allowing them to take research positions or practice as a licensed psychologist.