Jobs You Can Get with a Bachelor’s in ABA
Are you wondering which applied behavior analysis jobs open with a bachelor’s degree? Many applied behavior analysis majors fear their bachelor of arts and bachelor of science will not be sufficient for jobs. A bachelor’s degree in applied behavior analysis is not enough to become a licensed psychologist. Bachelor’s graduates will not qualify for becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) either. However, a number of interesting applied behavior analysis jobs open up with a bachelor’s degree alone. Most bachelor of arts and bachelor of science graduates take advantage of this by seeking employment.
While working full-time or part-time, applied behavior analysis graduates can decide whether to advance their education further. Earning a regular paycheck can help afford the cost of graduate school tuition anyway. Applied behavior analysis students can successfully apply their skills in dozens of different occupations and work environments. Here are some of the in-demand job opportunities for applied behavior analysis bachelor’s majors to explore.
Behavior analysis service providers may employ qualified bachelor’s graduates as behavior technicians. Behavior technicians are supervised when working directly with clients. Most primarily serve children under age 21 who have conditions on the autism spectrum. Behavior technicians also lend support for youth or adults with other behavioral disorders like ADHD. Technicians help behavior analysts carry out custom treatment plans. Behavior technicians perform clerical duties, including filing client charts and collecting behavioral progress data. Behavior technicians assist with all day-to-day clinic activities. Most have completed the Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) training.
Assistant Behavior Analyst
Assistant behavior analysts are bachelor’s graduates who perform ABA therapy under close supervision. Assistants play a supportive role in direct client care to improve the functioning of children and adults with various disabilities. Becoming a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) requires finishing at least 120 college credits and 1,500 concentrated fieldwork hours. Assistant behavior analysts who pass the $175 exam can be involved in writing and revising treatment plans. BCaBAs often deliver data-gathering assessments to help behavior analysts form diagnoses. BCaBAs have a limited job scope, but assistants can advance with as few as 30 master’s credits.
School interventionists coordinate programs to help children with academic and behavioral difficulties. It is one of the applied behavior analysis jobs that require a bachelor’s and state certification. Schools hire interventionists who hold initial PreK-12 teaching licensure. Becoming a school interventionist is ideal for special education majors with an ABA concentration. Interventionists support teaching teams by developing practical treatment strategies for at-risk learners. School interventionists are tasked with evaluations and data collection to form an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Interventionists work with school staff to carry out effective behavior management plans.
Psychiatric technicians have one of the inpatient applied behavior analysis jobs for working with severely mentally ill patients. Technicians work at psychiatric hospitals and residential facilities to provide 24/7 care. Psychiatric technicians may need an associate or bachelor’s degree. Having an applied behavior analysis background can help observe and respond to abnormal patient behaviors. Psychiatric technicians treat patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, clinical depression, conduct disorder, and more. Technicians monitor and sometimes restrain patients who are violent toward themselves or others. Psychiatric technicians follow doctor’s orders to administer medicines.
Applied behavior analysis jobs will not include a psychologist unless a student earns a doctorate. However, psychologists who are independent consultants and practice owners can hire ABA bachelor’s graduates for support roles. Psychologist assistants work side-by-side with clinicians to treat patients. This can be a great way to best out the field of psychology before committing to graduate school. Psychologist assistants gain real-world experience observing and sometimes participating in psychotherapy sessions. Assistants may score diagnostic tests, research DSM-5 criteria, and carry out therapeutic procedures with supervision. Psychologist assistants also act as secretaries to maintain confidential patient records, handle scheduling, answer patient questions, and file insurance billing.
Most applied behavior analysis majors want to use their knowledge to help others overcome internal or external challenges. Becoming a life coach is an attractive bachelor’s career option. Life coaches advise clients on ways to modify their behaviors and solve everyday problems. This job requires the effective application of psychological principles. Life coaches can assist clients in achieving specific personal or professional goals. Life coaches guide people adjusting to difficult life transitions, such as divorce, career changes, or retirement. Most life coaches hold bachelor’s degrees in psychology-related fields like ABA. Perhaps add certification from the Life Purpose Institute.
Early Intervention Specialist
Early intervention specialists work with very young children under age five to detect the first signs of developmental delays. It is one of the applied behavior analysis jobs focused on treating only infants and toddlers. Early intervention specialists use play therapy to assess a child’s skill development based on their age. When kids miss developmental milestones, these specialists intervene quickly with support resources. Early intervention specialists identify goals, structure a treatment plan, and track the youngster’s progress. Most work for daycare centers, preschools, non-profit agencies, and home health services. Having a bachelor’s degree is enough for early intervention specialists.
Substance Abuse Counselor
Substance abuse counselors are addiction therapists who teach clients how to overcome alcohol or drug dependence. Counselors assess the cycles of problematic thoughts and behaviors that lead to addiction. Substance abuse counselors create intervention plans to withdraw from alcohol or drugs and achieve long-lasting recovery. Various types of counseling, including behavior analysis and cognitive behavioral therapy, are utilized from detox to discharge. Counselors keep clients sober by addressing any life obstacles that tempt clients to give in to cravings. Many rehabilitation centers hire substance abuse counselors with bachelor’s degrees. Certain states might require taking the National Certification Commission for Addiction Professionals (NCCAP) exams.
Animal Behavior Therapist
Interested in applied behavior analysis jobs with non-human clients? Bachelor’s degrees in applied behavior analysis degrees teach basic techniques for use on people and animals. Some graduates use their training to become animal behavior therapists. These therapists work directly with pets and their owners to remedy problematic behaviors. Animal behavior therapists train dogs, cats, horses, and other four-legged friends on how to act appropriately. Therapists positively reinforce good behaviors to stop biting, chewing, scratching, guarding, and more. Animal behavior therapists can run private one-on-one or small group sessions to develop obedience. Anyone interested in this career path should consider adding animal science or zoology courses into their bachelor’s curriculum.
Correctional Treatment Specialist
Correctional treatment specialists with applied behavior analysis bachelor’s degrees can aid the rehabilitation of inmates. Correctional treatment specialists focus on correcting illegal behaviors that land clients behind bars for jail sentences. Performing behavioral and cognitive tests is a major job task to determine an inmate’s mental state. Correctional treatment specialists connect prisoners to resources, including therapy and education, to turn over a new leaf. Progress reports are kept for specialists to advise parole boards on when inmates are ready for release. Correctional treatment specialists also partner with parole officers to help former convicts adjust to life outside.
Family Life Educator
Becoming a Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) only requires a bachelor’s degree and passing the $410 full credentialing exam. Certified individuals find applied behavior analysis jobs helping families improve their home environment. Family life educators teach healthy habits from a relational context to prevent problems that disrupt family bonds. Family life educators demonstrate the behaviors parents or guardians and children should take to foster optimal relationships. Some specialize in in-demand niches like divorce mediation, adoption services, and financial planning. Getting families through trying transitions and complex conflicts is the goal of CFLEs.
Human Resources Manager
Human resources management is one of the more non-traditional applied behavior analysis jobs. Students looking for a corporate workplace could analyze organizational behaviors as HR managers. Human resources managers utilize ABA techniques to address issues that affect the business climate. For example, HR managers can perform functional job analysis to assess the right positions based on employees’ behaviors. Human resources managers plan workforce training workshops to resolve problem office behaviors like sexual harassment. HR managers also advise executives on better leadership styles to boost employee motivation and productivity. Working in human resources management mandates achieving a bachelor’s degree and at least three years of organizational experience.
Social Service Assistant
Social service assistant is perhaps the most varied of the applied behavior analysis jobs with a bachelor’s degree or less. Social service assistants use their knowledge of psychology to aid clients in need. For instance, assistants could help homeless individuals find shelters and gainful employment. Social service assistants may connect people with disabilities to assisted living or job training. Elderly people might need assistance in getting meals, finding transportation, and dealing with aging-related issues. Applied behavior analysis majors have a kind, caring demeanor to assist diverse populations from immigrants to military veterans. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts much faster-than-average job growth of 13 percent for 52,200 new social service assistant jobs by 2028.
Ever imagined becoming the next Jillian Michaels or Billy Blanks? Fitness training stands out among applied behavior analysis jobs for being physically demanding, yet exciting. Fitness trainers help clients break behaviors that hurt their health. Trainers apply several ABA techniques, such as negative reinforcement and token economy, to get people fit. Fitness trainers are step-by-step exercise and nutrition guides who ensure clients crush their weight loss or muscle toning goals. Behavioral changes are key for trainees to realize and maintain a healthy body long-term. More gyms are requiring fitness trainers to complete an associate or bachelor’s degree, though many do not.
The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards offers a path to become a Certified Autism Specialist (CAS). Applied behavior analysis bachelor’s degrees would likely fill the autism training credits required. Autism specialists provide inpatient and outpatient services to support people of all ages with autism spectrum disorders, including Asperger’s syndrome. Specialists know the ABA strategies to improve the social, behavioral, and emotional well-being of autistic clients. Learning communication skills and how to socially interact is an important aspect for those with autism to be able to communicate and socialize with their peers. Autism specialists work to address common disorder symptoms, including repetitive behaviors and poor eye contact. Certified autism specialists develop treatment plans to develop verbal or nonverbal autistic individuals’ communication skills for better social interaction.
Laboratory assistant can be one of the applied behavior analysis jobs when working with psychology faculty. Laboratory assistants must have bachelor’s degrees to assist psychologists with behavioral research. Assistants are hired in diverse specialties, including behavioral neuroscience, social psychology, and developmental psychology. Lab assistants handle the day-to-day tasks needed to run unbiased, empirical-based research on human behavior. Assistants support psychologists who are doing experiments, surveys, focus groups, field observations, and more. Laboratory assistants may recruit study participants, score psychological tests, and type up journal articles.
Overall, master’s degrees in applied behavior analysis are not the only way to enter this helping profession. The Urban Institute reports that the annual full-time graduate school tuition average jumped 42 percent since 2004 to $22,590. Affording a master’s degree after four or five years of undergraduate education might not be feasible. Gaining post-graduate employment in bachelor’s level applied behavior analysis jobs can be the solution. Graduates can save money from every paycheck for a college fund and return for a master’s degree and BCBA certification.
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