15 Jobs You Can Get in Applied Behavior Analysis

Updated June 24, 2022

Applied behavior analysis is a scientific field that focuses on the study of human and animal behavior. Working within the field of applied behavior analysis involves researching behavior and helping people in their daily lives through behavioral modifications. If you're interested in the practical applications of behavioral analysis, you might enjoy a career in applied behavior analysis. In this article, we discuss what applied behavioral analysis is and explore 15 jobs in this field.

What is applied behavior analysis?

Applied behavior analysis is the study and practice of understanding and modifying behavior. Behavior analysts study the psychological and social factors that influence behavior to determine what causes certain behaviors and how to change them. There are two types of behavior analysis, which are experimental behavior analysis and applied behavior analysis. The main difference between these areas is that experimental behavior analysis focuses on researching behavior, while applied behavior analysis focuses on using the findings of that research to solve behavioral issues.

Although applied behavior analysis also involves research, the main priority of professionals who work in applied behavior analysis is to treat patients and apply their knowledge of behavior analysis to relevant areas in healthcare, business, education and other fields. Applied behavior analysis often involves conducting research, assessing behaviors, creating and implementing treatment plans, educating people on behavioral treatment methods and advocating for patients.

Jobs for applied behavior analysis

Here are 15 jobs you can get in the field of applied behavior analysis:

1. Animal trainer

National average salary: $13.27 per hour

Primary duties: Animal trainers observe an animal's behavior and use their knowledge of applied behavior analysis to change certain behaviors, which may include eliminating negative behaviors and encouraging new behavioral patterns. They work with house pets like dogs and cats and might teach owners how to train their animals. Animal trainers can also train working animals like horses and service animals to perform their required job functions.

2. School counselor

National average salary: $13.97 per hour

Primary duties: School counselors work with children and adolescents to provide support and guidance. They speak privately with students to discuss issues and create plans to help them. School counselors may also speak with students in group settings or give presentations about counseling topics. They work to address concerns that students face at school, including educational or social struggles, and they also provide support for concerns in other areas of life, such as family or mental health.

Read more: Learn About Being a School Counselor

3. Behavioral health RN

National average salary: $19.16 per hour

Primary duties: A behavioral health RN is a registered nurse who treats patients for psychiatric disorders. Behavioral health RNs work with psychiatrists to treat patients and monitor their medical and emotional status. They administer medications and treatments to patients and keep records of patients' medical histories and progress.

4. ABA therapist

National average salary: $20.38 per hour

Primary duties: An applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapist observes patients' behaviors and creates solutions to improve or change certain behaviors. They use behavioral therapy to treat patients and provide parents and educators with methods to treat individuals with behavioral disorders or other issues.

5. Human resources specialist

National average salary: $49,162 per year

Primary duties: A human resources (HR) specialist works in the hiring and onboarding process of a company. They maintain employee records and enforce company policies. An HR specialist also answers employee questions and provides solutions for issues between employees or within the company.

Read more: Learn About Being an HR Manager

6. Special education teacher

National average salary: $49,695 per year

Primary duties: Special education teachers work with students who have disabilities and require specialized instruction. These educators instruct classes and provide students with individual support for their academic and emotional needs. Special education teachers evaluate what their students need and create tailored learning plans to help them learn and succeed.

Read more: Learn About Being a Special Education Teacher

7. Psychological assistant

National average salary: $54,002 per year

Primary duties: A psychological assistant performs administrative tasks for a psychologist and helps them treat patients. They update and organize patient records and schedule appointments. Psychological assistants may also assist psychologists with research projects and clinical trials.

8. Market research analyst

National average salary: $57,006 per year

Primary duties: Market research analysts help a company improve its products and marketing campaigns. They conduct research and analyze data to determine market trends, demographic information of consumers and buying habits. Their understanding of the market and the company's consumers allows them to create strategies to improve sales and create products that people will buy.

9. Social worker

National average salary: $60,012 per year

Primary duties: A social worker assists clients who are experiencing social or emotional hardships. They evaluate clients' needs and connect them with resources to improve their lives. Social workers maintain files on clients to keep track of their needs and status. They may work with individuals or families to provide support and create plans for treatment, housing, employment and other necessities.

Read more: Learn About Being a Social Worker

10. Professor

National average salary: $63,238 per year

Primary duties: A professor in applied behavior analysis creates lesson plans and instructs courses on ABA topics. They assign projects and assignments, grade tests and assist students with their work. Professors also lead seminars and give lectures and presentations on certain topics.

11. Speech-language pathologist

National average salary: $32.39 per hour

Primary duties: Speech-language pathologists work with patients who have speech, language and swallowing disorders and other problems. They evaluate and diagnose patients, and they create treatment plans to help them. Speech-language pathologists also educate families and communities, and they serve as advocates for people with communication disorders.

Read more: Learn About Being a Speech Pathologist

12. Board-certified behavior analyst

National average salary: $70,059 per year

Primary duties: A board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA) creates programs to help children, adolescents and adults with autism, disabilities or medical disorders. A BCBA works with patients one on one and in group settings to provide support and monitor progress. They determine each patient's needs and implement a plan to teach them new behaviors with the goal of improving their mental and physical health and independence.

Read more: Learn About Being a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)

13. Criminal investigator

National average salary: $81,990 per year

Primary duties: Criminal investigators use their knowledge of human behavior to solve crimes. Their work includes determining who committed a crime and what their motives were. They examine evidence, create and study criminal profiles and analyze data and other information to reach conclusions about criminals and crimes.

14. Researcher

National average salary: $82,664 per year

Primary duties: A researcher in applied behavior analysis conducts research to improve the understanding of human behavior and create solutions to modify and improve certain behaviors. Researchers may draw conclusions about behaviors through controlled studies or through general observations. They publish their findings in reports or papers and may collaborate with other researchers in their field.

15. Occupational therapist

National average salary: $44.90 per hour

Primary duties: An occupational therapist works with patients who experience mobility issues due to illnesses, injuries or disabilities. They use a therapeutic approach to create treatment plans that work for each patient depending on their specific situation and physical and emotional needs. Occupational therapists assist patients with exercises and monitor their progress.

Read more: Learn About Being an Occupational Therapist


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