One out of every 68 American children born today is on the autism spectrum, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those individuals may need special attention and help in developing coping strategies. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is one of the only evidence-based therapies developed to help those on the autism spectrum. A career in applied behavior analysis offers the opportunity to help a vulnerable population and make a positive impact. But there are other benefits as well. Below are three reasons why you might consider becoming an ABA therapist.
According to Autism Speaks, an autism advocacy organization, the number of Americans on the autism spectrum has increased tenfold in 40 years, to more than 3 million Americans affected by autism. Although part of this increase is due to improved analysis, diagnosis and awareness, not all the causes of the spike are understood. Given the dramatic growth in recent decades, the prevalence of autism is expected to continue.
The growth in the number of people with autism has led to an increase in jobs in the field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, ABA therapists are considered a subset of the occupational therapy career track, which is expected to see a growth of 33 percent by 2020, significantly faster than the average rate of other careers.
Demand for ABA professionals is expected to rise in schools, clinics, and government and social services agencies.
Making a Difference
The average salary for ABA therapists varies depending on level of education and location, but the rewards of being an ABA therapist are more than monetary. ABA therapists have the opportunity to make an impact on individuals struggling to connect with their world.
They can help people with autism learn:
- Coping skills
- Social skills
- How to successfully interact with their community
It’s a chance to change lives, not only of people with autism but also of their loved ones. By helping people with autism learn how to navigate the neurotypical world, family members face less difficulty and can learn their own coping techniques.
Control Your Schedule
ABA therapists do not always work a traditional workday schedule. Although some work during the school day with students, many work with clients outside of school, in the evenings or even weekends. This allows for unique scheduling, especially helpful for therapists with children.
Furthermore, each day as an ABA therapist is different. Some work may involve extensive observation and support around the house, helping correct and reimagine behavior patterns. But other career paths may involve working in the community, such as taking patients to public places to help improve social skills.
These are just a few of the reasons why careers in applied behavior analysis are a great option for those looking to make a difference in a position that offers job security. The Sage Colleges offer an online Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism that can prepare you for a career in this growing field. The program is 100 percent online, so working students can balance busy schedules with coursework. The tuition is affordable, and financial aid is available.
Visit our program page today for more information.