If you are motivated to help people, a career in applied behavior analysis may be a good choice. You’ll be able to help those on the autism spectrum. For many people considering a career in behavioral science, they aren’t sure where to start. But there are more job opportunities in applied behavior analysis and autism than you may think. Whether in the classroom, with a private service organization or a government agency, there are several careers that involve helping individuals with autism and their families.
Here are four great options for jobs using your M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism.
Applied Behavior Analysis Therapist
The most common job for those with an M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism is working as an ABA therapist. Also known as behavior analysts, ABA therapists work with patients to develop positive behaviors in social settings and help reduce problematic behaviors. ABA therapists can be employed privately, by a government agency or by a school district. The outlook for therapists is positive, with demand expected to increase 33 percent by 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For information about salary and occupational outlook, please see our article “Salary Information for Applied Behavior Analysis Therapists.”
Special Education Teacher
For those looking to use ABA techniques in a classroom setting, special education is the answer. As a special education teacher, you will help students with learning challenges of all types, including autism. As a special education teacher, you will:
- Create lesson plans that are tailored to helping students learn effectively
- Manage a classroom
- Work with specialists and administrators.
Employment of special education teachers is expected to grow by 6 percent by 2022. Working as a teacher typically requires a teaching certificate as well; this can be attained with an education degree or via a special program, depending on the state and school board.
Residential Behavioral Interventionist
Although popular conceptions of autism frequently involve children, there are careers that involve working with adults with autism. Adults who live in a group home may still need to work with a behavioral specialist to help them live on their own and navigate situations at work and interpersonally. The goals and duties of residential behavioral interventionists will vary depending on the setting and the population they are working with, but may include tasks such as:
- Helping adults find a job
- Manage a budget
- Eat healthfully
- Maintain personal and romantic relationships.
As a subset of ABA therapy, this career is expected to grow at a similar pace to the 29 percent ABA therapists as a whole will experience by 2022.
To access services and have therapies covered by insurance, an expert must assess the behavior of individuals with autism. The results of this assessment are then used to determine the needs of the patient and what interventions are necessary. This assessment is critical for children to access special services in schools and also for adults seeking accommodations in the workplace or to qualify for government services.
Behavioral auditors can perform these assessments and make recommendations for treatments. They often work in advocacy or with families to understand the range of services available and what options patients and their families have. Although there aren’t definitive sources on how much this job will grow, the Affordable Care Act will increase the demand for auditors across all health fields.
Next Steps for Your Career
These four jobs are possible with an M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism degree from The Sage Colleges, which you can earn entirely online. The program is one of the few nationally to offer training in ABA, an evidence-based therapy proven to help those with autism. You will learn the latest techniques to help this specific population from experts in the field, in a convenient format that works with your schedule.
Get started on a career that changes lives. Learn how by visiting our program page today or contact the Esteves School of Education for more information/options.