Salary Information for Applied Behavior Analysis Therapists

Posted by learninghouse on November 05, 2014  /   Posted in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism


Being an applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapist has many rewards to include not only helping individuals with autism, but also making a difference in the lives of others. The benefits are certainly rewarding, but so too is the salary earned from the profession. Let’s learn what factors influence applied behavior analysis salary.

Factor 1: Level of Education

ABA therapists are only required to have a bachelor’s degree, but many hold higher degrees. Each level of education can lead to better opportunity and salary. To grow your career and improve your earning potential, it may be advantageous to seek a higher degree.

Bachelor’s Degree Salaries

According to, ABA therapists with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis earn (on average) $47,281 annually. Entry-level salaries range from $25,528 to $50,862 annually. These figures typically rise with experience.

Graduate Degree Salaries

The average annual salary for someone holding a Master of Science degree in ABA is $55,402, with some salaries as high as $80,287.

It is possible to obtain a doctorate in the field of applied behavior analysis.. In general, the higher the degree in the ABA field, the more job opportunities exist and the higher the salary. In a study on earnings, unemployment, and educational attainment overall, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that professionals with higher levels of education had both lower unemployment rates and a higher median salary.

Factor 2: Experience

For those with a bachelor’s degree, an entry-level therapist position can earn between $32,000 and $43,000. Once you reach five to 10 years of work, that total ranges from $45,000 to $55,000. After a decade of work, salary ranges between $50,000 to over $65,000 annually.


With a master’s degree in applied behavior analysis, the totals increase. Entry-level roles in the field command between $45,500 and $60,000. With five years of experience, the range is from $50,028 to $59,718 annually. After a decade of work, the salaries range from $58,809 to $80,287 annually.

Earning a master’s degree is equivalent to five years experience with a bachelor’s degree. It also increases the ceiling for annual earnings.

Factor 3: Location

The other important factor affecting salary range is geographic location.

The overall trend shows that the largest cities in the country also pay the most, but the cost of living must also be taken into account. When deciding where to work salary is rarely the only factor, but it can help determine what is the best location for you.

What’s Next?  

If you’re interested in a career in applied behavior analysis, there are plenty of options available to you. Although earning a bachelor’s degree is a good way to get your foot in the door, having further education can provide better stability and a better salary.

The Sage Colleges, with campuses in Albany and Troy, NY, offers a Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism fully online for both students nationwide and abroad. This unique, award-winning program is well recognized – earning program recognition by Best Online Colleges for 2014 –and is approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). Visit our program page to learn more about Sage’s online ABA degree program.



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