Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not separately provide data about the salary potential for Board Certified Behavior Analysts, it does provide information about occupations that are closely related to the field of behavior analysis. In 2012 the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the 2012 median salary for social workers was $44,200(1). And the 2012 mean annual wage for clinical counseling and school psychologists was$72,220 for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists(2). These occupations are very similar to that of and applied behavior analyst, and many professionals working in these fields may have undergone training to become ABA certified.
While there are few restrictions on who can practice behavior modification or even applied behavior analysis, individuals who wish to become qualified to receive for state funding for their projects or are seeking insurance for their practice must be certified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. This ensures a certain degree of knowledge, experience and competency in applied behavior analysis practice(3).
A third variable which may impact a behavior analyst’s salary is the industry in which they work. For instance, while the BLS reports a 2012 mean annual wage of $72,220 for clinical, counseling, and school psychologists, the reported mean annual wage for these professionals working in elementary and secondary schools was $71,730, while those working for employment services firms reportedly earned a mean annual wage of $94,290(4). These salaries might also vary according to a person’s location and experience. The lowest 10% of earners working in the field of clinical, counseling and school psychology earned less than $38,450 in 2012, the lowest 25% of earners made $50,480, those in the 50% earnings percentile earned $67,650, the top 75% of earners made $87,910, and the top 90% of earners made more than $109,340. Similarly those working in organizational behavior management are likely to find opportunities to earn higher salaries than those working in areas of social services(5).
Behavior analyst’s salaries vary depending on such factors as level of BCBA certification, geographic location, industry, etc.. Those seeking to enter the human services industry may find the field applied behavior analysis to present career enhancement possibilities.