What are the average Applied Behavior Analysis salaries? (2023)

What are the average Applied Behavior Analysis salaries? (1)

If you’ve decided to dive into the world of applied behavior analysis (ABA), you might be wondering, how much do behavior analysts make? Of course, it’s not all about the money—but it kind of is! People want to know what their general income will be when researching career ideas. You’ll need to have an idea of applied behavior analyst salaries when making important decisions like:

  • where to live,
  • if you buy or rent,
  • how you’ll support yourself and/or your family.

This article discusses a range of applied behavior analysis salaries because there are various capacities that board certified analysts can work with their clients. Experience and location affect the salary as well. Some behavior analyst roles only require a high school diploma, while other roles require an analyst with more experience and education.

Some applied behavior analysts aim high and go for a Master’s degree or Doctoral degree. An advanced degree might be a great choice if you’re career goals include supervisory or leadership roles. Many large companies and clinical practices require that a behavior analyst at least have a Master’s degree to better serve their clients. They may require a Doctoral degree for top positions.

You’ll want to continue reading to understand:

  • the different types of ABA certifications offered by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB)
  • the low and high ends of applied behavior analysis salary amounts, and
  • where to go if you’re looking to make more money than average and increase your earning potential.

See Also:The 40 Best ABA Certification Online Graduate Programs

(Video) Board Certified Behavior Analyst Salary

Types of credentials = different applied behavior analysis certification salary amounts

What are the average Applied Behavior Analysis salaries? (2)Typically, anyone with an advanced degree (think Master’s degree or Doctorate) in a specific field will make more money than their non-advanced counterparts (Bachelor’s degree or Associate’s).

In the field of applied behavioral analysis, there are four primary certification types offered by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. These include:

  • BCaBA: Becoming a board certified assistant behavior analyst only requires a Bachelor’s degree. BCaBAs must complete specific coursework and experience supervision hours under the supervision of a BCBA or BCBA-D.
  • BCBA: A Board Certified Behavior Analyst certification requires a Master’s degree in behavior analysis, psychology, or education in addition to specific coursework and supervision hours. BCBAs can practice independently, although they often supervise a team of RBTs who implement their therapy plans for clients. The BCBA average salary is usually higher than the salary of a BCaBA or RBT. According to payscale.com, someone with a masters in ABA salary can be about $68,000/year.
  • BCBA-D: This is simply considered a Board Certified Behavior Analyst who holds a Doctorate degree in addition to a Master’s degree. BCBA-Ds offer the same level of services as BCBAs. They simply have a more advanced degree and potentially earn much more money than their ABA counterparts.
  • RBT: Registered behavior technicians are an additional part of an ABA treatment team. Registered behavior technicians have a high school diploma. They are trained and certified in applied behavior analysis. RBTs work directly with clients to achieve the goals outlined by the BCBA.

ABA students must determine:

  • what their career goals are,
  • their required salary, and
  • how long they are willing to continue their education.

Identifying these things will help students decide which degree and certification they would like to aim for. Depending on their choice, they can earn from a range of salaries. So how much does a behavior analyst make?

The low end of the scale: Applied Behavior Analyst Salary

What are the average Applied Behavior Analysis salaries? (3)The average applied behavior analysis job salary will tend to remain on the lower end if they are working for government agencies, which in this case includes a school-based position.

Examples of government-related and/or government-funded behavior analysis jobs include becoming a crime analyst (nationwide average is $4k), working for a school district (nationwide average is $52k), and a position as a juvenile court liaison (ranging between $32k and $55k).

Those who are looking to make more money can look in the private sector—and there are many places to look.

(Video) What does a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) do? Lindse Collins from Blue Mountain Therapy

The high end of the scale: Applied Behavior Analyst Salary

The scale for pay in the behavior analysis industry is quite large when board certified behavior analysts enter the private sector. They will find many different jobs in behavior analysis that will serve them well. Savvy behavior analysts may double or triple their pay for the same work. They may have more flexibility than they did in the past, especially in the current job market.

Private practice is popular, and many corporations need board certified behavior analysts working with their staff.

Examples of private-sector jobs and salaries are:

  • a BCBA for a company (starting at $70k in Georgia),
  • a BCBA clinical director (starting at $90k in Georgia), and
  • a BCBA at a private practice mental health clinic (starting from $65k to $80k in Georgia).

With the increase in emphasis on early intervention, the job market is favorable for board certified behavior analysts who want to work with autistic children as ABA therapists. Adults and children with autism spectrum disorder can benefit from the advanced training provided by applied behavior analysts.

A board certified behavior analyst salary can potentially exceed $100k a year!

See Also:What Are the Three Types of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)?

Corporate jobs are where the money is at!

What are the average Applied Behavior Analysis salaries? (4)Many people think ABA specialists must work in a clinic or school setting. That’s simply not the case. Major businesses and corporations oftentimes hire board certified behavior analysts to come in and help resolve situations and make the work environment more productive and positive.

(Video) Applied Behavior Analysis: ABA

A large company may hire an applied behavior analyst (or an industrial-organizational (IO) psychologist) to work with their staff. They will use the reports offered about their staff to ensure they know where each person will succeed.

These behavior analysis professionals perform the following job duties (and they definitely can utilize their BCBA in an office environment!):

  • Apply psychological research to the workplace
  • Work within human resources offices
  • Help businesses hire more qualified employees
  • Help train and motivate the workforce
  • Assess job performance
  • Increase business efficiency
  • Improve organizational structure
  • Ease transitions such as corporate mergers
  • Study consumer behavior
  • Work as a consultant

Those who are uninterested in working for the government, in a school system, with children, or with individuals with autism or developmental delays can work in the corporate world with average adults trying to make a living and achieve their career goals.

Consulting work is a practical option as well

There are a lot of consultants in the private sector who are searching for work with many different businesses at once. They may work for government agencies, they may do contract work with large companies, or they may push into the homes of clients to assess them in their natural environments.

Consultants generally come and go as they please while creating their own schedule and they may do quite a lot of their work from home. It is a simpler life for the analyst and their schedule gives them more flexibility and freedom.

Another positive is that they can make as much money as they want (within limits of course!). A certified behavior analyst salary for consulting can be quite high. The best applied behavior analysis consultant can triple their average yearly salary. It is all about commitment, time, and drive.

Keeping Two Or More Jobs

Applied behavior analysts may have more than one job.

(Video) Finding the Right Job in Applied Behavior Analysis (BCBA, RBT, BACB)

This might look like working part-time for a school system then having a private consulting practice outside of those work hours. Or it might be that an analyst is contracted out to several companies and organizations at once.

And don’t forget about teaching! Teaching other applied behavior analysis students at the collegiate level is a viable option for experienced analysts—a great side gig to think about.

Contractors may take multiple positions in the industry when they know they may carry all the hours needed to do the work. Someone who is working with three or four companies at a time will have time for 15-20 hours for each company when they are spread out across the week.

Conclusion to What is the Average Salary of an Applied Behavior Analyst?

Applied behavior analysts may work in a government position, which includes a school system (which is quite common), work in the private sector, or start their own private practice and consult with multiple clients at once. Everyone has their own choice to make, and each choice changes their salary. Behavior analyst salaries will change depending on where they choose to work, what job duties they are responsible for, and who they report to.

Brittany Cerny

Master of Education (M.Ed.) | Northeastern State University

Behavior and Learning Disorders | Georgia State University

(Video) 3 Reasons to Become A Behavior Analyst in 2023!

Updated August 2021


  • Top 25 Masters in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Online
  • Top 15 Online Applied Behavior Analysis Bachelors Degree and BCaBA Coursework Programs
  • Top 25 Best Applied Behavior Analysis Programs


What is the highest paid behavioral analyst? ›

Behavioral Analyst Salary. $54,000 is the 25th percentile. Salaries below this are outliers. $73,000 is the 75th percentile.

Is applied behavior analysis in demand? ›

Yes, ABA therapists are in high demand. The growing number of children and adults with autism being diagnosed each year means the need for qualified therapists is continuing to increase.

How much do behavior analysts get paid near memphis tn? ›

$52,300 is the 25th percentile. Salaries below this are outliers. $70,800 is the 75th percentile.

How much do ABA therapists make in NC? ›

ABA therapists in North Carolina earn about three times more than the national average minimum wage. In fact, the average salary for an ABA therapist in this state sits at around $22.17 per hour.

Can you make 100k as a BCBA? ›

BCBAs have the potential to earn significantly more, depending on their exact position. For example, clinical or center directors who are BCBAs report earnings of between $80,000 to $90,000 per year. Behavior analysts who have their own private practice have the potential to earn more than $100,000 per year.

Where do ABA therapist make the most money? ›

Top companies for ABA Therapists in United States
  • Genius Therapy. 5.0 $43.01per hour. 23 reviews12 salaries reported.
  • Caring Family Community Services. 4.0 $28.67per hour. ...
  • Achievement Behavior Care. 3.5 $26.38per hour. ...
  • The Uncommon Thread. 4.0 $25.98per hour. ...
  • GentleCare Therapy. 4.9 $25.84per hour. ...
  • Show more companies.

Why are Rbts paid so little? ›

RBT salaries are influenced by location, demand, and the company you work for. The average RBT salary is lower than that of other ABA professionals, such as behavior analysts mainly because you only need a high school diploma and an RBT certification to become an RBT.

Is being a behavior analyst stressful? ›

BCBAs occasionally find themselves in challenging situations. As they work with clients who have severe behavioral or emotional issues, it isn't uncommon for patients to exhibit emotional outbursts. Consequently, the job has the potential to be stressful, but it is also highly rewarding.

Is a Masters in applied behavior analysis worth it? ›

An ABA master's degree may be a worthwhile complement to a career as a special education teacher, a school counselor, a school psychologist, or a clinical social worker. Additional training or licensure would be required for these positions.

Does the FBI hire behavior analysts? ›

With a background in psychology and the ability to understand and anticipate human behavior, you can become an FBI Behavioral Analyst.

What do behavior analysts major in? ›

The first step in becoming a Behavior Analyst requires that students need to earn a bachelor's degree. Aspiring behavior analysts should consider degrees in fields like education, psychology, and other subjects related to the field of behavioral science.

How much do you make in the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit? ›

While ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $108,000 and as low as $26,000, the majority of Behavioral Analysis Unit Fbi salaries currently range between $54,000 (25th percentile) to $73,000 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $88,500 annually across the United States.

Can you make good money as an RBT? ›

Going by BLS data for the psychiatric technicians and aides category, the average RBT salary in 2021 was about $38,000, or $18.27 per hour. With additional training and experience, RBTs can expect to make more money, however. The top ten percent in the field brought in more than $56,380 per year in 2021.

What is the turnover rate for ABA therapists? ›

And it is essential to do so; the ABA therapist turnover rate is estimated at around 45% to 75%.

What is the difference between a behavior therapist and a ABA therapist? ›

ABA and BCBA therapists primarily treat children, although other ages are also common. While an ABA therapist often works with patients individually, a BCBA therapist commonly treats multiple patients at a time.

Can you make six figures as a Bcba? ›

BCBAs can earn a large salary, with the highest earners taking in six figures annually. Currently, the average yearly salary for a BCBA is about $75,000.

What is the average age of a Bcba? ›

The average age of an employed behavior analyst is 39 years old. The most common ethnicity of behavior analysts is White (63.2%), followed by Hispanic or Latino (15.4%), Black or African American (11.4%) and Unknown (4.6%). In 2021, women earned 101% of what men earned.

What is the job outlook for a BCBA in 2023? ›

BCBA job growth is expected to increase by over 20% in the next eight years. BCBA job growth is expected to increase by more than 20% in the next eight years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

What is the best state for ABA therapy? ›

Colorado, New York, Maryland, and Connecticut typically rank high as the states providing the most benefits to autistic people in all age groups.

Why is ABA therapy so good? ›

ABA therapy programs can help:

Increase language and communication skills. Improve attention, focus, social skills, memory, and academics. Decrease problem behaviors.

What is the percent of success for ABA? ›

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy is among the widely preferred treatments for autism. With an over 89% percent success rate, the treatment can be considered a go-to plan for autistic pediatric therapy.

What state pays RBTs the most? ›

New York is the state which pays RBTs the most. In fact, RBTs earn $48,157 per year in New York, on average.

What are the cons of being a behavior technician? ›

Cons: You may be required to work nights, weekends and holidays. Managing challenging behavior when out in the community may be one of the most difficult tasks an RBT will have to do.

Is being a BCBA better than RBT? ›

The main difference between RBTs and BCBAs is that BCBAs are trained and certified to practice independently, while RBTs are trained and certified to only provide ABA services designed by and under the supervision of BCBAs.

Do RBTs only work with autism? ›

Do RBTs only work with autistic children? RBTs primarily work with individuals with autism or other developmental disabilities, but they can also work with individuals who have other behavioral or learning challenges. This includes individuals with ADHD, anxiety disorders, and intellectual disabilities.

What not to do as a behavior analyst? ›

(a) Behavior analysts do not exploit persons over whom they have supervisory, evaluative, or other authority such as students, supervisees, employees, research participants, and clients.

Are behavior analysts happy? ›

Based on 134 responses, the job of Board Certified Behavior Analyst has received a job satisfaction rating of 3.8 out of 5. On average, Board Certified Behavior Analysts are highly satisfied with their job.

Is ABA Masters hard? ›

The Training Can Be Difficult in ABA Therapy Certification Programs. Getting the knowledge you need to ace that BCBA exam on round one isn't easy, though. You have to go through a lot of hard training in ABA therapy certification programs.

Does a Masters in ABA require a thesis? ›

Applied Behavior Analysis Master's Thesis. Many master's degree programs in applied behavior analysis require completion and successful defense of a thesis project in order for the degree to be conferred.

Is a PhD in ABA worth it? ›

Earning a PhD in Applied Behavior Analysis can prepare students for careers in academia, research, or clinical practice. ABA professionals may work with children with disabilities and their families, teach at the university level, or conduct independent research. The PhD is considered a terminal degree in the field.

Is it hard to get into the BAU? ›

Experts suggest earning seven to 15 years of experience as a special agent before applying to serve in the BAU. Since working in the BAU as an agent-profiler is considered a supervisory role, extensive prior experience in the FBI is the only way to achieve this position.

What does the BAU do in real life? ›

BAU staff conduct detailed analyses of crimes for the purpose of providing two or more of the following services: crime analysis, investigative suggestions, profiles of unknown offenders, threat analysis, critical incident analysis, interview strategies, major case management, search warrant assistance, prosecution and ...

How much do FBI profilers make? ›

How much does a Fbi Profiler make in California? As of May 30, 2023, the average annual pay for a Fbi Profiler in California is $70,684 a year. Just in case you need a simple salary calculator, that works out to be approximately $33.98 an hour. This is the equivalent of $1,359/week or $5,890/month.

What type of people do behavior analysts work with? ›

Behavior Analyst

These professionals leverage learned skills to provide treatment for individuals with behavioral and/or intellectual disabilities and work with others to develop a plan to address the behaviors that impact their daily living.

What is the job outlook for a behavior analyst? ›

Demand for behavior analysts is increasing: Annual nationwide demand for individuals holding BCBA/BCBA-D certification has increased each year since 2010, with a 23% increase from 2021 to 2022.

What is a behavior analyst vs psychologist? ›

In short, the difference can be stated as follows: In the ENVIRONMENT (Behavior Analysis) versus inside the MIND (Psychology). Psychology as a discipline largely hypothesizes internal explanations (personality traits, mediating forces, and other structures in the brain, etc.) explain differences in human behavior.

Can you make 100k in the FBI? ›

FBI special agents can reach GS-13 on the federal government payscale while working in the field, yielding salaries between around $80,000 and $100,000 annually.

What is the highest paying occupation? ›

Highest-Paying Occupations
Chief Executives$189,520309.20%
Computer and Information Systems Managers$164,070254.30%
Architectural and Engineering Managers$159,920245.30%
17 more rows

What is the highest paying FBI job? ›

11 high-paying FBI jobs
  1. Special agent. National average salary: $74,983 per year. ...
  2. Forensic accountant. National average salary: $78,030 per year. ...
  3. Mechanical engineer. National average salary: $80,245 per year. ...
  4. Business analyst. ...
  5. Attorney. ...
  6. Software engineer. ...
  7. Electronics engineer. ...
  8. Mathematician.
Feb 3, 2023

Can you move up from RBT? ›

For many RBTs, the opportunities for further positions and education don't stop. Some RBTs later decide to pursue a Bachelor's or Master's, whereby they can move to higher positions.

What is higher than an RBT? ›

The salary for a BCBA is typically higher than that of an RBT due to the increased responsibilities of designing treatment plans and managing staff members.

Is RBT training difficult? ›

The Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) exam is a challenging test that requires a lot of preparation. The exam is designed to test your knowledge of the principles of behavior analysis, as well as your ability to apply those principles in real-life situations.

What is the highest level of ABA? ›

Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)

The BCBA is the highest level of ABA certification. To become a BCBA, you must have a master's degree in a related field, complete a specified number of supervised experience hours, pass a comprehensive exam, and adhere to a code of ethics.

Why does ABA have a high turnover? ›

Why Does ABA Therapy Have Such a High Turnover Rate? The answer to this question is complex, but the primary cause of BCBA/RBT turnover in ABA Therapy practices can be attributed to the same as most industries. The employee feels they are under-compensated.

What is the retention rate for behavior technicians? ›

Registered behavior technicians (RBTs; BACB, 2021d) are the individuals necessary to work directly with children with ASD providing ABA services, however, the estimated turnover rates for RBTs range from 30% to 75% (Molko, 2018).

What therapy is better than ABA? ›

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

In CBT treatments, the patient and psychologist work together to develop a treatment plan that best benefits the individual needs. CBT is not a one size fits all solution, and that is why autistic folks benefit from this type of therapy, it is individualized to each experience!

What is the personality of an ABA therapist? ›

The traits of an Applied Behavior Analyst include being:

An approachable person. Someone with emotional maturity. Someone with natural empathy. A curious person.

Which analyst has highest salary? ›

Business Intelligence Analyst

Entry-level business analysts make $67,000 on average. Senior business analysts can expect to make approximately double that, and some earn up to $130,000 a year.

What are the levels of behavior analyst? ›

The three primary certifications in the field of ABA include Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA), and Registered Behavior Technician (RBT). Regardless of which career graduates of an ABA program choose to pursue, they can expect to have an impact on many fields.

Who are the most famous behavior analysts? ›

B.F. Skinner – Lastly, the most popular researcher and behaviorist in the field of ABA is B.F. Skinner, who was known as the “father” of Behavior Analysis. Skinner's work changed behavior analysis for the better because he introduced a new concept to the field: Radical Behaviorism.

What is the difference between RBT and behavior analyst? ›

What's the Difference Between RBTs and BCBAs? The main difference between RBTs and BCBAs is that BCBAs are trained and certified to practice independently, while RBTs are trained and certified to only provide ABA services designed by and under the supervision of BCBAs.

Do analysts use a lot of math? ›

While data analysts need to be good with numbers, and a foundational knowledge of Math and Statistics can be helpful, much of data analysis is just following a set of logical steps. As such, people can succeed in this domain without much mathematical knowledge.

Can you make good money as an analyst? ›

Analysts can earn up to $125,000 based on experience, location, industry, company type, etc. You can also get annual bonuses and sign-on bonuses over and above your salary. The Robert Half Technology Salary Guide 2022 found that the average salary for an entry-level data analyst is $116,375.

Are analysts in high demand? ›

Data analysts are in demand

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the demand for data analytics jobs will grow by 23% between 2021 and 2031, much faster than the average of 5% for all other industries.

What is the personality type of a behavior analyst? ›

The traits of an Applied Behavior Analyst include being:

An approachable person. Someone with emotional maturity. Someone with natural empathy. A curious person.

What makes a good behavior analyst? ›

Professional. Professionalism is an important aspect of any career. A successful ABA therapist should arrive on time, communicate clearly with the families they're serving, and collaborate with other ABA professionals.

What's higher than a RBT? ›

The salary for a BCBA is typically higher than that of an RBT due to the increased responsibilities of designing treatment plans and managing staff members.

Is BCBA higher than ABA? ›

Let's get one thing straight right away: BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) and ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) certifications are exactly the same thing.

Is BCBA better than ABA? ›

Work environment and salary

No matter the work setting, an ABA usually works under the guidance and supervision of a BCBA therapist, who has more qualifications and expertise in behavior analysis. Since BCBA therapists are more experienced, they typically make a higher salary as well.


1. Job Outlook and Salary of a BCBA; Job Outlook and Salary of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst
2. How Much Money Can a BCBA Make?|Money Moves & Money Mistakes
(Dom The BCBA MOM)
3. Becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst; Becoming a BCBA: BCBA Salary
4. Behavior Analysis | An Overview
(Behavior Analyst Certification Board)
5. BCBA's in the Workplace: Where do Board Certified Analysts Work: BCBA Salary and Career
6. Why I Won't Become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst| No More BCBA
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