Board-certified behavior analysts (BCBAs) are typically master-level clinicians. They have received specialized education and training to assess and transform problem behaviors into productive life skills, particularly in children and adults with autism.
On average, BCBAs in the United States makes about $66,000 per year, although this number varies widely by state and city.
Years of work experience and geographic location are two of the biggest influences on BCBA salaries. BCBAs also see different salaries in different work environments, e.g. if they work in private practice, schools, or non-profit organizations.
Career prospects for BCBAs are good as demand for behavioral therapy services continues to grow across the country.
Applied behavioral therapy (which BCBAs implement) is already widely recognized as the primary treatment option for autism and is increasingly being used successfully to treat other developmental and behavioral disorders.
What Do Board Certified Behavior Analysts(BCBA) Do?
BCBA stands for Board Certified Behavior Analyst. They are mental health professionals using data-driven techniques to treat behavioral issues.
Her clients typically have social and emotional issues and may include elderly patients with mental health issues and children with autism or another behavioral disorder.
BCBAs are licensed therapists who are certified in behavior analysis. BCBAs most commonly work with children and adults with autism to reduce problematic behaviors and develop positive and practical life skills.
BCBAs typically meet with clients at home and observe their behavior, tracking numerous target points for improvement. They then implement a plan, based on behavioral standards, to address these issues and monitor clients to help them achieve their goals.
This field of therapy is also used for people with other developmental disorders.
- BCBAs use Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy to better understand how behavior works, how it is influenced by the environment, and how learning occurs.
- BCBAs tailor ABA therapy programs to each of their clients by assessing their needs, identifying individual behavioral goals, and often overseeing registered behavioral technicians (RBTs) who help implement appropriate interventions.
How much does a BCBA make?
The average BCBA salary in the US is $77,500 per year or $39.74 per hour. Entry-level positions start at $70,000 per year, while most experienced workers make up to $120,000 per year.
These numbers represent the median, which is the midpoint of the ranges, from our proprietary Total Pay Estimate model, based on salaries collected from our users.
The estimated additional salary is $11,159 per year. Additional compensation may include cash bonuses, commissions, tips, and profit-sharing.
The “Most Likely Range” represents values that fall within the 25th and 75th percentiles of all salary data available for that role.
How much does a BCBA make in the United States?
As of June 2, 2022, the average annual salary for a BCBA in the United States is $75,023 per year. Just in case you need a basic salary calculator, it comes out to around $36.07 per hour. This equates to $1,443/week or $6,252/month.
While ZipRecruiter sees annual salaries as high as $134,000 and as low as $35,000, the majority of BCBA salaries currently range between $63,000 (25th percentile) and $76,500 (75th percentile), with top earners (90th percentile) $104,000 earn annually in the United States.
The average salary range for a BCBA varies little (about $13,500), suggesting that regardless of location, there aren’t many opportunities for a raise or promotion, even with several years of experience.
What is the BCBA Salary by Experience?
According to PayScale, the average BCBA salary is about $66,000 per year. As with most jobs, BCBA salaries are heavily influenced by years of experience. The more experience you have, the more you can expect to earn.
These are the reported BCBA salaries based on years of experience:
- Entry Level: $60,000/year
- 1 to 4 years: $64,000/year
- 5 to 9 years: $68,000/year
- 10-19 years: $71,000/year
- 20+ years: $69,000/year
Depending on your exact position, there is potential to earn significantly more as a BCBA. For example, directors of clinics or centers that are BCBAs report revenues of $80,000 to $90,000 per year.
BCBAs in private practice have the potential to earn over $100,000 per year. In high-demand areas, BCBAs can earn more than $145,000 annually.
BCBA Salaries by State and City
BCBA salaries tend to be higher in larger cities where there is a greater demand for behavioral therapy. According to Indeed, states that pay above the BCBA national median salary is California, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.
As of May 2020, the highest paying cities for BCBAs are:
- San Jose, California: $113,443/year
- Chicago, Illinois: $105,942/year
- Denver, CO: $103,844/year
- Atlanta, Georgia: $102,578/year
- Houston, TX: $99,758/year
- Beverly, MA: $97,665/year
- Miami, Florida: $96,791/year
While there is more demand in major cities, there is good demand for BCBAs across the country. As of 2022, in descending order, these states had the highest demand for BCBAs:
There is also a high demand for board-certified assistant behavior Analysts (BCaBAs). From 2018 to 2019, the demand for BCBA assistants increased by 157%. The states with the highest demand for assistant BCBAs are:
What companies can a BCBA work in?
Private companies, nonprofits, schools, and healthcare organizations all hire BCBAs. BCBAs often work as independent contractors. This means that they are not employees but hired by companies or organizations to run behavioral therapy programs.
Whether you want to work full-time or part-time as a consultant, there are many working worlds open to you. Common job settings for BCBAs include:
- Psychiatric clinics.
- Autism-related non-profit organizations.
- Public and private schools.
- Insurance agencies.
- Local and state government agencies.
BCBAs are often based outside of a business or organization but spend significant time implementing their interventions in schools, in clients’ homes, and in various community settings.
You will likely travel back and forth between settings to encourage the development of appropriate behavioral skills in multiple areas of your client’s life.
Based on your own goals as a behavioral therapist, you can choose which work environment appeals to you the most.
Certain facilities focus their services on children, while others treat adults with autism, adults recovering from traumatic brain injury, or adults with other developmental disabilities trying to live more independently.
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What is the job growth for BCBAs?
Prospects for BCBA employment growth over the next decade are strong. Demand for behavioral therapists in the US has increased significantly since 2010 and continues to grow.
According to the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, demand for certified behavior analysts has increased every year in every state since 2010. Nationwide demand for BCBAs has increased by 800% since 2010.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the field of behavioral therapy is predicted to grow well above average. From 2018 to 2028, the BLS forecasts job growth of 22% for this profession.
The ever-increasing number of autism diagnoses and the expansion of most insurance plans to include ABA benefits are two reasons for this trend.
The clinical use of ABA therapy is also expanding beyond the generally accepted use in autism, further increasing the demand for BCBAs.
With a greater need for ABA therapy, more job openings, and higher BCBA salary opportunities in 2022.
The highest salary for a BCBA in the United States is $99,650 per year.
The national average salary for a BCBA is $72,727 per year in the United States. Filter by location to see BCBA salaries in your area. Salary estimates are based on 473 salaries submitted anonymously to Glassdoor by BCBA employees.
approximately $38.13 an hour