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What is a Behavior Analyst?

What is ABA therapy (applied behavior analysis)? What do applied behavior analysts do? Good question!

A behavior analyst provides specific ABA therapy for autism in a variety of settings. Essentially applied behavior analysis uses proven strategies to help people diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

It’s a growing profession, where the demand for Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) has more than doubled nationally.*

Massachusetts is one of the top three states with the highest demand for applied behavioral analysts.*

* Source: US Behavior Analyst Workforce: Understanding the National Demand for Behavior Analysts, Behavior Analyst Certification Board

How to Become an Applied Behavioral Analyst

People typically enter the field of applied behavior analysis (ABA) by first earning a Master of Education, Autism / Behavior Analyst, degree like the one offered by Cambridge College.

Graduation from an applied behavior analysis program qualifies you to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) exam, which is a national certification required to work as a behavior analyst.

Read this! How to prepare for a career in ABA therapy for autism

Cambridge College is proud to report that 88 percent of graduates from our applied behavior analysis program pass the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) exam on the first try.*

*Source: BCBA Examination Pass Rates for Verified Course Sequences 2013-2017, published by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB)

Where Behavior Analysts Work

The three most common places that applied behavior analysts work are:

  • Healthcare settings or in the offices of healthcare providers
  • Schools and school districts as well as companies that provide private ABA therapy
  • for autism to individuals and their families
  • Various social assistance agencies and organizations*

Because autism spectrum disorders may involve medical interventions, the need for government program support, and the need for additional research into assessments, methods, and outcomes, behavior analysts also work for:

  • Insurance companies and other supporting organizations
  • Governmental agencies, typically at the state or local levels
  • Medical or behavioral research organizations*

Learn more about applied behavior analyst salary ranges

*Source: US Behavior Analyst Workforce: Understanding the National Demand for Behavior Analysts, Behavior Analyst Certification

The Skills Behavior Analysts Use

Employers often look for knowledge and experience in these key areas:

  • Working with individuals diagnosed with the autism spectrum disorders (ASD) or with developmental disabilities
  • Understanding of psychology and child development
  • Planning treatments and measuring outcomes of those treatments
  • Providing therapy or other mental health services
  • Doing data collection
  • Managing cases and developing ABA therapy for autism programs
  • Providing crisis interventions

Graduates from the autism / behavior analyst master’s degree from Cambridge College leave with the following critical and relevant competencies:

  • Comprehensive knowledge of the scientific principles behind applied behavior analysis (ABA) in treatments for people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
  • Experience using applied behavior analysis strategies in a variety of cases
  • The ability to create individualized ABA plans and to assess their outcomes
  • Understanding of the ethical, educational, and clinical scenarios in the use of ABA therapy for autism
  • Strong communication and collaboration skills with other medical and educational professionals and with ABA clients and their families

See the full applied behavior analysis program curriculum now.  

Which Types of Jobs May Require an Applied Behavior Analyst Degree

The following job titles often require certified applied behavior analysts and are the types of careers you can explore:

  • Applied behavior analysis therapist
  • Behavioral consultant
  • Board certified behavior analyst
  • Behavior clinician
  • Clinical supervisor

All applied behavior analysis MEd students at Cambridge College are required to be working in a relevant, related field by the time they begin their ABA course sequence, after completing foundational courses in autism and special education. Your well-connected behavior analyst degree program faculty and classmates provide a strong network, with great insights and connections to help you find ABA jobs.

Take the First Step Toward Your Applied Behavior Analyst Career Goals 

Cambridge College offers an accredited and affordable Master of Education, Autism / Behavior Analyst, Degree that includes the field experience hours required to sit for the national Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) exam. Contact our admissions representatives to take the next step to learn more about becoming a certified ABA professional. 

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