Career Scope of a Degree in Behavior Analysis

In simple terms, behavior analysis studies “human” behavior and is considered one of the most prominent subjects today. When it comes to human emotions, there is a growing need to understand why people act (or react) as they do in certain situations.

Behavior analysis teaches you how events in the surroundings affect human behaviors and how to help individuals overcome behavioral challenges using various techniques. With the help of the right knowledge, you can identify habits that impact an adult’s academic performance and professional and personal life.                              

How to Enhance Your Behavioral Analysis Skills?

With a degree in behavior analysis, you can learn skills that will not only assist you and those around you but also allow you to pursue numerous career opportunities. However, before discussing the career scope, let’s take a closer look at why studying behavior analysis is beneficial.  

Why You Should Get a Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis?

The field of applied behavior analysis has plenty of perks, making it the most sought-out profession. How so? Let’s see.

  • The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 68 in the US is on the autism spectrum; these statistics highlight the growing demand for experts in helping such individuals.
  • Since you help children or adults understand and overcome behavioral challenges, the particular field offers a chance to build a rewarding career focused on positively impacting people’s lives.
  • After getting a bachelor’s degree in applied behavior analysis, you can specialize further in the area of your interest. For instance, if you want to teach students with learning challenges, you can pursue a master’s in special education ABA. You use evidence-based practice to improve classroom learning and teach students to regulate their behaviors.                               

There are plenty of opportunities and rewards in the field of behavior analysis. If you want an in-demand, rewarding career that makes a difference in other people’s lives, there are several career opportunities for you to consider. A few of them are mentioned below.    

Careers for Behavioral Analysis Degree Graduates

Some career paths involve helping individuals develop skills used to perform daily activities. Other pathways include guiding the socially challenged towards a more fulfilling life.

1.   Welfare Worker

As a social worker, you help individuals facing challenges of different magnitudes, from health-related to lifestyle issues. You meet with clients to discuss the setbacks to their situation and develop solutions accordingly.

Professionals holding an ABA degree use functional behavioral assessment to understand the client on a multi-dimensional level. Doing so reflects the areas of improvement in a client’s life. Depending on the results concluded from the assessment, the most effective interventions are applied. 

Since social workers are the guiding rope for individuals and families, occasions arise when tough decisions have to be made. Though tough decisions are not well received by those who are helped, they are necessary to improve the outcome of people’s lives.

Besides formal education, a social worker should have strong communication skills to understand clients’ issues and communicate pertinent treatment-related information. A qualified social worker understands the emotional turmoil of others. Clients feel validated when social workers respond with empathy.            

2.   School Counselor

One of the common career pathways for an ABA degree holder is becoming a school counselor. Although fulfilling the role requires a lot of patience, students prosper academically under a counselor’s guidance.

It is common for students to lash out due to the demands and pressures imposed by schools. In such circumstances, a school counselor’s role comes into play by helping students through tumultuous school years. Individuals seek counselors for various reasons, from handling emotions to modifying behaviors that are a nuisance to their success. School counselors also oversee issues like bullying, disabilities, and relationship troubles.  

Children or young adults need guidance and support when dealing with academic, personal, and societal pressures. A counselor ensures that students have all the help they need every step of the way. Counselors analyze students’ interests and abilities to guide them in the right direction.                 

Other school counselor responsibilities are resolving conflicts between students and teachers and assisting students in college applications.

3.   Speech Language Pathologist

These professionals deal with patients having speech, language, and swallowing difficulties. Patients experiencing difficulty with communication are taught alternative methods. Alternative methods of communication include sign languages, pictures, and symbols.

A speech-language specialist enhances the patient’s auditory processing, reading and comprehension skills, attention span, and problem-solving skills. A specialist works independently or as a part of an interdisciplinary team to contribute to the patient’s care plan. Speech-language pathologists are advocates for people with communication disorders.

Specialists also educate families and communities about various communication disorders and their treatments. Apart from language or speech disorders, an SLP provides aural rehabilitation to the deaf. In addition to treating patients, an SLP works with people who want to enhance their communication. One of the areas they work on is accent modification.

4.   Psychological Assistant

An individual with an ABA degree is not qualified to become a psychologist but carries out administrative tasks and fulfills the assistant role.  A psychological assistant researches behavioral patterns associated with the patient or illnesses.

A psychological assistant oversees tasks like updating and organizing patients’ records and scheduling appointments. Apart from assisting psychologists, a psychological assistant collaborates with social service agencies and physicians to meet patients’ needs. They offer consultations to care providers on matters pertaining to mental health.

As an assistant, you work in an interdisciplinary team comprising occupational therapists, psychiatrists, and social workers. The experience gained as a psychological assistant helps an individual decide whether they want to become a licensed psychologist. The key skills required to become a qualified assistant are solid communication skills and in-depth knowledge of various therapies.

5.   Occupational Therapist

Occupational Therapists work alongside physical therapists and other healthcare professionals to provide treatments to patients. They evaluate the patient’s range of motion and motor skills.

Being an occupational therapist, you mostly deal with patients suffering from injuries, disabilities, and illnesses. To become a successful occupational therapist, you should develop soft and hard skills. Occupational therapists work in hospitals, rehab centers, and assisted living facilities.   

First, developing an effective treatment plan involves reviewing the patient’s medical history and observing their movement during activities. Occupational therapists help individuals reach their full potential. It is done by providing practical support that increases independence to perform activities of daily living.

An occupational therapist also asses the environment for hazards. After doing so, they accordingly make recommendations to ensure patient safety. Some recommended changes are increasing lighting in the hallway, removing throw rugs, or placing items within reach.

Conclusion

Today, one of the most common reasons why many pursue a career in the behavioral analysis is increased awareness about mental health issues. Every psychological issue is unique in terms of symptoms that require a specific treatment plan. Working in the behavior analysis domain, you come across patients with symptoms that demand a personalized plan of care using various techniques.

Those interested in understanding how different behavior patterns impact an individual’s quality of life can explore various career opportunities. These opportunities enable learners to grow professionally and personally. From school counselors to psychological assistants, you can advocate for patients and use effective treatment methods to overcome problematic behaviors.

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