Career opportunities

Here are some potential careers to consider for applied behavior analysis degree graduates.

1. Market Research Analyst/Consumer Behavior Analyst

These behavior analysts often work for retail companies to help them analyze customer behavior and develop better ways to reach them with marketing campaigns. Market research is a more data-driven career path than many other ABA careers, but can also involve direct research with consumer panels and interviews as well.

2. Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Most BCBAs work with children and some adults with autism and other behavior disorders. BCBAs help people understand and change their behaviors so they can function better, and they also help train parents and loved ones so they can participate in behavior modification activities as well.

3. FBI Profiler/Analyst

Although an applied behavior analysis degree is not required to work for the FBI as a profiler or behavior analyst, having an extensive knowledge of human behavior and skills for analyzing it seems like a natural application.

4. Human Resources Professional

A career as a trainer or in performance management would fit well with the skills developed through an ABA degree, which would cover motivation and learning styles as well as other relevant information and skills.

Companies want to understand consumer behavior so they can encourage people to buy their products.
5. School Counselor

Understanding child and adolescent behavior is necessary for a school counselor, and although most of these positions require certification and additional training specific to school settings, the psychology background of an ABA degree will come in handy for this career.

6. Special Education Teacher

This career uses ABA skills to maximize learning for students with sometimes severe difficulties in attending to, processing, and retaining information. Again, specific training for the educational setting is typically required.

7. Social Worker

Clinical behavior analysts can provide services to clients and assist with behavior management services, interventions, and case management using empirical evidence. Many of those in need of social services also have autism and other developmental disorders, so skills will transfer well into these careers.

8. Researcher

Although masters-level ABA graduates can’t supervise or head up research on their own, they can assist others in conducting behavioral research in a lab or out in the “real world,” which can then be published and used to better understand behavior and in some cases, change it using behavior modification techniques. Doctoral level ABAs can conduct their own research and often teach in the field as well.

There is considerable overlap between psychology or counseling and ABA degrees. One difference worth noting is that ABA degrees focus on observed and quantifiable behaviors rather than on psychotherapy or internal thoughts and feelings.

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