Applied behavior analysis involves the study of the reasons for particular behaviors and their consequences. While this approach can be employed for many mental or psychological issues, applied behavior analysis focuses especially on autism. Behavioral analysts fashion therapies based upon the studies of individual cases. Applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapists execute the treatment plans of the analyists. The ABA therapist salary will vary based on a number of factors, such as country of employment and experience.
These therapists earn on a mean basis $33,103 in the United States, C$38,537 ($29,913 USD) in Canada, and £31,741 ($43,832 USD) in the United Kingdom. Salaries for ABA therapists run on average AU$44,598 ($34,643 USD) in Australia and NZD$81,432 ($58,978 USD) in New Zealand.
How Much Does an ABA Therapist Make?
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ABA Therapist Salary Determinant Factors
Applied behavioral analysis therapists have their pay turn strongly on the nature of their work settings. Autism treatment providers vary by the size of their resources, the rates they charge for treatment services and whether they are for-profit or nonprofit providers. Salaries can differ by cities or regions within particular countries. Overall, ABA therapists with more experience should expect on the whole considerably higher earnings than those starting in the field.
1. How Much Does an ABA Therapist Make by Country?
ABA Therapist Salary in US
In the United States, ABA therapists earn on a mean basis $33,103. The pay range runs from $24,259 to $52,004.
ABA Therapist Salary in Canada
According to PayScale, the mean salary for ABA therapists in Canada stands at C$38,537. Pay at the lower end of the range is C$28,798. ABA therapists at the higher pay level make C$59,592.
ABA Therapist Salary in UK
PayScale reports the mean hourly wage for ABA therapists in the United Kingdom at £15.26 per hour. This translates to an annual salary of £31,741. Total pay starts around £12,562 and reaches £36,971.
ABA Therapist Salary in Australia
In Australia, salaries for ABA therapists average AU$44,598. The range for salaries of these therapists begins at AU$27,575 and climb to AU$58,146.
ABA Therapist Salary in New Zealand
SalaryExpert places the mean pay for behavioral therapists in New Zealand at NZD$81,453. Earnings span from NZD$58,219 to NZD$100,764.
2. How Much Does a ABA Therapist Make According to Experience?
ABA therapists in the United States have, on a mean basis, entry-level pay of $32,000. Those with five to ten years of experience see average pay increasing to $39,000. Ten to 20 years of experience equate to mean pay of $44,000. ABA therapists with more than 20 years in the profession enjoy mean salaries of $57,000. The late-career therapists’ earnings rise 73 percent above the national mean.
According to PayScale, ABA therapists in Canada with ten to 20 years of experience can expect pay to climb 55 percent above the national average. With five to ten years in the field, ABA therapists make 29 percent above the national average. Entry-level pay rests just four percent below the national mean.
In New Zealand, behavior therapists with no prior experience to as much as three years in the field earn NZD$58,219 on a mean basis. With eight or more years in the profession, salaries rise to an average of NZD$100,764.
3. How Much Does a ABA Therapist Make According to Work Environment?
Privately-run autism treatment and therapy centers employ significant portions of therapists in the ABA field. The financial strength of the treatment provider influences the pay of ABA therapists.
The community of practice can also impact the pay of ABA therapists. PayScale reports that ABA therapists in New York fetch 37 percent higher than the United States mean and those in San Jose ascend to 23 percent above the mean. Boston and San Fransico have higher than average pay, at 15 percent and 16 percent respectively. Miami, Indianapolis and Austin have salaries for ABA therapists which fall six percent below the national mean.
ABA therapists in Sydney, Australia, make 14 percent above the country’s mean of AU$44,598, while salaries for these therapists in Melbourne slip to five percent below the mean.
According to PayScale, the average for ABA therapists in Toronto stands at C$48,474. This higher than the national mean of C$38,537.
ABA therapists generally work full-time, though many autism treatment providers offer part-time positions.
The time and duration of shifts vary with setting and the provider. Autism treatment centers may operate in the afternoon and evenings to accommodate children attending school or parents’ work schedules. ABA therapists may also conduct weekend schedules to avoid interference with parents’ work or school hours.
Work hours can also depend upon the amount of time deemed needed or appropriate for ABA therapy for particular children and the therapy setting. Generally, individualized sessions accumulate to 40 hours per week for a child. Where treatment providers serve children in their homes, the duration may run longest for preschoolers and diminish for those as they progress through age and grade levels in school.
Bonuses and Benefits
According to PayScale, bonuses for applied behavior analysis therapists in the United States run between approximately $92 and $2,469. Earnings from profit-sharing sit at $525. Behavioral therapists in New Zealand collect an average bonus of NZD$1,939.
Health and other insurance benefits may run lower for ABA therapists that those in other fields especially due to the level of part-time workers. PayScale reports a 49 percent coverage rate for medical care for ABA therapists in the United States. Nearly four out of ten enjoy dental coverage and 29 percent receive vision coverage through their employers.
In Canada, 37 percent of ABA therapists get medical coverage. Approximately one out of three enjoy dental benefits, while a quarter of these therapists receive vision coverage. PayScale reports that 23 percent of ABA therapists in the United Kingdom had medical coverage, while ony eight percent received vision benefits.
The significant prevalence of autism should spur the need and demand for applied behavior analysis therapists and others involved in treatment for those with autism.
The most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control show that one in 68 children in the United States had an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in 2012.
According to World Atlas, the United States ranked fifth among countries in prevalence of autism, at 66 cases per 10,000 children. Canada had 65 cases of autism for every 10,000 children, causing the country to rank sixth. In the United Kingdom, the ration is 94 for every 10,000 children (second highest), while 45 out of every 10,000 in Australia had autistm (seventh highest).
ABA therapists may become, with accumulated knowledge and experience, board-certified behavior analyists. The certification allows holders to establish independent practices in analysis of clients’ behaviors and form therapy plans. Higher-level positions also include clinical supervisor or director, speech language pathologist and even a licensed social worker.
With increased awareness and occurrence of autism comes greater need for ABA therapists and others to treat those with autism. Hiring prospects may arise not only in urban areas, but especially in rural and other under-served areas. Salaries will depend on the type of provider, the availability and choice of part-time or full-time positions, the location of work, and experience.