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Autism Studies Concentration: Career Outlook

As a result of the increasing rate of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnoses across the country, employment of teacher’s aids, occupational aids, board certified assistant behavior analysts, therapist assistants and other related positions specific to the field of autism are also on the rise. A career in autism therapy is incredibly rewarding for those who wish to work with autistic children and adults. If this is a career path you’re interested in pursuing, Saint Joseph’s BS in Professional and Liberal Studies with a concentration in Autism Studies or Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Autism Studies shows employers that you have the skills, knowledge, and experience necessary (and required) to work with persons of any age across the entire autism spectrum.

Check out our interview with Dr. Michelle Rowe for in-depth information about this concentration. Learn about the value it has on your career and the impact it makes on the lives of those who have autism spectrum disorder.

Becoming a Fully Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst

SJU’s Autism Studies program is approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB), the leading credentialing body for the field of behavior analysis and behavior modification. The eight (8) courses in the online autism studies concentration and/or online post-Bachelor’s certificate program meet the educational requirements for becoming a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA). Becoming a fully certified BCaBA requires an undergraduate degree, 500 hours of supervised experience (achieved through 3 practicum courses as part of the curriculum) and passing an international exam.

Although the greatest reward of working with autistic children and adults is the ability to make a difference in someone’s life, earning your BCaBA certification can also help you earn a respectable living doing what you love. For example, behavior specialists typically make between $26,525 and $61,446 per year1, and ABA therapist salaries range between $28,960 and $103,6832.

To help you meet the Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s supervised experience requirements, Saint Joseph’s University offers fieldwork courses.

BCaBAs use principles of learning, including operant and respondent learning, to address the behavioral needs of individuals with ASD--ranging from pre-school age to seniors--in a variety of settings. BCaBAs may work as individual clinical assistants or find employment in:

  • Education
  • Behavioral medicine
  • Mental health
  • Disability
  • Children’s services
  • Business
  • Colleges and universities

BCaBAs are not limited to working with autistic individuals. The certification is used in many other areas, including behavior and learning disorders, developmental disabilities, performance management, parent and child interactions, child abuse and neglect, curriculum development and evaluation, parent and staff training, and language development.

The BCaBA certification is recognized and accepted all over the world as evidence of a specific level of skills and competency in behavior analysis. With the increasing number of ASD diagnoses and relatively low number of certified behavior analysts, the employment outlook for graduates with this concentration are excellent. Find out more about your career potential. Call (866) 758-7670 to speak with an admissions representative or request more information.

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