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Become A Behavior Therapist

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Working As A Behavior Therapist

  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Stressful

  • $73,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Behavior Therapist Do

Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists help people manage and overcome mental and emotional disorders and problems with their family and other relationships. They listen to clients and ask questions to help the clients understand their problems and develop strategies to improve their lives.

Duties

Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists typically do the following:

  • Diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders, such as anxiety and depression
  • Encourage clients to discuss their emotions and experiences
  • Help clients process their reactions and adjust to difficult changes in their life, such as divorce and layoffs
  • Guide clients through the process of making decisions about their future
  • Help clients develop strategies and skills to change their behavior and to cope with difficult situations
  • Refer clients to other resources or services in the community, such as support groups or inpatient treatment facilities

Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists use a variety of techniques and tools to help their clients. Many apply cognitive behavioral therapy, a goal-oriented approach that helps clients understand harmful thoughts, feelings, and beliefs and teaches how to replace them with positive, life-enhancing ones. Furthermore, mental health counselors use cognitive behavioral therapy to teach clients to eliminate unwanted and damaging behaviors and to replace them with more productive ones.

Although some disorders can be overcome, others need to be managed. With the latter, mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists help the client develop strategies and skills to minimize the effects of their disorders or illnesses.

Many mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists work in private practice. They must spend time marketing their practice to prospective clients and working with insurance companies and clients to get payment for their services.

Mental health counselors provide treatment to individuals, families, couples, and groups. Some work with specific populations, such as the elderly, college students, or children. Mental health counselors deal with a variety of issues, including anxiety, depression, grief, low self-esteem, stress, and suicidal impulses. They also help with mental and emotional health issues and relationship problems. 

Marriage and family therapists work with individuals, couples, and families. Unlike other types of mental health professionals, they bring a family-centered perspective to treatment, even when treating individuals. They evaluate family roles and development, to understand how clients’ families affect their mental health. They treat the clients’ relationships, not just the clients themselves. They address issues, such as low self-esteem, stress, addiction, and substance abuse.

Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists coordinate patient treatment with other professionals, such as psychiatrists and social workers.

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How To Become A Behavior Therapist

Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists are typically required to have a master’s degree and a license to practice.

Education

To become a mental health counselor or a marriage and family therapist, applicants typically need a master’s degree in psychology, clinical mental health counseling, marriage and family therapy, or a related mental health field. A bachelor’s degree in most fields is acceptable to enter a master’s program.

Counseling programs prepare students to recognize symptoms of mental and emotional disorders and to use effective counseling strategies. Marriage and family therapy programs teach students about how marriages, families, and relationships function and how these relationships can affect mental and emotional disorders.

Many employers prefer to hire counselors who have graduated from programs accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling & Related Educational Programs.

Training

Candidates gain hands-on experience through postdegree supervised clinical work, sometimes referred to as an internship or residency. In training, they learn to provide family therapy, group therapy, psychotherapy, and other therapeutic interventions, under the supervision of a licensed counselor.

Licenses

All states require mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists to be licensed in the state in which they practice. Licensure requires a master’s degree and 2,000 to 4,000 hours of postdegree supervised clinical experience, sometimes referred to as an internship or residency. In addition, counselors and therapists must pass a state-recognized exam and complete annual continuing education classes.

Contact information for state boards regulating mental health counselors is available through the National Board for Certified Counselors.

Contact and licensing information for marriage and family therapists is available through the Association of Marital and Family Therapy Regulatory Boards.

Important Qualities

Compassion. Counselors and therapists often work with people who are dealing with stressful and difficult situations, so they must be compassionate and empathize with their clients.

Interpersonal skills. Being able to work with different types of people is essential for counselors and therapists. They spend most of their time working directly with clients and other professionals and must be able to encourage good relationships.

Listening skills. Good listening skills are essential for mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists, both of whom need to give their full attention to their clients to understand their problems, values, and goals.

Organizational skills. Good organizational skills are especially important for counselors and therapists in private practice, who must keep track of payments and work with insurance companies.

Speaking skills. Mental health counselors and marriage and family therapists need to be able to communicate with clients effectively. They must express ideas and information in a way that clients can understand easily.

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Behavior Therapist Career Paths

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Do you work as a Behavior Therapist?

Average Yearly Salary
$73,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$44,000
Min 10%
$73,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Median 50%
$120,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
LifePoint Health
Highest Paying City
Minnetonka, MN
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
1.7 years
How much does a Behavior Therapist make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Behavior Therapist in the United States is $73,285 per year or $35 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $44,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $120,000.

Real Behavior Therapist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Behavior Therapist Autism Spectrum Instructional Resources, LLC Austin, TX Sep 11, 2015 $61,859 -
$90,000
Behavior Therapist Aid LCE Associates, Inc. Hialeah, FL May 11, 2015 $60,694
Behavior Therapist California Institute of Behavior Analysis, Inc. CA Mar 09, 2010 $52,175
Behavior Therapist Aacres Wa LLC Seattle, WA Dec 15, 2016 $50,000
Behavior Therapist KTL Behavioral Therapy & Consultation PLLC Austin, TX May 12, 2016 $47,479
Behavior Therapist Funtastic Gymnastic Inc. Wheeling, IL Jun 26, 2016 $47,000
Behavior Therapist/Program Implementer Butterfly Effects Lighthouse Point, FL Apr 25, 2011 $46,800
Behavior Therapist/Program Implementer Butterfly Effects LLC Lighthouse Point, FL Sep 13, 2010 $45,914 -
$22
Behavior Management Therapist Northeast Behavioral Associates, Inc. Dartmouth, MA Sep 17, 2014 $45,000
Behavior Management Therapist Northeast Behavioral Associates, Inc. Dartmouth, MA Sep 05, 2014 $45,000
Behavior Management Therapist Northeast Behavioral Associates, Inc. Dartmouth, MA Sep 27, 2013 $42,000
Behavior Management Therapist Northeast Behavioral Associates Inc. Quincy, MA Sep 19, 2013 $40,000
Behavior Therapist Special Education for Exceptional Kids, Inc. San Gabriel, CA Oct 17, 2011 $39,529
Applied Behavior Analysis Therapist Confidence Connection Needham, MA Jan 09, 2016 $38,000
Applied Behavior Analysis Therapist Confidence Connection Needham, MA Aug 29, 2016 $38,000
Behavior Therapist KTL Behavioral Therapy & Consultation PLLC Austin, TX Sep 14, 2016 $35,479
Behavior Therapist Center for Autism Spectrum Treatment, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Oct 01, 2013 $33,392
Behavior Therapist Center for Autism Specrum Treatment, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Oct 01, 2013 $33,392
Behavior Therapist Inclusive Education and Community Partnership Oxnard, CA Oct 01, 2012 $33,392
Behavior Therapist Inizio Interventions Inc. CA Aug 25, 2014 $32,349
Behavior Therapist Inizio Interventions Inc. CA Sep 20, 2014 $32,349
Behavior Therapist Inizio Interventions Inc. Hillsborough, CA Oct 01, 2014 $32,349

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Top Skills for A Behavior Therapist

  1. ABA
  2. New Therapists
  3. Behavior Analysis
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Ensured successful documentation input into database mainframe.
  • Acted as a lead therapist, training new therapists on specific cases and handling administrative duties.
  • Provide early intensive behavior services to developmentally disabled children utilizing Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) techniques.
  • Conducted various parent and teacher evaluations to identify behavioral issues, academic progress and effective therapeutic techniques.
  • Facilitate clinical group therapy sessions.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Behavior Therapists

  1. Hawaii
  2. New Jersey
  3. Pennsylvania
  4. Colorado
  5. Utah
  6. Georgia
  7. Maine
  8. Rhode Island
  9. Alaska
  10. Delaware
  • (31 jobs)
  • (158 jobs)
  • (310 jobs)
  • (108 jobs)
  • (41 jobs)
  • (110 jobs)
  • (10 jobs)
  • (26 jobs)
  • (6 jobs)
  • (19 jobs)

Behavior Therapist Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 5,533 Behavior Therapist resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Behavior Therapist Resume

View Resume Examples

Behavior Therapist Demographics

Gender

Female

70.5%

Male

17.0%

Unknown

12.5%
Ethnicity

White

56.1%

Hispanic or Latino

21.8%

Black or African American

9.3%

Asian

8.5%

Unknown

4.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

66.9%

French

5.9%

Mandarin

2.8%

Korean

2.8%

Vietnamese

2.6%

Cantonese

2.3%

Arabic

1.8%

Hindi

1.6%

Russian

1.6%

Chinese

1.6%

Armenian

1.3%

Tagalog

1.3%

Portuguese

1.3%

German

1.3%

Italian

1.0%

Japanese

1.0%

Gujarati

0.8%

Hebrew

0.8%

Urdu

0.8%

Turkish

0.5%
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Behavior Therapist Education

Schools

Chicago School of Professional Psychology

7.3%

University of Phoenix

7.3%

California State University - Los Angeles

7.2%

Capella University

6.7%

Ball State University

6.7%

National University

6.6%

Florida International University

6.1%

Arizona State University

5.9%

California State University - Northridge

5.6%

San Jose State University

5.1%

Kaplan University

4.2%

California State University - Fullerton

4.1%

University of Southern California

4.1%

Nova Southeastern University

4.1%

Simmons College

3.5%

California State University - East Bay

3.2%

San Francisco State University

3.2%

Walden University

3.2%

Florida Institute of Technology-Melbourne

3.0%

University of California - Riverside

2.7%
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Majors

Psychology

31.2%

Counseling Psychology

13.5%

Special Education

8.0%

Social Work

6.1%

Clinical Psychology

4.4%

Education

3.6%

School Counseling

3.3%

Sociology

3.3%

Human Development

3.3%

Mental Health Counseling

2.9%

Family Therapy

2.7%

Communication Disorders Sciences

2.6%

Elementary Education

2.5%

Criminal Justice

2.3%

Business

2.0%

Liberal Arts

2.0%

Human Services

2.0%

Speech-Language Pathology

1.5%

Nursing

1.4%

Rehabilitation Science

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

40.8%

Masters

40.7%

Other

9.4%

Certificate

3.3%

Associate

3.1%

Doctorate

2.4%

License

0.2%

Diploma

0.1%
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Top Behavior Therapist Employers

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Jobs From Top Behavior Therapist Employers

Behavior Therapist Videos

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