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What Does A Behavior Therapist Do?

A behavior therapist is a professional psychologist who is responsible for helping patients with mental disorders such as depression and schizophrenia. Behavior therapists must equip patients with psychological tools to help them diminish unhealthy thoughts so that they can effectively deal with the challenges of their daily lives. They are required to devise problem-solving methods such as psychotherapy and counseling to help patients improve their quality of life. Behavior therapists must also collaborate with the families of their patients to help them overcome behavioral issues more effectively.

Here are examples of responsibilities from real behavior therapist resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage entire dual diagnosis adult caseload.
  • Manage a caseload of in-home behavioral intervention programs.
  • Implement behavioral objectives using applications base on ABA principles and practices that include positive reinforcement strategies.
  • Provide individual, group and family therapy using DBT.
  • Solve certify as well as first aid and CPR certify.
  • Complete all requirements need to be certify as an RBT.
  • Lead group supervision and consultation as necessary when supervisor is unavailable, after having attend the MST supervisor training.
  • Earn 40 hour RBT training certificate; work with four clients, ages 7 -21 years; OTJ and practical training
  • Conduct activities that are laid out in each patient's programming to teach academic, self-help, and social skills.
  • Integrate client s family to contribute in the development of the client s linguistic, social, and self-help skills.
Behavior Therapist Traits
Listening is an important part of the communication process as it allows you to understand information.
Speaking skills is important to being able to communicate efficiently with multiple people regarding your thoughts, ideas and feedback.
Organizational skills are essential to working as efficiently as possible through being able to focus on projects at hand while also keeping a clean workspace.

Behavior Therapist Overview

When it comes to understanding what a behavior therapist does, you may be wondering, "should I become a behavior therapist?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, behavior therapists have a growth rate described as "much faster than average" at 22% between the years 2018 - 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of behavior therapist opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is 12,300.

A behavior therapist annual salary averages $32,167, which breaks down to $15.46 an hour. However, behavior therapists can earn anywhere from upwards of $24,000 to $41,000 a year. This means that the top-earning behavior therapists make $17,000 more than the lowest-earning ones.

It's hard work to become a behavior therapist, but even the most dedicated employees consider switching careers from time to time. Whether you're interested in a more challenging position or just looking for a fresh start, we've compiled extensive information on becoming a youth advocate, family counselor, intensive in-home counselor, and mental health associate.

Behavior Therapist Jobs You Might Like

Behavior Therapist Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 30% of Behavior Therapists are proficient in Behavior Analysis, Student Learning, and Intellectual Disabilities. They’re also known for soft skills such as Listening skills, Speaking skills, and Organizational skills.

We break down the percentage of Behavior Therapists that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Behavior Analysis, 30%

    Direct a four-year-old child on Autism Spectrum Disorder through Applied Behavior Analysis/Verbal Behavior therapy and assist in developing daily functional skills.

  • Student Learning, 10%

    Incorporated technology into student learning activities for varied academic disciplines and communication.

  • Intellectual Disabilities, 10%

    Provided therapy and behavioral consultation services to clients and families affected by developmental and intellectual disabilities.

  • Bcba, 8%

    Assist with assessment and quarterly report writing when requested by the BCBA Accomplishments I completed my Registered Behavior Technician Certification

  • Treatment Plans, 7%

    Assess and evaluate new behavioral therapy clients and develop comprehensive treatment plans focused on accurate diagnosis and behavioral treatment.

  • Communication, 6%

    Assisted children in accomplishing Regional Center goals of functional communication, safety awareness, community integration, and independent living.

Most behavior therapists list "behavior analysis," "student learning," and "intellectual disabilities" as skills on their resumes. We go into more details on the most important behavior therapist responsibilities here:

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for a behavior therapist to have happens to be listening skills. An example from a resume said this about the skill, "marriage and family therapists need to give their full attention to their clients to understand their problems, values, and goals." Additionally, other resumes have pointed out that behavior therapists can use listening skills to "communicated effectively with diverse populations including children with developmental and intellectual disabilities and their parents. "
  • Another commonly found skill for being able to perform behavior therapist duties is the following: speaking skills. According to a behavior therapist resume, "marriage and family therapists need to be able to communicate with clients effectively." Check out this example of how behavior therapists use speaking skills: "addressed clients iep behavior goals to increase classroom participation. "
  • Another skill that is quite popular among behavior therapists is organizational skills. This skill is very critical to fulfilling every day responsibilities as is shown in this example from a behavior therapist resume: "marriage and family therapists in private practice must keep track of payments and work with insurance companies." This example from a resume shows how this skill is used: "work with emotionally and behaviorally challenging children, assist with social skills, organizational skills, anger management and other emotional issues"
  • A thorough review of lots of resumes revealed to us that "interpersonal skills" is important to completing behavior therapist responsibilities. This resume example shows just one way behavior therapists use this skill: "marriage and family therapists work with different types of people" Here's an example of how this skill is used from a resume that represents typical behavior therapist tasks: "provided children with individual undivided attention and provided them with positive reinforcement to enhance their interpersonal skills in supervised play therapy. "
  • See the full list of behavior therapist skills.

    Before becoming a behavior therapist, 67.4% earned their bachelor's degree. When it comes down to graduating with a master's degree, 16.0% behavior therapists went for the extra education. If you're wanting to pursue this career, it may be possible to be successful with a high school degree. In fact, most behavior therapists have a college degree. But about one out of every eight behavior therapists didn't attend college at all.

    Those behavior therapists who do attend college, typically earn either psychology degrees or counseling psychology degrees. Less commonly earned degrees for behavior therapists include special education degrees or sociology degrees.

    Once you're ready to become a behavior therapist, you should explore the companies that typically hire behavior therapists. According to behavior therapist resumes that we searched through, behavior therapists are hired the most by Center for Autism and Related .., National Mentor Holdings, and RCS. Currently, Center for Autism and Related .. has 22 behavior therapist job openings, while there are 18 at National Mentor Holdings and 16 at RCS.

    View more details on behavior therapist salaries across the United States.

    For the most part, behavior therapists make their living in the health care and non profits industries. Behavior therapists tend to make the most in the transportation industry with an average salary of $37,266. The behavior therapist annual salary in the non profits and education industries generally make $34,896 and $34,499 respectively. Additionally, behavior therapists who work in the transportation industry make 13.1% more than behavior therapists in the technology Industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious behavior therapists are:

      What Youth Advocates Do

      Youth advocates are individuals who responsible for maintaining the human rights of youth while assisting them in developing their skills in all areas of life, such as education, health, employment, and relationships. These advocates are required to discuss youth development and involvement with various leaders in the community. They must provide crisis interventions by performing one-on-one and group meetings with young adults. Youth advocates must also work with mental health professionals within the community so that they can guide teenagers with drug or alcohol problems and mental health issues.

      We looked at the average behavior therapist annual salary and compared it with the average of a youth advocate. Generally speaking, youth advocates receive $7,665 lower pay than behavior therapists per year.

      Even though behavior therapists and youth advocates have vast differences in their careers, a few of the skills required to do both jobs are similar. For example, both careers require treatment plans, communication, and group therapy in the day-to-day roles.

      As far as similarities go, this is where it ends because a behavior therapist responsibility requires skills such as "behavior analysis," "communication disorders," "student learning," and "intellectual disabilities." Whereas a youth advocate is skilled in "mental health," "youth development," "community resources," and "social workers." So if you're looking for what truly separates the two careers, you've found it.

      Youth advocates really shine in the finance industry with an average salary of $38,859. Whereas behavior therapists tend to make the most money in the transportation industry with an average salary of $37,266.

      The education levels that youth advocates earn is a bit different than that of behavior therapists. In particular, youth advocates are 16.4% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than a behavior therapist. Additionally, they're 0.2% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Family Counselor?

      A Family Counselor treats married couples or family members in order to help them overcome mental or emotional problems. They provide effective treatment measures to help the family members resolve their issues.

      Now we're going to look at the family counselor profession. On average, family counselors earn a $1,629 lower salary than behavior therapists a year.

      A similarity between the two careers of behavior therapists and family counselors are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "student learning," "treatment plans," and "communication. "

      But both careers also use different skills, according to real behavior therapist resumes. While behavior therapist responsibilities can utilize skills like "behavior analysis," "communication disorders," "intellectual disabilities," and "bcba," some family counselors use skills like "community resources," "poc," "clinical supervision," and "family support."

      It's been discovered that family counselors earn lower salaries compared to behavior therapists, but we wanted to find out where family counselors earned the most pay. The answer? The health care industry. The average salary in the industry is $34,265. Additionally, behavior therapists earn the highest paychecks in the transportation with an average salary of $37,266.

      When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, family counselors tend to reach higher levels of education than behavior therapists. In fact, they're 20.0% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.2% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How an Intensive In-Home Counselor Compares

      An Intensive In-Home Counselor conducts individual counseling sessions for parents and deals with delicate issues like sexual addiction. They also prepare progress reports for clients.

      The third profession we take a look at is intensive in-home counselor. On an average scale, these workers bring in lower salaries than behavior therapists. In fact, they make a $18 lower salary per year.

      While looking through the resumes of several behavior therapists and intensives in-home counselor we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "student learning," "intellectual disabilities," and "treatment plans," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

      There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, a behavior therapist is likely to be skilled in "behavior analysis," "communication disorders," "bcba," and "rbt," while a typical intensive in-home counselor is skilled in "mental health," "individual service plans," "community resources," and "in-home."

      Additionally, intensives in-home counselor earn a higher salary in the health care industry compared to other industries. In this industry, they receive an average salary of $42,443. Additionally, behavior therapists earn an average salary of $37,266 in the transportation industry.

      When it comes to education, intensives in-home counselor tend to earn higher education levels than behavior therapists. In fact, they're 13.2% more likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 0.8% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Mental Health Associate

      As a mental health associate, you will assist the medical team members in diagnosing and treating individuals with mental, developmental, and behavioral conditions. You may be tasked to facilitate individual and group therapy sessions, help patients with their day-to-day activities such as self-care and hygiene, and assist in administering medications prescribed by physicians. Other duties include planning and leading program activities, attending treatment rounds, and assisting with the physical care of patients. The qualifications and skills required for this role include a bachelor's degree in social science or psychology, previous work experience, and certification on basic life support.

      The fourth career we look at typically earns higher pay than behavior therapists. On average, mental health associates earn a difference of $57 higher per year.

      While their salaries may vary, behavior therapists and mental health associates both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "treatment plans," "communication," and "group therapy. "

      Each job requires different skills like "behavior analysis," "communication disorders," "student learning," and "intellectual disabilities," which might show up on a behavior therapist resume. Whereas mental health associate might include skills like "customer service," "vital signs," "cpr," and "patient care."

      In general, mental health associates make a higher salary in the non profits industry with an average of $28,086. The highest behavior therapist annual salary stems from the transportation industry.

      The average resume of mental health associates showed that they earn lower levels of education to behavior therapists. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 7.9% less. Additionally, they're more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 0.4%.