If you have a passion for helping others and want to make a real difference in someone's life, you may consider a career as a behavior specialist. A career as a behavior specialist is a service-oriented and rewarding position that may not only bring you profound gratification but may lead to a good deal of flexibility, job security, variation in duties, and spectacular advancement opportunities. Being a behavior specialist, you'll get a chance to positively impact the lives of hundreds of individuals of different ability levels and dozens of distinct disabilities. Generally, a behavior specialist is a psychological counselor who observes, assesses, and supports adults and children with emotional or behavioral issues that impair learning and social functions. As a behavior specialist, you won't only work with children having autism spectrum disorders and pervasive developmental disorders but will also help adults with severe behavioral problems or intellectual disabilities.
Now, how to become a behavior specialist? There are numerous overlapping education paths you may take to become a behavior specialist. You may become one by earning a bachelor's degree in social work, psychology, human services, or a related field, or just a high school diploma with experience working with individuals with special needs. Also, earning a master's degree in psychology or a certificate in applied behavioral analysis may even help boost your credentials more. To be successful as a behavior specialist, you must be patient, compassionate, and have a strong foundation in behavior analysis.
Becoming a behavior specialist, you may work in diverse workplaces, including schools, clinics, health care, government institutions, and many more. Typically, you may work regular business hours. However, you might have to work some evenings to accommodate appointments with parents and caregivers. Working as a behavior specialist, you may earn a median annual salary of $45,000 along with health and insurance benefits. In addition to higher wages, financial and emotional rewards, the role of behavior specialist may bring a broad spectrum of advancement opportunities to you in the future. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job prospects for all mental health counselors expect to grow by 22 percent between 2018 and 2028, which is more than four times the growth rate for the entire job market. So, if you're thinking about going into the behavioral specialist field, now is a good time.
There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a behavioral specialist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $23.11 an hour? That's $48,072 a year!
Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 13% and produce 52,200 job opportunities across the U.S.
There are certain skills that many behavioral specialists have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed time-management skills, communication skills and organizational skills.
When it comes to the most important skills required to be a behavioral specialist, we found that a lot of resumes listed 15.6% of behavioral specialists included student learning, while 11.4% of resumes included mental health, and 10.0% of resumes included crisis intervention. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.
When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the behavioral specialist job title. But what industry to start with? Most behavioral specialists actually find jobs in the non profits and health care industries.
If you're interested in becoming a behavioral specialist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 37.5% of behavioral specialists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 40.9% of behavioral specialists have master's degrees. Even though most behavioral specialists have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.
Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a behavioral specialist. When we researched the most common majors for a behavioral specialist, we found that they most commonly earn master's degree degrees or bachelor's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on behavioral specialist resumes include associate degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.
You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a behavioral specialist. In fact, many behavioral specialist jobs require experience in a role such as internship. Meanwhile, many behavioral specialists also have previous career experience in roles such as teacher or therapeutic support staff.