The Autism Therapist’s Career Process and Compensation Packages
There are many avenues to working in the field of autism therapy. More children are diagnosed with autism every year. The education industry is changing as a result of this growing trend. The most effective treatments available for autism to date are education and therapeutic intervention. Therefore, there is a growing demand for professionals in this field. Interventionists can practice in a variety of capacities.
How to Become an Applied Behavior Analysis?
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapists must possess a Bachelor’s Degree and pass several training courses in ABA intervention. They must work under a direct supervisor who holds a Master’s Degree in special education, psychology or human behavior. At least one Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) must supervise all staff members involved in providing services to the client or student with autism.
What does an Applied Behavior Analysis Do?
ABA therapists are employed in multiple settings. In schools, they provide support to teachers and administrative staff tasked with educating students with autism. They assist the school staff with implementing and reinforcing the behavior plan for the students on the spectrum. They also provide direct service support to the students and staff. Some ABA therapists work in the home or residential setting of the client with autism. They provide support services such as behavior intervention, parent or caregiver education, ABA behavior plans and support for implementation. Other ABA therapists provide adaptive skills training to clients with autism. These services are education based and may even be taught in small group settings.
Other autism therapists work with clients prior to formal diagnosis. These clients are often much younger than those receiving ABA services. Floor time therapists provide early intervention for joint attention, connectivity and awareness of others. The diagnostic criterion for autism is partially upon social skill and language development, and is therefore not formally considered until the developmentally appropriate ages of observation. However, there are early indicators which are notably common in many diagnosed cases. When these factors are present, early intervention is often advised. These therapists are recognized as autism therapists.
Autism therapists often pursue Master’s Degrees to become supervisors in their field. Many colleges and universities offer programs which include the Board Certification for Behavior Analysts. These licenses enable a therapist to open his or her own practice. Private practice companies have cropped up across the country in recent years in response to the growing need for services. Autism professionals attend regular trainings and conferences to stay current on the latest developments in treatment and intervention strategies.
How Much do Autism Therapists Make?
Direct service providers who practice autism therapy earn approximately $40,000 per year. The more education a professional obtains, the higher they climb on the pay scale. Master’s Degrees and BCBA licenses are especially high-earning credentials in the field of autism therapy. Supervising therapists and case managers earn approximately $60 per year. Top supervisors and practice owners earn more than $100,000 per year. Top earning professionals typically obtain doctorate level credentials during the course of their career. There is also optimal room for growth for an autism therapist. The services provided to clients with autism are essential, and deserving of excellent compensation.
Autism therapists enjoy a rewarding and productive career. They are the link to order and success for many families of clients with autism. They open the gateways to functional living for many of their clients. They provide necessary tools for living, such as communication and social interaction. Autism therapists are an imperative part of treatment for their clients.
Specialized programs for working adults suit the educational needs of autism therapists. As a developing industry, intervention specialists are in growing demand. Their jobs are constantly evolving. Autism treatment options continually adapt to serve the needs of those in the community. As new treatments become available, therapists are needed to provide these invaluable services.