Employment Opportunities in ABA and Autism

National

According to an article written by Sue Herera, posted on MSNBC (2/25/05), "The Demand Soars for Autism-Related Services." In 2002, Dr. Cece McCarton, a developmental pediatrician started the McCarton School in Manhattan, NY when she realized that she had no place to refer patients diagnosed with autism. "The schools that were there were so overloaded and there were absolutely huge waiting lists," McCarton said. Facilities pay $70,000 a year to send their kids to the McCarton School, which accommodates 22 children. There are more than 100 kids on the waiting list. Herea also states, "With this much demand, its no wonder that some therapists are earning up to $125 per hour. And as a result, more students are applying to university programs that provide training in ABA.

The article goes on to say that, as the population of individuals with autism grows, so does the demand for therapists, particularly those trained in Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA. Keith Amerison and Alisa Dror opened the Tri-State Learning Center in Rochelle, NY in 2001 and currently provide ABA services to 35 families. "When you look at the demand for services, they're high," said Amerson. "When you look at the supply of providers and agencies, it's low. When you have a supply and demand situation, it provides a great opportunity from a business perspective, but also when you look at what you're doing, you're changing a family's life. In 2005, the Columbia University Teachers College program in Applied Behavior Analysis had so many applicants it had to turn away 40 qualified students. That's twice as many as it admitted.

Indiana

Currently, the State of Indiana has regional Outreach Teams comprised of different disciplines providing clinical services to persons with disabilities and their caregivers in the community. There are several professionals currently on these teams with the BCBA credential, and when the teams were forming there was a posted starting salary of $65,000 for these positions. The State also has Crisis Services Teams that provide urgent clinical services to persons with disabilities throughout the state. These teams employ professionals with the BCBA credential. The starting salary for these positions was posted at $65,000.

Indiana has a new designation of group homes to serve individuals that present with challenging behaviors. These homes are throughout the state and providers are required to employ an individual with a master's degree and experience in handling challenging behaviors. Many providers have chosen individuals with the BCBA credential. Recent job postings for these positions listed starting salaries around $55,000+.

Also in Indiana, there are several providers who specialize in services to children with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. These providers seek the services of professionals with the BCBA credential and have posted jobs recently with a starting salary of $60,000. The state also has a revised "Intensive Behavioral" service to be added to the current Developmental Disabilities and Autism Medicaid waivers that lists the BCBA credential as an approved qualification for providers.

The state's revised guidelines for "Behavior Management" services provided to individuals with disabilities throughout the State now list the BCBA credential as an approved qualification for providers.

In terms of job prospects, there are currently 120 jobs (Fall 2009) listed on the Associate for Behavior Analysis International's job search page throughout the United States for individuals with a master's degree and BCBA credential.

There are 13,500 reported members in the associate for Behavior Analysis International's affiliated chapters. The growth of behavior analysis can be measured by the growth of the ABA International affiliated chapters, which recently reported having 5,800 members in U.S, chapters and over 7,700 members in non-U.S. chapters in 30 countries. Membership in ABA International affiliated chapters has averaged 6.5% annual growth over the past ten year.

Potential Indiana Employers: Potential employers will include caregivers providing clinical services to persons with disabilities, group home administrators, Medicaid service providers who work with persons with disabilities, service providers throughout the state that specialize in providing services to children with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, behavior management professionals, school counselors, school teachers, hospitals, day care centers, etc.