ABA Therapy Salary Ranges - Achieve Beyond

ABA Therapy Salary Ranges

Written By: Jules Glowinski, BT

Reviewed By: Melanie Bren, BCBA, LBA

Behavior Analysts are in high demand due to the rise of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnoses. Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is widely accepted as the foremost treatment option for autism. It is also being used more frequently for other developmental and behavioral disorders.

Types of ABA Careers

Working in the autism community isn’t the only place where these behavior scientists can apply their knowledge and have a rewarding career. Other areas Behavior Analysts are finding careers in are substance abuse therapy, special education, and organizational behavior management. Not all of these professions pay the same salary.

ABA Career Requirements

They all have different requirements such as a master’s or doctorate’s degree and in addition may need professional certifications. These amongst location and experience are variables for salaries in the ABA field.

The qualifications for a behavior analyst are a master’s degree and Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) certification. These standardized practice requirements means that salary will be based on years of experience in the field and the employment setting – nonprofit organizations, small or large private companies, or school based. According to Ziprecruiter.com, the average annual pay for a BCBA is $87,535, as of March 2022.

Location Based Salary Differences

Location, location, location. The best state to be a BCBA is California, where the average salary in 2020 was $124,910. Second, was Alaska with the average salary of $118,270. Next is, Illinois where the average salary was $115,340, followed by Virginia at $109,060 -in the year 2020. Every state saw growth in demand from 2010 to 2020. California, Massachusetts, Texas, Florida, and Georgia accounted for 47% of the demand in 2020.

ABA Therapy Salary Ranges for Different Specializations

Special Education Teacher Requirements and Salary

Many BCBAs find job opportunities as a Special Education teacher. A school setting provides fun, collaborative work environment and a small “case” load, being only the children in the classroom. The education and certification requirements for a special education teacher include a bachelor’s degree in special education or education.

It is recommended to choose an area of specialization during the bachelor’s course work such as gifted and talented education or autism spectrum disorders. After graduation, obtaining a state certification or licensure is required to teach in public schools. During the certification process, one will need to provide documentation of a bachelor’s degree and student teaching experience.

The average salary for a Special Education teacher in the United States as of February 2022, is $58,873, but can be as high $84,039 depending on the location of the job. Similar to BCBA positions, a higher salary is depending on experience and location.

The best states for higher salaries as a Special Education teacher are Maryland with the average salary is $67,969. Coming in second is our nation’s capital, Washington D.C., with the average salary of $65,305. Next is followed by another east coast state, Connecticut, with the average salary of $56,328.

Substance Abuse Clinician Requirements and Salary

As stated before, working with children isn’t the only place one can apply ABA strategies to benefit another’s overall well-being. ABA is being more openly applied to aid in substance abuse. The job requirements will differ from company to company that could include a bachelor’s degree and certifications. As of February 2022, the average salary for a substance abuse clinician is $45,298.

The five states where Substance Abuse Clinician jobs get higher salaries in the United States are: Alaska, California, District of Columbia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. Compared with the average salary of a Substance Abuse Clinician in the United States, the state of Alaska with the highest job income for this job at $50,799. The second and third states are California and District of Columbia both around $50,598. The high or low salary paid to Substance Abuse Clinician by the US has a greater relationship with the demand for jobs and the cost of living.

Organizational Behavioral Management (OBM) Requirements and Salary

Organizational Behavioral Management (OBM) applies behavioral principles to individuals and groups in businesses. OBM is seen as the intersection between behavioral science and improvement in organizational environments. OBM applications separate, analyze and modify environment events that most directly affect performance. OBM’s objective is to help groups and businesses become as productive as possible using ABA antecedent and consequence-based interventions.

The job requirement for an OBM career includes a master’s degree in organizational development or organizational psychology. As of March 2022, the national average salary for an OBM job is $85,531. As most things go, location can be critical. Washington, Wisconsin, Indiana, Idaho, and Michigan provide the highest Organizational Psychologist salaries.

However, many California cities provide the highest salaries- over $95,000 a year. The average pay range for an Organizational Behavior varies greatly (by as much as $76,000), which suggests there may be many opportunities for advancement and increased pay based on skill level, location and years of experience.

Conclusion to ABA Therapy Salary Range

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is a job field that is seeing a large amount of growth due to the increase in ASD diagnoses and it being applied to other populations, such as substance abuse. Top paying ABA jobs require a master’s degree in the science. However, with the increase in job postings with higher than the average salary, landing a lucrative job out of school is likely. ABA is a great field to work in for anyone who is looking for a job that is hands on and helps others become successful in their life.


Applied Behavior Analysis Careers – jobs with an ABA degree. Applied Behavioral Analysis | How to Become an Applied Behavior Analyst. (2022, January 13). Retrieved March 14, 2022, from https://www.appliedbehavioranalysisedu.org/careers/ 

Average BCBA salaries in 2020 (best states & cities). The Elemy Learning Studio. (2020, May 27). Retrieved March 14, 2022, from https://www.elemy.com/studio/behavior-analysts/bcba-salaries 

Average substance abuse clinician salary. PayScale. (n.d.). Retrieved March 14, 2022, from https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Substance_Abuse_Clinician/Salary 

BCBA annual salary ($87,535 avg | feb 2022) – ziprecruiter. (n.d.). Retrieved March 14, 2022, from https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/BCBA-Salary 

Best states for a special education teacher – zippia. (n.d.). Retrieved March 14, 2022, from https://www.zippia.com/special-education-teacher-jobs/best-states/ 

Organizational behavior salary – ziprecruiter. (n.d.). Retrieved March 14, 2022, from https://www.ziprecruiter.com/Salaries/Organizational-Behavior-Salary 

Salary.com, S. built by: (n.d.). Special education teacher salary. Salary.com. Retrieved March 14, 2022, from https://www.salary.com/research/salary/benchmark/special-education-teacher-salary 

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