Behavior Modification Consultant: Job Description and Requirements

Behavior modification consultants require significant formal education. Learn about the necessary degrees, job duties and certification requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

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If you have great listening skills and empathy towards those working to overcome addiction, then behavior modification might be a field to explore. To work as a consultant or analyst, you'll typically need a master's degree related to behavioral analysis or psychology and certification from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.

Essential Information

Behavior modification consultants, who may also be considered mental health counselors, use applied behavior analysis to help clients regulate their behavior. They often help children with autism or other developmental disabilities improve social skills and academic performance. A psychology-related master's degree is required for certification as a behavior analyst or consultant.

Required Education Master's degree related to psychology or behavior analysis
Licensure/Certification Certification through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board required
Other Requirements Training, field work and examination required for certification
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 20% for mental health counselors
Average Salary (2015)* $45,080 for mental health counselors

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Behavior Modification Consultant Job Description

Applied behavior analysts are trained to analyze problems and teach strategies that change behavior in children, teenagers and adults. Applied behavior analysis is known among psychologists as an effective treatment for autism and other developmental problems. Analysts provide techniques that improve reasoning and enhance socialization skills. They may reduce stimuli or create consequences for behavior in order to produce client change.

Consultants work in homes, schools, offices, hospitals and residential care centers. They may consult with schools to help improve student academic performance or work as a business consultant to increase employee efficiency. Behavior analysts often provide parent education and offer consultation services to organizations focused on the treatment of autism, schizophrenia or other disorders. Analysts are trained to address behavior problems related to:

  • Learning disabilities
  • Developmental problems
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Delinquency
  • Trauma
  • Brain injury

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  • Behavioral Sciences, General
  • Biopsychology
  • Clinical Psychology, General
  • Cognitive Psychology and Psycholinguistics
  • Cognitive Science
  • Community Psychology
  • Comparitive Psychology
  • Counseling Psychology, General
  • Environmental Psychology
  • Experimental Psychology
  • Family Psychology
  • Forensic Psychology, General
  • Industrial and Organizational Psychology
  • Medical Psychology
  • Personality Psychology
  • Physiological Psychology
  • Psychology, General
  • Psychometrics and Quantitative Psychology
  • Social Psychology

Behavior Modification Consultant Education Requirements

Applied behavior consultants first earn a bachelor's degree in psychology, education or special education. A master's degree in applied behavior analysis, psychology or a related degree is necessary to become board-certified. Graduate students who hold a master's degree in another subject can take a one-year certificate program in behavior analysis.

Prospective behavior modification consultants interested in working with children may take graduate courses in applied behavior analysis with a concentration in education. Concentrated graduate studies may include classes in special education, assessment and intervention techniques, social skill management and physical disabilities.


Applied behavior consultants are certified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). Assistant-level certification requires a bachelor's degree, 135 hours of coursework and 1000 hours of supervised field work. Applicants must also pass a written examination.

Eligibility requirements for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) designation include a master's degree, professional training and 1500 hours of supervised field work. Applicants may meet training requirements for certification through specified graduate coursework, a full-time university faculty position teaching behavior or a Ph.D. along with ten years of verified postdoctoral experience. All BCBA candidates must also pass an examination and keep their certification current by taking continuing education courses.

Aspiring behavior modification consultants must pursue a master's degree, certification, and training in the field. According to the BLS, jobs should be plentiful during the 2014-2024 decade.

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