Behavior Specialist: Salary, Requirements and Duties

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a behavior specialist. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about the training, job duties, and certifications to find out if this is the right career for you. View article »

View 10 Popular Schools »

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

94% college-bound high school students
…said it was important to communicate with colleges during the search process. (Source: Noel-Levitz 2012 trend study)

Select a school or program

View More Schools
Show Me Schools
 Replay
  • 00:00 Essential Information
  • 0:54 Job Duties
  • 1:12 Education Requirements
  • 1:48 Career Requirements

Find the perfect school

Video Transcript

Essential Information

Degree Level Bachelor's degree at minimum; master's degree sometimes preferred
Degree Level Social work, human services, psychology, or related field
Licensure/Certification Licensure varies by state
Job Outlook (2012-2022)* 19% growth (for all mental health counselors)
Median Salary (2016)** $39,6904 (for all mental health counselors)

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), **PayScale.com

A behavior specialist is a type of psychological counselor who helps those with disabilities or problems that impair learning or social functions. Behavior analysts can find employment in diverse workplaces, including schools, clinics, or government institutions. This job typically requires a bachelor's degree in human services, psychology, or social work; however some employers prefer candidates with a master's degree in social work or psychology.

According to Pay Scale.com, the median salary for behavior specialists was $39,604 as of 2016. However, salaries in this field have a wide range depending on the specialist's place of employment. The projected job growth rate for all mental health counselors for the period between 2012 and 2022 is 19%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • 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

Job Duties

Behavior specialists usually work in clinical environments. They observe, assess, and provide support to adults and children who have emotional or behavior issues. For example, some specialists work with those who are deaf or hard of hearing, developmentally disabled, or simply are in need of behavioral therapy.

Education Requirements

Training requirements for behavior specialists are less stringent than they are for general psychologists who typically must earn a doctoral degree. According to job postings found in April 2015 on Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com, some employers consider behavior specialists who have graduated from a four-year undergraduate program and earned a bachelor's degree in human services, social work, or psychology, or who have no degree but possess experience working with individuals with special needs. Some employers, however, look for candidates with a graduate degree, typically a master's in social work or psychology.

Career Requirements

There is no required certification needed to work as a behavior specialist; however, those seeking this work in the state of Pennsylvania are required to possess a license. State requirements for obtaining licensure include earning a graduate degree and completing a clinical experience.

Next: View Schools

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma or GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

  • What is your highest level of education?

    • MS in Psychology - Applied Behavioral Analysis
    • MS in Psychology
    • MS in Psychology - Addictions
    • MS in Educational Psychology
    • BS in Psychology in Applied Behavior Analysis
    • BS in Psychology in Industrial/Organizational Psychology
    • BS in Psychology in Addictions
    • BS in Criminal Justice - Forensic Psychology

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership - Coaching and Mentoring
    • Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies - Leadership Studies
    • Bachelor of Science in Professional Studies - Psychology
    • Bachelor of Science in Psychology
    • Bachelor of Science in Psychology - Clinical and Counseling Psychology

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • BA: Psychology
    • BA: Psychology - Clinical/Counseling
    • BA: Psychology - General
    • BA: Psychology - Experimental
    • BA: Psychology - Developmental

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your age?

    • Ph.D. in General Psychology - Cognition and Instruction
    • Ph.D. in General Psychology - Industrial and Organizational Psychology
    • Ph.D. in General Psychology - Performance Psychology
    • Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision
    • M.S. Psychology with an Emphasis in Gerontology
    • M.S. in Psychology with an Emphasis in Health Psychology
    • M.S. in Psychology with an Emphasis in Human Factors
    • MS in Psychology: General Psychology
    • MS in Psychology: Industrial & Organizational Psychology
    • MS in Christian Counseling
    • Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health Science with an Emphasis in Trauma
    • BS in Psychology
    • B.S. in Psychology with an Emphasis in Performance and Sports Psychology

    What is your highest level of education?

    • MS in Criminal Justice Behavior Analysis

    What is your highest level of education completed?

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?