Masters in ABA Therapy: Info on Applied Behavioral Analysis Programs

A Master of Science in Applied Behavioral Analysis program addresses ways in which organizations can use knowledge of human behavior to improve efficiency and communications. Learn about the program, common courses, and current job outlook and pay.

Essential Information

Applied behavioral analysis (ABA) programs are usually tailored to meet the requirements for certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Coursework in a master's program focuses on understanding interpersonal dynamics, learning how to prevent workplace accidents, improve communications, enhancing training outcomes and increasing efficiency. Practitioners with graduate-level training may work as organizational psychologists or clinical psychologists. Those who plan to become clinical psychologists must earn a doctoral degree.

Applicants to the master's degree programs need a bachelor's degree in psychology, behavioral science, counseling, or a related field. Once enrolled, students will often be required to participate in various internship opportunities to graduate.


Master's Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis

ABA coursework begins with an overview of cognition and emotion, research methods and organizational theory. Students also learn about common psychological and behavioral disorders, such as autism, depression and schizophrenia. General requirements for a master's degree in applied behavioral analysis include psychological theory and the following:

  • Behavioral research
  • Behavioral modification strategies
  • Applied statistical analysis
  • Applied ethics in psychology
  • Language and speech development
  • Organizational analysis

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of open positions for industrial-organizational psychologists was expected to increase by 19% from 2014-2024, which was much faster than average (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reported that in 2015, the mean annual salary for these professionals was $92,320. The minimum requirement to work as an organizational psychologist is a master's degree in applied behavioral analysis or a similar field. Many work as consultants for several clients.

Those who wish to use their ABA training in a clinical setting need to earn a doctoral degree in psychology and meet state licensing requirements. In many states, clinical psychologists must complete a 1-year or 2-year supervised internship before they can practice independently. The BLS predicted that demand for clinical, counseling and school psychologists would increase by 20% from 2012-2022. In 2015, clinical, counseling and school psychologists earned an average annual salary of $76,040, according to the BLS.

A master's degree program in applied behavioral analysis focuses on behavioral research, analysis and modification techniques to prepare students for a doctoral program or work as a organizational psychologist.


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