Applied Behavior Analysis: There is a misconception that applied behavior analysis ( ABA) is only used to improve the success and quality of life of people with autism. However, the behavior does not only affect autistic people: The behavior itself is the domain of behavior analyzers, and ABA has decades of data demonstrating the effectiveness of our work with this population.
What Does a Behavior Analyst Do?
Behavior analysts focus on socially significant behaviors when changing a behavior ( or adding a skill) improves a person’s access to more positive reinforcement, in an environment they would not otherwise have, and has capabilities that open up additional opportunities.
Every day, events in our lives, including the actions of others, influence how we act. We received retaliation for speeding on the highway: the encouragement of an elderly neighbor’s smile when we help her with minor tasks: and the comfort of a kind word on a day that had its dark moments. Behaviors are addressed by behavior analysts in a broad and growing discipline.
Demand for Behavior Analysts is Growing
Burning Glass Technologies was contracted by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board ( BACB), the organization responsible for certifying behavior analysts, to gather labor market information regarding the demand for behavior analysts in the US labor market. The results of the study: U.S.Job Demand for Behavior Analysts: 2010-2017″ were published by the BACB in 2018.
Annual demand for board-certified behavior analysts (BCBAs), with master’s degrees and doctorates, increased by approximately 800% between 2010 and 2017, while it increased by 995% for board-certified assistant behavior analysts ( BCAaBAs), with a bachelor’s degree. These figures are based on job positions that specify that BCBA or BCaBA degrees are preferred or required, respectively.
For those already working in the industry or considering doing so, this data certainly seems to be a cause for celebration. But what is driving this tremendous demand?
Through scientific techniques developed through empirical studies, applied behavior analysis has a history of affecting socially significant behavior ( Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2019, p.2) The concepts derived from this empirical research, begun in the early 20th century, helped establish a behavior change technology used in the area.
Occupational Options for Behavior Analysts
We can modify the factors that influence behavior to achieve change by evaluating current behaviors and their goals. Behavior analysts use their behavior change technology to address a wide range of human needs, in addition to employing research-based techniques to reduce unwanted habits and teach necessary skills to people diagnosed with autism and developmental disorders. ABA can help you:
Using ABA concepts and techniques in the workplace, or organizational behavior management (OBM), can improve worker performance, safety, satisfaction, productivity, and many other factors.
Brain Injury Patients
Behavior analysts work to increase the success of people affected by brain injuries by creating skill-building programs that allow them to perform daily tasks with more independence and eliminating unwanted habits that could hinder success.
Behavior analysts increasingly focusing on the field of behavioral gerontology. In ten years, more then 20% of the US population will be 65 or order. It will be necessary to adopt behaviors that help maintain independence, such as exercise, healthy eating, compliance with medication schedules and doses, memory care, and daily living skills.
Behavioral pediatrics is an area of particuler interest for behavior analysts. Medical experts are frequently faced with symptoms for which there is no know medical etiology. Behavior analysts can often conduct assessments in these situations to determine the origins and purposes of the symptoms present and then create function-based behavioral intervention strategies to address the behaviors. For example, behavior analysis techniques have been used successfully to treat babies with symptoms of colic and a baby treated for failure to thrive.
In behavioral sports psychology, behavior analysts seek to improve concentration, encourage goal setting and exercise, and reduce performance errors. Nutrition and exercise are addressed by behavior analysts specializing in behavioral health and fitness.
Substance Use Disorders
The field of substance abuse treatment is an area of growing interest for behavior analysts. A series of behavior analysis strategies have been successfully developed and applied to prevant and resolve substance use difficulties.
In the modern world, behavioral analysts have a fascinating interest in environmental sustainability. Behavior analysts work with local goverments and organizations to reduce waste and pollution while raising public awareness about sustainable practices.
Lounch a Career in ABA
Behavior analysts work to improve humanity, one person at a time. Our motivation comes from knowing that we are making an impact, whether that impact is at a mom-and-pop grocery store in an inner-city neighborhood, in the infirmary of a pediatric hospital, at a team’s training camp. college football or in a children’s home.
The mere fact of having lived does not matter in life. The importance of our life will be determined by the impact we have on the lives of others.