Professionals who work in the field of autism support can benefit by becoming Certified Autism Specialists (CAS). Receiving this type of certification demonstrates to clients and colleagues a commitment to promoting a higher standard of care to the autism community.  If you’re thinking about becoming a Certified Autism Specialist, we have all the information you need to know to get you started.

What is a Certified Autism Specialist (CAS)?

Certified Autism Specialists offer services and support for people who have some form of autism. These services are available in all sorts of environments such as educational settings, therapist offices, and non-profit organizations. Working with individuals with autism could mean working at schools, to help autistic children succeed academically, or working at residential centers to help patients become more independent. Professionals like teachers, doctors, psychologists, counselors, physical therapists, and speech/language pathologists can all benefit from being a CAS.

CAS Job Opportunities

Individuals in many different professions choose to receive their certification as a CAS. From teachers, to speech/occupational therapists, to even doctors, CAS professionals are in demand and are likely to be able to leverage their certification to boost their careers. Even substitute teachers can earn this certificate to open up job opportunities in special education classes.

If you’re serious about becoming a CAS, you can even use your certificate to work for autism organizations and charities. There are hundreds of organizations around the country that work to help individuals with autism, fight for them, and educate communities about autism.

Can a CAS Credential Enhance Your Career?

Adding a specialty certificate to your resume is never a bad thing. Becoming a CAS can enrich your credibility and reputation in the field. It also gives you recognition for your mastery of the area of autism. Obviously, this type of certificate can also increase your chances and opportunities for advancement in your career, with increased salaries.

Becoming a CAS helps create a better bond between you and your students, parents, and clients as well. Those you are helping will have better confidence in your abilities and your commitment to helping them, since you’ve been accredited for that commitment. Parents will have better confidence in your ability to help their child.

Aside from the personal benefits, this type of specialty can also differentiate your business or school from others and improve possible grant qualifications. It can even reduce the chances of possible litigation in regard to your company or school.

CAS Salary

Salary after receiving this certification will always depend on the current career path you’re already on. Becoming a Certified Autism Specialist will probably heighten your chances of an above-average pay rate for your job, although career advancement is more likely. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, special education teachers and teachers who work with children with autism make around $60,000 each year, while someone like an occupational therapist makes around $80,000. Someone in these types of careers that choose to add a CAS credential to their resume can expect to make more than the average, and should be more eligible for future, higher positions.

The salary after receiving this type of certification will vary, but it will absolutely open more doors for advancement. Certified Autism Specialists can make up to $100,000 depending on which type of career they are in. Doctors and psychologists are on the higher end of the pay scale. Among other high-paid careers are therapists and psychologists who own their own practices and offices.

How to Become a CAS

Becoming a CAS means that you are certified by an accredited organization for your competence and commitment to the field of autism. This type of certification is available to professionals who have been working in the field for at least 2 years. A minimum of a master’s degree is also required of applicants.

In order to retain your certificate and specialty throughout the years, the certifying organization may require certain things of you. The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards requires Certified Autism Specialists to renew their certification every 2 years and fulfill certain continuing education requirements.

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Working in the various areas that help individuals with autism can be difficult, but extremely rewarding and worthwhile. It takes commitment, heart, and some serious kindness. We hope you take the information you found on this overview and get started on your certification to become a Certified Autism Specialist right away.