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5 Careers for Autism Master’s Graduates

Careers Suitable for Autism Master’s Graduates

• Board Certified Behavior Analyst

• Autistic Spectrum Disorder Specialist

• Social Worker

• Art Therapist

• Special Education Teachers

There are many rewarding and excellent careers available to those who complete graduate programs in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 59 children are diagnosed with ASD and 1 in 6 in the U.S. have developmental disabilities, which put them in need of special treatment. This number also increases the demand for professionals educated and trained to work with these individuals. Many of these positions require master’s degrees. Here are 5 careers for individuals who have autism master’s degrees.

Related resource: Top 25 Online Master’s in Autism Disorder Online

1. Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) are professional therapists who work not just with autistic patients but also those with developmental and certain types of learning disabilities. Board Certified Behavior Therapists work with patients to learn their skills and personalities so they can help patients change their behavior in a positive way. They also work with individuals suffering from behavior difficulties. They may work in a clinic setting or at a patient’s home or place of employment. BCBAs are required to be licensed and must be board-certified.

2. Autistic Spectrum Disorder Specialist

Autistic Spectrum Disorder Specialists are professionals who work with adults and children with neurobehavioral disorders. Rather than using one specific treatment plan for all their patients, the autistic spectrum disorder specialist evaluates a patient to learn the degree of severity and develops an individual care plan. The specialist helps clients or patients work meet educational goals and improve their interaction and communication skills. Autistic spectrum disorder specialists with master’s degrees are usually teachers and must be licensed. Depending on the state requirements, the individual may also need to be board-certified.

3. Social Worker

Social workers are usually required to have master’s degrees, and those working with ASD patients need specific training in that area. They work with ASD children and try to help them improve their behavior and function better around others. The social worker helps the patients improve their behavior in the home and at school, so they may spend time in both places. They also collaborate with doctors and therapists to ensure the child is getting adequate support as part of a family unit and among classmates.

4. Art Therapist

Art therapists play an important role in the treatment of autistic patients, especially when working with children with autism. They help the child relate to the world better through the use of art therapy. Art therapy is highly effective for autistic children because it helps them increase their awareness of objects around them and offers them a way to express themselves, which gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment. Art therapists may work in schools, hospitals or independently. Because art therapists have knowledge of various forms of art media, they’re able to stimulate the child’s tactile and visual senses in different ways. Art therapists may not need licensure but are often required to be certified.

5. Special Education Teachers

Special education teachers play a very important role in the treatment of a child suffering from autism and autism-related disorders. It’s also one of the most common and popular choices for candidates interested in earning a master’s degree in ASD and working with children. Special education teachers generally work with children through all of their school years and also work with them in specific subjects. They also help children learn to become more independent and prepare for adulthood. Special education teachers usually need to be licensed.

With more than three million people in the U.S. today living with autism-related disorders, the need for trained professionals has never been higher. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, professionals in the psychology profession should see employment growth of 11% from 2016-2026. With so many careers for autism master’s graduates, it can be a very rewarding career choice.