As the demand for behavior analysts grows, it is important to examine the various settings a person following this career choice may find work. There are numerous specializations in this field, but the common goal of all behavior analysts is to address and evaluate issues within certain groups of individuals and develop treatments that solve their problems. Also, these professionals monitor the success of the treatments and documents their effects. Here are five job settings for applied behavior analysts.
1. Residential Treatment Programs
A residential treatment program provides help to children with severe emotional or behavior problems. During treatment, it is common for these youths to live temporarily outside their home environments so that they can be professionally supervised and monitored. An analyst determines how to reach troubled children and how to facilitate a change in their behavior. Taking an individualized approach, a behavior analyst may team with a rehabilitation specialist to develop a specific plan geared to the needs of each client. Hopefully, positive modifications are made to all individuals’ behavior so that all children live more normal lives.
2. Classroom/School Settings
Certain behavior analysts specialize in particular problems, including autism, which is a spectrum disorder characterized by impaired communication skills and restricted behavior. It is common for analysts to assist within the classroom environment and work with autistic children. Applied Behavior Analysis is considered a safe and successful way to treat autism. Many studies have proven ABA techniques improve communication, social interaction, self care, and learning. Behavior analysts work one-on-one with autistic children to encourage functional language and to deter negative actions.
Related Resource: What Causes Autism?
3. Corporate Environments
In the world of business, managers are always looking for ways to motivate employees. A behavior analyst may be hired to uncover the best ways to accomplish this task. In this environment, an analyst will directly observe workers’ behavior and look for ways to add drive to the staff. After making recommendations regarding workplace changes, an analyst will followup and make sure motivation has been heightened.
4. Government Settings
Some individuals entering the field of behavior analysis gain employment with government agencies. For instance, the FBI hires people to deal with criminals who make terroristic threats and commit violent acts. Through case studies and psychological evaluations, analysts deconstruct and examine the actions and mindset of vicious criminals. After developing profiles, these professionals help investigators identify and successfully apprehend terrorists and other suspects before more violence occur. The FBI gathers data concerning its apprehended criminals and makes it available to local and state police troops. When these individuals are in custody, behavior analysts study the perpetrators’ motives as well.
5. Hospital Settings
Behavior analysts job may be in a hospital or similar facility. For example, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital employs analysts who assist families with challenged youths dealing with developmental problems, ADD/ADHD, conduct disorders, and similar conditions. Analysts identify the root of the negative behaviors and develop interventions that prevent future actions and teach replacement skills. End results improve behavior and increase quality of life for everyone involved.
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A behavior analyst has the opportunity to work in a variety of settings. He or she deals with mental health problems, brain injuries, and developmental issues. This person recommends ways to curb poor behavior, monitors clients’ progress, and works with families and care providers to address and meet long-term behavior management goals. To begin a successful career in this field, post-secondary education and a master’s degree is often necessary. Despite the required advanced training, applied behavior analysts careers offer a person the ability to touch many lives and change them for the better.