Interested in a career supporting those with autism?

Young curly haired woman sitting while looking at a journal

Earlier this year, the CDC published a new report stating that an estimated 1 in 36 children are identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This is an increase from the 2018 report stating that ASD is prevalent in an estimated 1 in 44.  

Children are being diagnosed with autism at very rapid rates, making the need for services and resources at an all-time high. This could be where you come in!

Have you ever considered a career supporting individuals with autism? Maybe you’ve heard of ABA but aren’t quite sure what it is. Applied Behavior Analysis is the scientific approach to understanding and modifying human behavior to improve people’s lives. It focuses on how and why behavior changes, in addition to how learning takes place. It is widely used in education, mental health, and early intervention autism treatment.

Getting Started With Autism Support

If you enjoy tasks such as data collection and analysis, conducting research, and educating others, you would most likely make a great candidate to work in ABA. There are several directions you can go in, depending on what your interests are. If you are passionate about working with school-age children or teaching, a classroom support position (paraprofessional) in the school system could be a viable option for you. 

Becoming a special education teacher is another great option, and while learning ABA is not necessary for a career in special education, it would be extremely useful. ABA is the study of behavior, and in the classroom, analyzing behaviors will be an everyday thing. Being knowledgeable in the field would be extremely beneficial for most responsibilities from lesson planning to collaborating with your peers. It would also give you a strategic perspective when trying to support parents and students who often have unique ways of learning and comprehending what’s expected of them.

There is also a need for helping individuals with autism thrive outside of the classroom. ABA therapy is a service that is increasing in demand, therefore creating a need for staff to work in autism centers and the community at large all around the world. Therapy is often delivered 1:1 and addresses specific challenges for that individual that prevent them from functioning successfully in a specific environment or situation. Even without an official degree in behavior analysis, individuals interested in the field can start as a behavior technician. 

Behavior technicians conducting ABA therapy receive direct support and supervision from a BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst). Behavior technicians are entry-level positions in ABA, however, there are several opportunities available to gain more experience, official certification, and increase income. 

If being in charge of an individual’s ABA treatment sounds desirable to you, becoming a BCBA may be something you should consider. These masters or doctorate-level clinicians create and manage treatment plans for a caseload of clients, and often work in collaboration with the individual’s family and overall care team; such as speech therapists, occupational therapists, teachers, and medical doctors. They also provide support and supervision to a team of behavior technicians who are using strategies to help the individual reach goals set in the treatment plan. Treatment goals can relate to helping an individual gain new skills, replace behaviors, establish emotional regulation, develop social skills and functionality in a variety of environments. 

The need for good BCBAs is at an all-time high right now and once finished with coursework and certification, can lead to a promising and fulfilling career. The average annual salary for BCBAs is around $70,000 with opportunities for growth and advancement, in addition to the various settings where one can choose to work; from in-home, in a school, or even at an autism treatment center. 

Other Career Options Young woman smiles as she sits scrolling on her computer.

It is an exciting time for those who have a passion to support those with autism, as this field continues to grow and evolve; offering various opportunities for professionals. Did you know, not every job in the field requires one to work directly with individuals who have autism? There are several positions where individuals can support families or a center beyond the role of behavior technician or BCBA. 

Clinical supervisors are needed at most autism centers to oversee the implementation of training plans and act as additional support to behavior technicians and BCBAs. This could be a BCBA who prefers to oversee operations or maybe someone who previously worked with clients directly but is now looking for something different within the field. They can help monitor overall client progress and provide fidelity checks to ensure that operations are up to standard.

Most ABA therapy companies need individuals who can monitor clinical outcomes, provide extra support to the families, assist with transitions to kindergarten or later on to the workforce, lead social skills groups, and work with individuals and their families within their home environment. If any of this sounds like a fit for who you are or what you love, a career supporting those with autism is one to consider and pursue.

There are specialty roles as well, where careers such as speech and language pathology or occupational therapy directly support individuals or families with autism; however, they do have the option to work with other populations as well. Various age ranges and settings need specialists in these areas, giving lots of flexibility to choose who to work with. Similar to BCBAs, qualified SLPs, and OTs who specialize in working with individuals with autism are highly sought after because of the integral role they play in helping obtain required skills. 

What We Offer 

Here at Ally, we are passionate about helping young children with autism and their families obtain the services needed to access quality ABA therapy. To ensure we continue doing our part, we’ve established the “Tuition Assistance Benefit.” We believe it is essential to promote the growth and development of our staff in the field; that way, we have some of the best therapists for your children at our centers. Our company offers tuition reimbursement following six months of employment to staff members who are interested in going to school to obtain a master’s degree in ABA, speech pathology, or occupational therapy. This is only the start of something much bigger to come, as we look forward to offering tuition assistance for undergraduate coursework in the near future as well.

These are a few examples of career options supporting those with autism. This diverse field continues to grow and evolve, which is exciting for professionals eager to help families and individuals affected by autism. As we continue to go on and help as many families as possible, the need for quality people to join our team is always there. If you are interested in ABA career options or maybe you are already in the field but looking for a fresh start, head over to our website at to view our current job openings.