Salaries for ABA Therapists in 2022 (Best States & Cities)

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The United States is expected to be home to 1.5 million ABA therapists by 2022, with a median salary of $51,000 per year in the top 20 best-paying metro areas. The ever-growing need for autism services means that demand will continue rising unless more people are trained as ABA therapists and increased funding streams are put into place.

The “entry level bcba salary” is the median salary for entry-level BCBA’s in 2022. The states with the best salaries are California, Massachusetts, and New York.


The need for applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapists is increasing as the number of autism and developmental diagnoses rises each year. Board certified behavior analysts (BCBAs), board certified assistant behavior analysts (BCaBAs), and licensed behavior technicians are all examples of ABA providers (RBTs).

Salaries for each kind of ABA post vary according on degree level, years of experience, and geographic area. ABA treatment wages are often greater in major cities. Graduate degrees, additional certifications, and more years of experience all result in higher salaries.

Therapists that specialize in ABA

ABA is a form of treatment that focuses on applying learning and behavior science to real-world circumstances. The main purpose of ABA is to replace negative or harmful behaviors with good and beneficial ones. Although it is most often used to treat children and adults with autism, it is also used to treat other developmental problems.

A client may benefit from ABA treatment in the following ways:

An ABA therapist is responsible for developing and overseeing individualized programs for each client, to help them achieve the above goals. Therapists that specialize in ABA are primarily board certified behavior analysts (BCBAs) who have completed specific training and licensure exams to qualify themselves to deliver ABA therapy services.

Under the BCBA umbrella, there are many sorts of professions. BCBAs, BCBA-Ds, and BCaBAs are among them.

  • A board certified assistant behavior analyst is referred to as a BCaBA. Only a bachelor’s degree is required for this distinction, while graduate degrees are required for BCBA and BCBA-D certifications. BCaBAs must also finish required curriculum as well as supervised experience hours.

    BCaBAs must work under the supervision of a BCBA or BCBA-D throughout their training. They are unable to practice on their own, but they may supervise RBTs.

  • BCBA: A master’s degree in behavior analysis, psychology, or education, as well as particular coursework and supervised experience hours, is required for this certification.

    BCBAs may practice on their own. They often manage a group of RBTs who carry out their clients’ treatment programs.

  • BCBA-D: This is a doctoral designation for a BCBA, indicating that the professional has a doctorate as well as a master’s degree. BCBA-Ds provide the same level of care as BCBAs provide. They just have a higher level of education.

RBTs (registered behavior technicians) are an important component of an ABA therapy team. Technicians who have been trained and qualified in ABA are known as RBTs.

RBTs work directly with ABA clients to help them achieve the BCBA’s goals. A BCBA, BCBA-D, or BCaBA must oversee RBTs.

Salaries for ABA Therapists on the Average

An ABA therapist’s remuneration is determined by the position’s requirements as well as the location.

According to Indeed, an ABA therapist’s typical base compensation is little over $20 per hour. The average hourly rate for therapists with three to five years of experience is $25. Indeed did not explain which ABA positions were utilized to calculate their estimate. RBTs are very certainly included in this average.

According to PayScale, the average BCBA income is $63,000 per year.

According to Cambridge College, the average national BCBA salary is $56,730, but about a third of BCBAs make more than $75,000 per year. In some areas, where demand for Therapists that specialize in ABA is higher, these professionals make more than $145,000 per year.

Cities Where Therapists that specialize in ABA Make the Most

As of May 2020, these are the highest paying cities in the U.S. for Therapists that specialize in ABA:

  • Brooklyn, New York: $25.61 per hour
  • $22.57/hour in Lakewood, NJ
  • $20.43/hour in San Jose, CA
  • $17.81/hour in Bridgewater, MA
  • $17.74/hour in Indianapolis, IN

How to Increase Your Starting Salary

Obtaining additional certifications is one way for Therapists that specialize in ABA to enhance their base salaries. For example, therapists who are also certified school psychologists or licensed social workers report earning up to twice as much as the average ABA therapist salary.

Therapists that specialize in ABA who hold a doctorate degree, designating them as BCBA-D, garner higher salaries than standard BCBA therapists.

Even while board certified assistant behavior analysts (BCaBAs) may oversee a team of RBTs, they earn less than BCBAs since they must practice under the supervision of a trained supervisor.

RBTs earn the least of all ABA providers, at $39,174 per year on average throughout the country. RBTs with more credentials, years of experience, and specialty have the potential to earn more.

States with the Best ABA Providers

  • There is a considerable need for ABA providers throughout the nation, according to a recent survey produced by Burning Glass Technologies, a business that monitors U.S. labor market data. More than ever, BCBAs, assistant therapists, and behavior technicians are required.

    The following states had the highest demand for BCBAs in 2019, ordered from highest to lowest:

    • California
    • Massachusetts

In 2019, California alone accounted for 31% of the demand for BCBAs. These five states accounted for over half of the country’s need for behavior analysts.

Assistant behavior analysts (those with a BCaBA) are also in great demand throughout the nation. These five states had the highest demand for BCaBAs in 2019:

  • California
  • Florida
  • Virginia
  • Texas
  • Arizona

Organizational Options for Employers

Therapists that specialize in ABA are employed in a variety of settings. Opportunities for these professionals exist in schools, hospitals, nonprofit organizations, and private practice settings.

Self-employed Therapists that specialize in ABA report the highest earnings, followed by private companies, school districts, government positions, and nonprofits.

ABA Job Trends: Growth & Projections

As the number of people diagnosed with autism in the United States rises year after year, so do the work prospects for ABA professionals. ABA is a highly-respected and expanding area that is widely acknowledged as one of the most successful treatment choices for persons with autism, as well as other developmental and mental health disorders.

Many health insurance companies have included ABA treatment coverage in most of their policies. Because of this coverage, more families are able to seek ABA therapy, knowing that their insurance would cover the bulk of the costs.

According to the Burning Glass Technologies research, demand for BCBAs and BCaBAs is increasing. Each year from 2010 to 2019, the need for ABA providers grew. From 2018 to 2019, the demand for BCBAs and BCBA-Ds surged by 80%.

The demand for BCaBAs has increased even faster. Since 2010, demand has risen every year, with a 157 percent growth from 2018 to 2019.

Increasing Your ABA Therapist Salary

If you want to work as an ABA therapist, there are a number of aspects to consider that may help you earn more money. While ABA therapy rates vary by company, there are three main elements that might affect your ABA therapy pay. They are as follows:

  • Educational attainment. The average ABA therapy pay for someone with a bachelor’s degree is $47,000 per year, whereas the average ABA therapy salary for someone with a master’s degree is $55,000 per year.
  • Experience. While there is no quick way to obtain more experience, the longer you work as an ABA therapist, the more you may expect to earn. Therapists with ten years of experience report earning more than $80,000 a year.
  • Location. ABA employment in major cities, on average, pay the best. While the cost of living in these areas is normally greater, the higher beginning pay frequently compensates for this.

Working as an ABA therapist may be a rewarding and hard job. Fortunately, there is a growing need for ABA therapists in the United States.

There are several career possibilities accessible around the nation, and as an ABA therapist, you may expect to earn a solid wage in 2022.


The “aba therapist salary nyc” is a search term that will show you the average salaries for ABA therapists in 2020. The best states and cities to look for an ABA therapist are listed below.

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