The position of a behavior specialist is employed mainly by healthcare industry companies such as hospitals and assisted living facilities. Many companies are searching for applicants with at least a Bachelor's degree in Behavioral Science, though a Master's degree is more preferable. Employers also commonly prefer those with at least a year of experience in behavior programming, or a similar role such as behavior intervention.
Some companies prefer applicants who are licensed by the Board of Certified Behavior Analysts, and those applicants should be able to renew the license as needed. The job is generally performed in a healthcare setting, but may require some traveling in the general area in which the company is located.
Behavior specialists work mostly with patients and individuals with disorders such as autism or OCD. Simply put, their goal is to help patients work through their behavioral issues with various therapies and plans and act as a source of support while the patient undergoes treatment. The behavior specialist will also need to develop plans for support and treatment for each of their clients and maintain progress reports and administer assessments to keep track of their improvement.
Behavior specialists may sometimes work with other specialists to conduct group therapy, but more often will work one-on one-with patients. Above all, they will need to be patient and highly communicative, as patients may be difficult at times.
Behavior Specialist Tasks
Assess individuals, collect data, and write plans including Individualized Education Programs if in an educational environmental with supervisors and psychologist(s)
Collect, review, and analyze behavior trends and progress.
Manage cases and devise behavioral plans for special education students or individuals with developmental disabilities.