Salaries for Applied Behavior Analysts in Iowa

April 29, 2010 marked the day when Iowa’s governor signed a bill (HF2531) into law that required all state employee health care plans to provide diagnosis and treatment of autism-spectrum disorder to individuals under 21 years of age.

With the passing of the bill, the state’s 65,856 employees – and their families – were assured that services they might need from Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA®s) would be covered by the state healthcare plan. As a leader in expanding insurance coverage for autism, Iowa’s government has set the precedent that other private insurance providers operating in the state would follow.

The 2010 legislative action also served as the impetus for recent budget developments. In 2016 legislators set aside $2 million for the state’s Autism Support Program, with one-eighth of that being specifically reserved for applied behavior analyst services.

This information is detailed in the state’s 2015 Regional Autism Assistance Expert Panel Advisory Committee Meeting. This meeting culminated in four key recommendations for state legislatures as to how they could improve autism support programs. One of these recommendations was to increase behavior analyst salaries.

Experienced board-certified behavior analysts (BCBA®s) in Iowa can earn salaries as high as $110,550 a year, according to 2021 statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). 

Salaries for Experienced BCBA®s in the Largest Metropolitan areas of Iowa 

The range of salaries for board-certified behavior analysts with ten years of experience in the field are shown below (median to top 10% – current as of May, 2021): 

Iowa City: 

  • 50th: $110,550 
  • 75th: $125,060 
  • 90th: $157,390 
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Starting Salaries for BCBA®s in the Largest Metropolitan areas of Iowa 

The most highly paid BCBA®s in Iowa who lack job experience in the field of behavior analysis can command salaries that exceed the median salary among highly experienced BCBA®s in the state. Salary data shown below for entry-level ABAs is current as of May 2021 (10th percentile to median): 

Iowa City: 

  • 10th: $38,370 
  • 25th: $94,930 
  • 50th: $110,550  

2021 US Bureau of Labor Statistics salary and employment figures for Psychologists, All Other reflect national data, not school-specific information. Conditions in your area may vary. Data accessed January 2023. 

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