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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.

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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.

The average entry-level salary for Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA®) earning within the 50th percentile throughout Iowa’s eight largest cities is $47,641 as of November 2016.With a decade of experience that figure grows to $58,237. That’s better than a thousand-dollar-per-year increase.

Salary Highlights for BCBA®s in Iowa

  • Des Moines has the highest median salary for entry-level BCBA®s, followed by Iowa City
  • Des Moines has the highest median salary for BCBA®s with a decade of experience
  • The health care services sector in Des Moines is on average the highest-paying sector for entry-level BCBA®s
  • The health care services sector in Iowa City is on average the highest-paying sector for 10-year BCBA® veterans
  • Council Bluffs has the highest average salary increase for BCBA®s during their first decade of employment

Starting Salaries for Board Certified Behavior Analyst in Iowa by City

Shown here are entry-level BCBA® salary figures for the largest cities in Iowa by sector. Each list provides an overall salary range (from median to 90th-percentile) for each city, followed by the average in each employment sector (November 2016).

Des Moines – $48,872 – $63,000

  • Health care services – $50,836
  • K-12 public education – $49,660
  • Autism therapy – $49,625
  • Education – $49,070
  • Behavior intervention services – $46,657

Cedar Rapids – $46,750 – $59,000

  • Health care services – $46,842
  • K-12 public education – $45,799
  • Autism therapy – $45,686
  • Education – $45,271
  • Behavior intervention services – $43,168

Davenport – $46,857 – $60,000

  • Health care services – $46,319
  • K-12 public education – $45,293
  • Autism therapy – $44,980
  • Education – $44,723
  • Behavior intervention services – $42,680

Sioux City – $47,662 – $62,000

  • Health care services – $46,620
  • K-12 public education – $45,678
  • Autism therapy – $45,649
  • Education – $45,121
  • Behavior intervention services – $43,049

Iowa City – $50,181 – $65,000

  • Health care services – $47,737
  • K-12 public education – $46,662
  • Autism therapy – $46,541
  • Education – $46,083
  • Behavior intervention services – $43,891

Waterloo – $46,716 – $60,000

  • Health care services – $45,669
  • K-12 public education – $44,717
  • Autism therapy – $44,549
  • Education – $44,171
  • Behavior intervention services – $42,195

Council Bluffs – $46,325 – $60,000

  • Health care services – $45,472
  • Autism therapy – $44,767
  • K-12 public education – $44,679
  • Education – $44,162
  • Behavior intervention services – $42,209

Ames – $45,935 – $59,000

  • Health care services – $45,030
  • K-12 public education – $43,978
  • Autism therapy – $43,660
  • Education – $43,420
  • Behavior intervention services – $41,409

Salaries for Experienced Behavior Analyst in Iowa’s Major Cities

Shown here are salary figures for BCBA®s with 10-years of experience in Iowa’s largest cities. Each list provides an overall salary range (from median to 90th-percentile) for behavior analysts with 10-years of experience, followed by the average in each employment sector (November 2016).

Des Moines – $59,127 – $75,000

  • Health care services – $57,714
  • Autism therapy – $56,401
  • K-12 public education – $56,399
  • Education – $55,711
  • Behavior intervention services – $52,996

Cedar Rapids – $58,154 – $73,000

  • Health care services – $57,114
  • K-12 public education – $55,857
  • Autism therapy – $55,736
  • Education – $55,200
  • Behavior intervention services – $52,645

Davenport – $58,237 – $75,000

  • Health care services – $57,093
  • K-12 public education – $55,839
  • Autism therapy – $55,463
  • Education – $55,129
  • Behavior intervention services – $52,613

Sioux City – $58,110 – $75,000

  • Health care services – $57,449
  • K-12 public education – $56,301
  • Autism therapy – $56,254
  • Education – $55,606
  • Behavior intervention services – $53,039

Iowa City – $58,834 – $75,000

  • Health care services – $58,138
  • K-12 public education – $56,841
  • Autism therapy – $56,689
  • Education – $56,127
  • Behavior intervention services – $53,443

Waterloo – $58,044 – $75,000

  • Health care services – $56,551
  • K-12 public education – $55,383
  • Autism therapy – $55,184
  • Education – $54,700
  • Behavior intervention services – $52,252

Council Bluffs – $58,313 – $75,000

  • Health care services – $56,223
  • Autism therapy – $55,368
  • K-12 public education – $55,254
  • Education – $54,607
  • Behavior intervention services – $52,187

Ames – $57,075 – $75,000

  • Health care services – $55,478
  • K-12 public education – $54,193
  • Autism therapy – $53,793
  • Education – $53,499
  • Behavior intervention services – $51,006

Salary data for entry-level and experienced applied behavior analysts was sourced from PayScale.com in November 2016. Using its daily-updated database of over 54 million salary profiles, PayScale’s proprietary algorithms provide access to real-time salary information.

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