Salaries for Applied Behavior Analysts in Missouri

Experienced board-certified behavior analysts (BCBA®s) in Missouri can earn salaries as high as $104,940 a year, according to 2021 statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). 

Missouri Mandates Insurance Coverage for Autism Treatment

ABA intervention has been used to treat autism for decades and is widely considered to be an evidence-based practice. Organizations such as the US Surgeon General and the American Psychological Association strongly advocate for the use of such interventions to modify the behavior of those who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

However, the treatment required to treat ASD can be highly intensive and subsequently prohibitively expensive for families who lack insurance coverage. Effective January 1, 2011, Missouri Statute 376.1224.1 required all group health plans to provide coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of ASD. Such regulations increase the availability of ABA treatment and increase opportunities for behavior analysts who practice independently or within private practices.

Missouri’s regulations are progressive compared to those of some other states. For instance, insurance policies written outside of the state that cover residents of Missouri must provide this coverage. Also, the statutes require that individuals through 18 years of age be covered, while many other states require coverage for young children only.

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

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): 

Kansas City: 

  • 50th: $102,380 
  • 75th: $114,800 
  • 90th: $120,990 

St. Louis: 

  • 50th: $104,940 
  • 75th: $112,170 
  • 90th: $121,530 
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Starting Salaries for BCBA®s in the Largest Metropolitan areas of Missouri 

The most highly paid BCBA®s in Missouri 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): 

Kansas City: 

  • 10th: $46,590 
  • 25th: $93,080 
  • 50th: $102,380 

St. Louis: 

  • 10th: $46,760 
  • 25th: $93,480 
  • 50th: $104,940 

Autism Spectrum Disorder Prevalence in Missouri and Early Intervention Resources

A 2016 CDC report on the prevalence of autism throughout the country described monitoring efforts for autistic children in Missouri that focused on eight-year olds. More than 25,000 children in the city of St. Louis and the counties of St. Louis, St. Charles, Jefferson and Franklin were surveyed in 2012. The program identified 1 in 87 children as having ASD.

St. Louis County is coordinating its monitoring of ASD with the provision of services for young children affected with ASD. This combination creates the opportunity to:

  • Monitor the prevalence of cases diagnosed early
  • Track the children’s progress based on the interventions they receive

The treatment of ASD in children is more effective when started at a young age. The national policy and science organization Autism Speaks® identified 58 resources in Missouri that focus solely on early intervention in children from birth to three years old. Resources in Missouri’s two largest cities are shown below (December 2016):

Kansas City:

  • Children’s Therapeutic Learning Center (CTLC)
  • Jake Schieber MA, BCBA® (KC Behavior Analysts)
  • KEEN Kansas City
  • Missing Piece Learning Company
  • Northland Early Education Center
  • Parsimony Behavior Solutions, LLC
  • Partners in Behavioral Milestones
  • Premier Therapy Services
  • Sadowsky Autism Services (SAS)

St. Louis:

  • Easter Seals Midwest
  • Little Kids Preschool
  • Mercy Kids Autism Center
  • Music Therapy for a Better Life, LLC
  • Positive Support for Kid, LLC
  • Louis Arc
  • Mary’s Preschool
  • Synergy Therapy
  • Thrive Autism Solutions
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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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