Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is recognized as a successful way of treating children with cognitive and developmental disabilities, and nowhere is it more widely used than in Rhode Island, a state that has seen a significant increase in the number of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) over the past two decades.
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During the 1996 school year, Rhode Island’s school system accommodated 135 students diagnosed with autism, but by 2014 this number had grown to 2,240. This has created an unprecedented demand for ABA practitioners in the state’s school districts where they are needed more than ever to work with students enrolled in special education programs or that otherwise have individualized education plans (2015 Rhode Island Kids Count). With this demand has come a new respect for the profession and new opportunities for ABAs to secure salaried positions.
Other developments have also created opportunities for independent ABAs and those working in private practice. As of 2012, both state employee health plans and fully insured large group plans in Rhode Island are required to cover applied behavior analysis for autistic children under the age of 15. The coverage allows patients to receive a maximum benefit of $32,000 each year to cover the cost of therapy (Autism Speaks, 2011). With the updated autism insurance law, ABAs in the state are able to treat a wider variety of patients who might not otherwise be able to afford therapy.
Salary Figures For Board Certified Applied Behavior Analysts with Ten Years of Experience in Rhode Island
Shown here is the average salary for ABAs with ten years of experience in the field in Rhode Island’s six largest cities, broken down by employment sector:
- Non-Profit Organization—$60,697
- School District— $62,763
- Government, State & Local— $64,142
- Private Practice—$64,068
- Non-Profit Organization—$58,547
- School District— $59,939
- Government, State & Local— $61,645
- Private Practice—$61,813
- Non-Profit Organization—$59,366
- School District— $61,062
- Government, State & Local— $62,687
- Private Practice—$62,631
- Non-Profit Organization—$59,036
- School District— $60,577
- Government, State & Local— $62,159
- Private Practice—$62,254
- Non-Profit Organization—$60,188
- School District— $62,077
- Government, State & Local— $63,622
- Private Practice—$63,626
Salary Figures For Board Certified Applied Behavior Analysts Starting Their Careers in Rhode Island
Shown here is the average salary for first-year ABAs just entering the field in Rhode Island’s six largest cities, broken down by employment sector:
- Non-Profit Organization: $46,828
- School District— $48,390
- Government, State & Local— $49,443
- Private Practice—$49,480
- Non-Profit Organization—$46,725
- School District— $47,788
- Government, State & Local— $49,183
- Private Practice—$49,351
- Non-Profit Organization—$45,806
- School District— $47,087
- Government, State & Local— $48,338
- Private Practice—$48,364
- Non-Profit Organization—$45,528
- School District— $46,680
- Government, State & Local— $47,928
- Private Practice—$48,022
- Non-Profit Organization—$46,352
- School District— $47,774
- Government, State & Local— $48,999
- Private Practice—$49,017
Salary data for entry-level and experienced applied behavior analysts was sourced from PayScale.com in December 2016. Using its daily-updated database of salary profiles, PayScale’s proprietary algorithms provide access to real-time salary information.