Salaries for Applied Behavior Analysts in Virginia

Applied behavior analysts serve Virginia’s large population of autistic children with individual education plans in the state’s public school system, a population that has increased from 2,228 autistic students in 1999 to 16,933 as of 2014 (US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, 2015).

As the number of children with autism rises, so too does the demand for qualified professionals to provide therapeutic interventions. This growing demand has helped to create hundreds of new salaried positions for ABAs, both in the state’s public school system and in private practices.

In 2011, Virginia enacted autism insurance reform that ensures state employee health plans and fully insured large group plans cover applied behavior analysis therapy for autistic children ages 2 through 6 years of age. The coverage applies to $35,000 worth of ABA therapy annually.

Although Virginia’s insurance law only applies to children under six as of now, it still helps many families afford ABA who would otherwise not have access to therapy, while allowing applied behavior analysts to bill insurance for the services they provide.

Experienced board-certified behavior analysts (BCBA®s) in Virginia can earn salaries as high as $105,940 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 Virginia 

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): 


  • 50th: $101,670 
  • 75th: $114,380 
  • 90th: $123,910 

Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News: 

  • 50th: $105,940 
  • 75th: $117,270 
  • 90th: $120,350 
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Starting Salaries for BCBA®s in the Largest Metropolitan areas of Virginia 

The most highly paid BCBA®s in Virginia 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): 


  • 10th: $29,820 
  • 25th: $62,240 
  • 50th: $101,670 

Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News: 

  • 10th: $67,120 
  • 25th: $85,630 
  • 50th: $105,940 

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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