Salaries for Applied Behavior Analysts in Washington

In 2014, Washington became the 38th state to enact autism insurance reform requiring private insurers to cover autism treatment when deemed medically necessary, but the state established a new precedent that year by being the first to do so through litigation rather than strictly through legislation.

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In a unanimous decision, the state Supreme Court ruled that private insurers operating in the state could no longer exclude medically necessary mental health and autism therapy, including applied behavior analysis on the list of interventions alongside occupational, physical and speech therapy. The ruling has not only improved access to affordable ABA therapy for families that might not otherwise be able to afford it, but it has also created new opportunities for independent practitioners entering the field and for private practices looking to expand.

Washington’s population of autistic children has been growing steadily over the past 15 years. Early intervention has helped ensure children with autism spectrum disorder are being diagnosed earlier and more accurately. In 1999, Washington schools accommodated 1,684 students diagnosed with autism, but by 2015 that number had increased to 11,626. The unprecedented demand for ABA therapy that has resulted from the increase in ASD diagnoses has created hundreds of new salaried positions in school districts throughout Washington. (US Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, 2015)

Salary Figures For Board Certified Applied Behavior Analysts With Ten Years of Experience in Washington

Shown here are the average salaries for ABAs with ten years of experience in Washington’s six largest cities, broken down by employment sector:

Seattle:

  • Company—$70,744
  • Non-Profit Organization—$67,426
  • School District— $70,667
  • Government, State & Local— $71,336
  • Private Practice—$71,124

Spokane:

  • Company—$65,898
  • Non-Profit Organization—$61,800
  • School District— $62,561
  • Government, State & Local— $65,451
  • Private Practice—$65,065

Tacoma:

  • Company—$67,378
  • Non-Profit Organization—$63,601
  • School District—$65,464
  • Government, State & Local— $67,172
  • Private Practice—$67,269

Bellevue:

  • Company—$69,660
  • Non-Profit Organization—$66,546
  • School District— $69,604
  • Government, State & Local— $70,238
  • Private Practice—$70,044

Everett:

  • Company—$69,910
  • Non-Profit Organization—$66,341
  • School District— $69,042
  • Government, State & Local— $70,157
  • Private Practice—$70,038

Renton:

  • Company—$66,570
  • Non-Profit Organization—$62,990
  • School District— $65,608
  • Government, State & Local— $66,768
  • Private Practice—$66,688

Salary Figures For Board Certified Applied Behavior Analysts Starting Their Careers in Washington

Shown here are the average salaries for first-year ABAs just entering the field in Washington’s six largest cities, broken down by employment sector:

Seattle:

  • Company—$56,353
  • Non-Profit Organization—$53,705
  • School District— $56,241
  • Government, State & Local— $56,798
  • Private Practice—$56,666

Spokane:

  • Company—$50,121
  • Non-Profit Organization—$46,992
  • School District— $47,528
  • Government, State & Local— $49,468
  • Private Practice—$49,791

Tacoma:

  • Company—$52,829
  • Non-Profit Organization—$49,854
  • School District—$51,266
  • Government, State & Local— $52,642
  • Private Practice—$52,755

Bellevue:

  • Company—$56,805
  • Non-Profit Organization—$54,270
  • School District— $56,715
  • Government, State & Local— $57,245
  • Private Practice—$57,131

Everett:

  • Company—$56,104
  • Non-Profit Organization—$53,233
  • School District— $55,351
  • Government, State & Local— $56,274
  • Private Practice—$56,218

Renton:

  • Company—$55,643
  • Non-Profit Organization—$52,770
  • School District— $54,928
  • Government, State & Local— $55,813
  • Private Practice—$55,723

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.

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