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What Is Behavioral Science?

Behavioral science is “a branch of science that deals primarily with human action and often seeks to generalize about human behavior in society.”1

Psychologists, sociologists and anthropologists fall into this classification, as do some roles in law, political science, biology and other fields. In the broadest sense, any individual who applies an experimental, scientific lens to the study of human behavior can be called a behavioral scientist.

Behavioral Science Careers

Those who pursue behavioral science careers are likely to assume roles related to counseling. In addition to clinical and other types of psychologists, related positions with the word ‘behavior’ in the title are numerous. These careers include behavior analyst, behavior specialist, behavior therapist and behavioral health technician. A random survey of ‘behavioral science’ job postings on CareerBuilder shows employers seeking the following roles:2

  • Behavioral science counselor
  • Senior program associate in decision and behavioral science
  • Recovery specialist
  • Director of psychiatric and behavioral solutions
  • Mental health clinician
  • Substance abuse counselor

Job Growth & Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects job growth in “life, physical, and social science occupations” to be 7 percent from 2014 to 2024 (the average for all occupations).3

PayScale survey data indicate behavior analysts earn an average of $54,000 a year (U.S.) depending on region and length of career.4 The same survey shows the vast majority are women whose job satisfaction is high. Their primary duty is to work with teachers and parents to create/oversee behavioral programs, assess these programs, and help evaluate therapy.5

Behavior specialists earn an average of $40,000 per year in the U.S.6 They work primarily in the healthcare industry to provide one-on-one therapy and support for people who have disorders like autism or OCD. Their job description includes case management, conducting assessments and collecting data, analyzing behavior trends, and creating behavioral plans for people with developmental disabilities.7

Behavior therapists earn an average of $15.94 per hour depending on location, experience and employer.8 They are predominantly women who report high job satisfaction. They typically work in clinics or schools directly with individuals and with their families to help support a patient’s growth. They are mainly responsible for creating customized treatment plans for individuals or groups, evaluating progress against those plans and helping change patient behaviors specific to a given environment (home, school).9

Behavioral health technicians earn an average of $12.69 per hour, with little variation for experience.10 They typically work with licensed therapists or nurses to help people who need behavioral development and modification. Their main duties are to document treatment interventions, organize recreational activities, help mentally disabled patients with special needs and help ensure medication intake.11

Learn More About Behavioral Science Degrees at NLU

If you're interested in pursuing a career in the behavioral sciences, a behavioral science degree from National Louis University is a great place to start:

Source References [+]

1. “Behavioral science.”

2. “Behavioral Science Jobs.”

3. "Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations.” 17 Dec. 2015.

4. “Behavior Analyst Salary.” PayScale.

5. “Behavior Analyst Salary.” PayScale.

6. “Behavior Specialist Salary.” PayScale.

7. “Behavior Specialist Salary.” PayScale.

8. “Behavior Therapist Salary.” PayScale.

9. “Behavior Therapist Salary.” PayScale.

10. “Behavioral Health Technician Salary.” PayScale.

11. “Behavioral Health Technician Salary.” PayScale.


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