Behavioral Interventionist: Job Description, Duties and Salary
A behavioral interventionist assists individuals to eliminate or replace disruptive, harmful or negative behaviors with positive actions. Behavioral intervention draws on multiple disciplines, including community health, social work, psychology, counseling and education, which means practitioners work in a wide variety of occupational settings and with varied client populations.
Behavioral Interventionist Job Description
Behavioral interventionists observe and interact with individuals, groups and communities to assist with the healthy functioning of the people in that setting. These professionals focus on specific behaviors that disrupt, exclude or otherwise negatively impact the person or group. Schools, public and private health agencies, workplaces and counseling centers employ practitioners who engage in behavioral interventions. Because behavior intervention is aimed at modifying negative behaviors through treatment plans, such interventions often rely on families, schools or other support systems to assist with monitoring, implementation and adjustment.
Behaviors requiring intervention vary by client population. For example, a behavior interventionist working in a classroom setting may seek to modify challenging or disruptive behaviors caused by emotional stress, learning disabilities or medical conditions. In adult populations, issues such as substance abuse, emotional or mental disorders, physical disabilities or other impairments may require the help of a behavior interventionist to encourage successful and productive societal integration.
Job Duties of a Behavioral Interventionist
Using his or her primary expertise in education, social work, psychology, counseling or other related field, a behavioral interventionist assesses the challenges an individual faces when functioning in daily life. Assessment through psychological tests, observation and interviews with clients and their support systems help behavioral interventionists gather information to develop an appropriate intervention plan. They set goals for behavioral changes, monitor the client, assess progress and modify behavioral plans if necessary. In crisis situations, a behavioral interventionist designs a plan to address any immediate dangers or threats and also determines the necessity of long-term treatment, or referral to another expert if the case requires it.
Behavioral Interventionist Salary
November 2013 data from PayScale.com showed that the middle 80% of behavior analyst salaries ranged from $36,900 to $98,383 yearly, while most behavior therapists reported earnings from $25,196 to $46,548 per year. When comparing the salaries of behavior specialists in a variety of settings, PayScale.com reported that the middle 80% of individuals specializing in behavior intervention in public K-12 schools had annual earnings ranging from $26,174 to $54,631. Most behavior specialists in community mental health occupations were paid $29,244 to $39,701 each year, while most of those working for human services agencies reported earnings between $22,257 to $60,114. Variances in salary can be partially attributed to the array of occupations that include behavior intervention as well as to the varying education levels of practitioners, which can range from the bachelor's through to the doctoral degree.
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