Behavioral Specialist Job Description

Behavioral Specialist Job Description, Skills, and Salary

Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a behavioral specialist. Feel free to use our behavioral specialist job description template to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a behavioral specialist.


Who is a Behavioral Specialist?

A behavioral specialist is a medical professional who specializes in the study of behavior. They are a type of counselor who assists patients with developmental or behavioral disorders. They may work in schools, government buildings, or healthcare facilities. They also specialize in the emotions and behaviors of children or adults.

These professionals observe, evaluate, and treat individuals with emotional or behavioral disorders and problems, such as depression, anxiety, addiction, autism, ADHD, OCD, etc. The Behavioral Specialist will create and implement treatment plans, maintain progress reports, and support patients. Behavioral specialists are psychological counselors who specialize in the treatment of individuals with learning or social-function-impairing behavioral issues.


These specialists are responsible for assessing students with behavior issues, collecting data on the students, collaborating with teachers, counselors, and school psychologists to develop a behavior plan for the student, and evaluating the plan’s efficacy.

These psychological experts provide guidance and counseling to individuals with behavioral issues that hinder their ability to learn and interact with others. Behavioral specialists evaluate the level of patients’ behavior and devise coping-related treatment plans. They track the patient’s progress and maintain treatment reports, enhancing or modifying treatment plans as necessary. In addition, they coordinate with other health professionals and communicate with the patient’s family and friends to offer treatment support.

The behavioral specialist is a mental health professional who assesses and develops treatment plans for patients whose behavior poses a risk to themselves or others. This can be accomplished through evaluation, analysis, and intervention. This includes addressing the patient’s desire to modify their behavior and modifying treatment as required to facilitate recovery.

A behavioral specialist’s responsibility is to provide therapy and assistance to patients or clients. This may involve assisting them to improve their social skills, manage their emotions, or live independently. In addition to providing direct care, they frequently serve as liaisons between patients and medical professionals. A behavioral specialist a  professional also assists those with mental health issues or developmental disabilities. They may work in hospitals, schools, group homes, and other settings to assist these individuals in developing new skills and behaviors that will enhance their quality of life.

A behavioral specialist is a social worker who assists adults and children with developmental, mental health, and behavioral difficulties. Behavior therapy aims to eradicate unhealthy behaviors and replace them with healthy ones. As a behavioral specialist, you frequently interact with patients with autism spectrum disorders or other health issues manifesting in behavioral symptoms.


Behavioral Specialist Job Description

Below are the behavioral specialist job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a behavioral specialist job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.

The duties and responsibilities of a behavioral specialist include the following:

  • Compiling and interpreting test results to diagnose the conditions of students and determine their eligibility for special services.
  • Reporting suspected instances of child abuse, neglect, or danger to the appropriate authorities.
  • Determining the home and school functioning of students’ behavior skills.
  • Designing students’ behavioral interventions.
  • Implementing behavior support plans.
  • Ensuring the goals and objectives of behavior support plans are being met by measuring their achievement.
  • Coordinating teachers and parents in the implementation of behavioral interventions.
  • Communicating with parents and case managers regarding the progress of students.
  • Determining the effectiveness of the behavioral interventions by analyzing them.
  • Assisting students in recognizing unsuitable behavior and developing better alternatives.
  • Developing and carrying out Affiliated Education Programs (AEPs).
  • Evaluations of services for students in special education classes.
  • Individualizing classes, programs, and special curricula to meet the needs of each student.
  • Assisting caregivers with behavioral intervention facilitation.
  • Documenting the development of students receiving special education services.
  • Monitoring and adjusting individualized special education programs for each child.
  • Observing, documenting, and assessing a patient’s behavior
  • Developing behavioral treatment techniques.
  • Offering assistance and direction throughout the treatment procedure.
  • Collecting information on a patient’s development.
  • Documenting patient reports and their behaviors.
  • Performing tests to assess the patient’s development.
  • Developing and implementing behavioral treatment plans.
  • Supporting patients throughout the treatment process.
  • Implementing treatment plans through communication with teachers, caregivers, and families of patients.
  • Monitoring and recording the progression of treatment.
  • Integrating writing groups to bolster lower-level students and provide support and growth for students who write at grade-level fluency.
  • Individualizing programs which are designed to assist children with socialization, communication, self-sufficiency, and behavior management.
  • Providing autistic children and their families with intensive behavioral analysis therapy to foster the development of functional communication, social, and independent living skills.
  • Receiving training and updating your certification.
  • Ensuring that departments adhere to regulations.
  • Maintaining records following regulations and applicable standards.
  • Coordinating and initiating required documentation and providing daily and weekly reports on the client and their interaction.
  • Collecting of client behavior and intervention data for use.
  • Conducting training in behavior modification, assault response, first aid, and CPR.
  • Training to design and direct the intervention plan for behavior modification.
  • Providing children and their families with in-home behavioral support under the supervision of a licensed social worker.
  • Implementing a CPR training program for employees.
  • Individualizing behavioral intervention plans for therapy in the school setting.
  • Teaching children with behavioral issues in school social skills like conflict resolution, anger management, and empathy.
  • Observing and evaluating children’s social, emotional, physical, and intellectual development.
  • Providing counseling services to families, couples, individuals, and groups as needed.
  • Developing treatment plans for each child based on assessments and evaluations of his or her requirements.
  • Advancing their field of study, by researching new child psychology and behavior theories and techniques.
  • Offering therapeutic interventions to children with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.
  • Conducting family counseling sessions to assist children in coping with issues such as divorce, loss of a loved one, and abuse.
  • Establishing rapport with patients.
  • Providing the patients with a therapeutic strategy that will aid them in their daily lives.



  • Bachelor’s degree in mental health, human services, social work, psychology, or a related field.
  • Master’s degree in social work or psychology.
  • Certificate of specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis.
  • A state license to treat patients in a clinical setting.
  • Experience working with special needs individuals.
  • Direct contact with patients and special needs individuals.
  • Solid understanding of both behavioral theory and applied behavior analysis.
  • Knowledge of the traits and behaviors associated with mental disorders.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to deal with emotionally intense situations.
  • Capability to implement behavioral concepts.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Excellent stress management skills.


Essential Skills

  • Communication skills

To work with patients, teachers, and parents, behavioral specialists must possess effective communication skills. They may explain new strategies to students and parents and collaborate with school personnel to develop individualized learning plans when working with children. They can also utilize nonverbal communication skills, such as body language, reading, and display. This can assist them in interpreting nonverbal cues that a patient may exhibit. The act of conveying information to others is communication. You must be able to communicate with parents, teachers, administrators, and other professionals as a behavioral specialist. Also required is the ability to communicate with children and adolescents. This requires you to be able to communicate with them in a manner they can comprehend and comprehend their responses.

  • Empathy

Empathy is a crucial competency for behavioral specialists. These professionals must be compassionate and empathetic to establish rapport with patients and their families. Empathy could aid behavioral specialists in forming relationships with patients and developing individualized treatment plans as they learn more about them. Empathy is the capacity to comprehend and share another’s emotions. This is an essential skill for behavioral specialists, as it enables them to comprehend the underlying causes of a student’s behavior and respond appropriately. For instance, if a student is acting out because they are frustrated with a test, an empathic behavior specialist may be able to recognize this and assist the student in calming down.

  • Observation

A behavioral specialist employs observational skills to monitor and record precise and comprehensive data. Strong observational skills enable them to recognize behavioral patterns and monitor progress. They may observe the patient during the preliminary examination. This information can aid in the diagnosis of certain conditions. They can also utilize data to measure specific objectives.

  • Time management

Time-management skills are arguably the most important personality trait for a behavioral specialist to possess. Social and human service assistants frequently work with multiple clients. In addition, it has been indicated that behavioral specialists can use time-management skills to collaborate with contractors to provide technical assistance and set deadlines to meet state medical requirements. 

  • Logical deductions

Behavioral specialists can arrive at scientific conclusions by employing analytical reasoning. They can analyze the collected data to aid in the diagnosis of a patient. In addition, they can use analytical reasoning to be creative when designing treatment plans. They may analyze research and tools to develop patient-specific resources.

  • Critical thinking

This is the capacity to analyze a situation and reach a conclusion based on the available information. When working with clients, critical thinking is an essential ability for a behavioral specialist. For instance, if a client has a behavioral problem, you may need to decide how to handle the situation. Critical thinking enables you to make the best decision for the client and the other individuals in the room.


  • Organization

Behavioral specialists can utilize their organizational skills to keep records organized. This may consist of notes, treatment details, and progress charts. If they are employed by a school or hospital, they may adhere to the institution’s recording system, but many professionals must organize their notes. Organizing their notes could help them monitor their progress.

  • Instructional expertise

Numerous behavioral specialists support the academic development of children. Experience in instructing or teaching students can assist behavioral specialists with their daily duties. By comprehending how students learn, the behavioral specialist can develop more efficient treatment plans. Also, instructional skills could help behavioral specialists explain to students new behavior strategies.

  • Crisis Management

A professional behavioral specialist must be able to provide crisis intervention and also assist families in comprehending the implications and complexities of a medical situation and its effect on an individual’s way of life. 

  • Conflict resolution

This is the capacity to assist parties with divergent opinions or perspectives in reaching an accord. This is an essential skill for a behavioral specialist, as it allows you to assist others in modifying their behavior. For instance, if a parent and child are arguing, you may be able to assist them in finding common ground and cooperating.

  • Active listening

This is the capacity to fully engage with another person during a conversation. This can include maintaining eye contact, nodding and smiling to demonstrate attention, and asking questions to better comprehend the other person’s viewpoint. As a behavior specialist, you may encounter individuals with limited experience in behavior analysis. Active listening can help you communicate more effectively with clients and earn their trust.

  • Behavior Research

A professional behavioral specialist must be research-oriented and support effective behavior analysis interventions and program implementations.


How to Become a Behavioral Specialist

  • Earn a bachelor’s degree

Earning a bachelor’s degree is the first step toward becoming a behavioral specialist. Some schools offer specialized degrees in behavioral studies, but behavioral specialists can also study related fields. Common majors associated with the field include:

Behavioral science



Social effort

Social services


The application of behavior analysis


  • Earn a Master’s degree

A behavioral specialist must have also completed. a master’s degree program. Most states require behavioral specialists who work with children to have a master’s degree. Master’s degree programs typically last two years. Some programs may combine bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Others may permit professionals to work during the day while attending classes part-time. The type of degree can vary based on the area of concentration and the educational program. Possible degrees can include, Behavioral psychology, Behavioral evaluation, and Education/Psychology. Some professionals decide to pursue a Ph.D. in behavior analysis. This is optional but may assist specialists in advancing their careers.

  • Acquire experience via training

Before beginning work as a behavioral specialist, professionals are required to complete a training program. Depending on your degree, this may be a requirement. Master’s degree programs in applied behavioral analysis, for instance, typically include a training component where students can gain field experience. Some organizations provide training as part of a licensing or certification program.

  • Obtain a permit/license

Each state has its licensing requirements, so when planning your career, be sure to check your state’s laws. To obtain a license, the majority of states require evidence of education, training, and experience. If a specialist intends to work with children, a background check may also be conducted.

  • Certification

Some behavioral specialists elect to obtain additional credentials. This is typically optional in the field, but it could assist candidates in obtaining a competitive position or a higher salary. Two levels of certification are available through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). They include:

Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)

Individuals with a master’s degree in behavioral science or analysis are eligible for this certification.

Board Certified Behaviour Analyst-D (BCBA-D).

A behavior specialist who holds a doctorate in the field can earn this certificate with an additional designation. This certification also demonstrates that the holder has a bachelor’s degree in behavior analysis or a closely related field.

To earn these credentials, professionals must provide documentation of their education and training. Then, they must pass a test demonstrating their knowledge and skills. Every two years, behavioral specialists must reapply for their certifications. This may involve pursuing additional education or training.


Where to Work as a Behavioral Specialist

  • Clinics
  • Schools
  • Government institutions
  • Educational institution
  • Healthcare facility
  • Inpatient facility.


Behavioral Specialist Salary Scale

The average salary scale of a behavioral specialist in the United States ranges between $38,000 and $64,000 per annum.

The salary scale for a behavioral specialist in Nigeria ranges between 194,000 NGN and 395,000 NGN monthly.

Job Description

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