Behavioral Analyst  What They Do

Just the Facts


Insider Info

dotBehavioral analysts help people learn valuable new life skills. These special psychologists use positive reinforcement (things that people like or make them feel good) to teach clients new, valuable behavior.

"I address each client just as I look at clothing. It might look good on someone else, but that doesn't mean it will look good on me. We might all carry 'excess baggage,' but it has become a heavy load for different reasons," says South Carolina behavioral analyst Bebe Butler.

"We are who we are because of the influences that have been around us up until now."

dotBehavioral analysis encompasses a wide number of professions. These include psychologists, social workers and clinicians. Because of this, it's hard to estimate the total number of behavioral analysts in the U.S.

dotBehavioral analysts can work in a variety of interesting settings. Some analysts choose to work in treatment facilities. Others have their own private practices. Depending where you work, your hours could be a "normal" 9 to 5, or flexible evening and weekend hours.

"I am very available, no matter the hour or how many times we may have already talked this day. Families are unable to confine moments of crisis to 9 to 4. I try to be very supportive and never engage in parent-bashing," says analyst Tannis Antonio.

dotHelping people make important life changes can be demanding and, at times, frustrating. A healthy balance of work and fun will keep you sane during challenging times.

dotBehavioral analysts understand that changing behavior takes hard work. Clients may project frustrations on you, verbally and possibly physically. Individual job hazards depend on the client base and your working environment.

"You must have a love for humanity and an understanding that the workings of the minds of people are complicated and intense. It is not for the weak-spirited...because the client will be the loser," advises Butler.

dotLearn to love your computer. Case notes, statistical programs and client databases are all computer-driven. And your confidential information will rest in your hard drive, snuggled securely. If you brush up on the latest popular software, your computer savvy will help you succeed.

At a Glance

Study ways to change people's behavior

  • Be prepared to be frustrated
  • You can work in treatment facilities or have a private practice
  • A bachelor's degree is the minimum -- a master's is better