Psychology careers, including Child Behavioral Specialist, belong to the allied health field, and are in-demand jobs reflecting an integrated health and wellness perspective. A Child Behavioral Specialist, or Behavioral Health Professional (BHP,) often works with children who are considered “at risk” due to their mental health, behavioral, or developmental disability diagnoses.A Child Behavioral Specialist may be called by other titles, such as Behavioral Health Professional, Therapeutic Mentor, or Child Welfare Social Worker. This professional often provides in-home services, working with the child and his or her family; works with students in a school setting; or works with the child in the professional’s office. Services often include informal counseling, along with developing and monitoring a behavioral contract with the child and his or her parent/s to replace problematic behavior with more positive, productive behavior.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not refer directly to Child Behavioral Specialists, but does provide 2010-2020 job growth rate projections and 2010 annual wages for related professions as follows:
- Child, Family, and School Social Workers: 20 percent; $40,210.
- Health Care Social Workers: 34 percent; $47,230.
- All Other Categories of Social Workers: 25 percent; $51,500.
How to Become a Child Behavioral Specialist
The minimum degree you need in order to become a Child Behavioral Specialist, or a Child Social Worker, is a bachelor’s degree in social work, psychology, or sociology. Depending on the agency, and whether or not you become a clinical social worker, you may need a master’s degree.
Child Behavioral Specialists may work in a variety of settings, including: private practices for individual and family services; schools; and agencies providing community and social services.
How Online Education Can Help
Individuals interested in becoming Child Behavioral Specialists typically already have careers and other responsibilities. The ease and convenience of online education provides the opportunity for students to pursue the necessary education to become Child Behavioral Specialists in less time than required for traditional schooling.
The average completion time for a bachelor’s degree program is two to three years through online education, instead of four years, based on each particular school’s program requirements. A master’s degree may take about another year.
Some courses you might expect to take include:
- Child and Adolescent Development
- Behavioral and Emotional Disorders
- Behavior Management and Therapy
- Case Management
Remember to fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to help pay for your college education.
Use our search tool at the right to locate the right Child Behavioral Specialist program for your needs; remember that it is may be listed under Social Work.
Considerations for a Career as a Child Behavioral Specialist
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not specifically address Child Behavioral Specialists, but it does offer May 2012 salary and 2010-2020 job outlook predictions for these related positions:
- Child, Family, and School Social Workers: May 2012 median annual wage was $41,530, with ranges from less than $26,720 to more than $71,000. From 2013 to 2020, thejob outlookpredicts a 20 percent increase in job openings, faster than average among all occupations, or a rise from 2010 figures of 295,700 to 353,900 Child, Family, and School Social Workers employed by 2020.
- Health Care Social Workers: May 2012 median annual wage was $49,830, with ranges from less than $31,410 to more than $74,030. From 2013 to 2020, the job outlookpredicts a 34 percent increase in job openings, much faster than average among all occupations, or a rise from 2010 figures of 152,700 to 203,900 Health Care Social Workers employed by 2020.
- All Other Categories of Social Workers: May 2012 median annual wage was $54,560, with ranges from less than $30,840 to more than $80,320. The job outlookfrom 2013 to 2020 predicts a 16 percent increase in job openings, about as fast as average among all occupations, or a rise from 2010 figures of 76,000 to 88,300 Other Social Workers employed by 2020.
- All Other Community and Social Service Specialists: May 2012 median annual wage was $41,060, with ranges from less than $23,640 to more than $68,830. (This category was included under general Social Workers for job outlook).