While there are several different careers that are available to you with a Bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science which include criminal profiling, anthropology and market research, most individuals who graduate with this degree go on to become social workers. The science-based courses you take while earning your degree, such as genetics and biology, will have an impact on your area of specialty after graduation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a Bachelor’s degree is sufficient to land entry-level positions as a social worker but a Master’s degree or even a PhD may be necessary to obtain the most lucrative and highest-paying positions available in anthropology and other fields.
Duties and Responsibilities
As a social worker, your tasks will vary greatly from day to day. You will be responsible for initially identifying individuals who need assistance, assessing their overall needs and situations and helping them to develop plans for achieving their goals. It will also be your duty to provide resource information to the general public; you may be required to respond on the field in crises like natural disasters, house fires and child abuse situations. You will essentially serve as an advocate for your clients, ensure their safety and well-being, and follow up with them in order to ensure that the solutions you helped implement are making a difference in their lives.
Salary and Career Outlook
As of 2010, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that social workers in the United States earned an average of $42,480 per year. This amount varies based upon your location and level of experience. Healthcare social workers earned the highest salaries while the lowest-paid individuals were those who worked in mental health and substance abuse programs. The overall career outlook for social workers is very good with a 25% increase expected in the years between 2010 and 2020, which is much higher than the average growth expected across other industries. This is because increasing populations will bring about a higher demand for healthcare and social services overall.
While a Bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science is sufficient for landing an entry-level position as a social worker, there are other career opportunities available to you should you choose to go on to earn a graduate degree such as a Master of Science in Psychology with a focus on Applied Behavior Analysis or perhaps even a PhD in Behavioral Science. While these degrees will allow you to obtain supervisory and teaching positions in the social work field, they will also open the door to other exciting careers in fields like anthropology, psychology and more.
A Bachelor’s degree in applied behavioral science is a great first step into a wonderful career choice. While you can enjoy a lifelong career as a social worker with a Bachelor’s degree, a Master’s or PhD will be necessary to fill many of the roles that are in the highest demand.