Adding a credential to a degree can boost earnings potential.
One example is the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) credential provided by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.
This program, which started in 1999, has grown rapidly and is earned by a variety of occupations. There are over 32,000 BCBA certificants today, twice as many as there were four years ago. To earn a BCBA, applicants must complete several requirements (first of which is obtaining a relevant graduate degree) and pass an exam.
A BCBA can be applied to many fields, but there are a few occupations where it is typically used. Based on online jobs data from JobsEQ’s RTI, the most common occupations to list BCBA as a requirement are shown below.
Together, mental health counselors, psychiatric technicians, and social and human services assistants make up 87% of the almost 13,000 job postings that listed BCBA as a requirement during the past twelve months. Looking at these three occupations individually, we can compare the wages of each as a whole to the wages of only the jobs in that occupation which require a BCBA.
Each of the three occupations have higher wages with a BCBA, especially mental health counselors, an occupation making up over half of the jobs requiring a BCBA. In addition, the mental health counselors’ occupation is expected to be one of the faster growing jobs over the next ten years, projected to grow about triple the national average pace (an average annualized rate of 2.0%).
 Requirements can be found at https://www.bacb.com/bcba/bcba-requirements/. If applying on or after January 1, 2022, requirements will be different (see https://www.bacb.com/bcba-eligibility-requirements-january-2022/).
 Projected annual rate of growth for all occupations is 0.7% per the BLS. https://www.bls.gov/emp/data/occupational-data.htm