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Maryland Behavioral Therapy Degrees and Education

As a Maryland resident interested in pursuing a career in behavioral therapy, you will be glad to know that you have a lot of different options when it comes to getting your educational training and to choosing a career in the field. Behavioral therapists in the state can work in private or state owned practices, open their own practices, work for the school system, the judicial system, or the prison system, can work in rehabilitation facilities, halfway houses, or substance abuse programs, can provide independent services, can work in managerial capacities and research capacities, and can do a whole host of other things as well.

Obviously, with so many different career choices available, a wide range of different educational paths are acceptable for working in the field. It’s up to you to research your chosen job and its academic requirements before setting off on your educational path. If you do this, you will be much more likely to meet with success in the field and to make all of your career goals a reality. We have listed some of the educational options you might consider as you start out in the behavioral therapy field to help you better understand your choices and what they mean.

Associate’s Degree: An Associate’s degree is the lowest level degree that you can obtain. Associate’s degrees are very basic, general programs meant to prepare you for further study and are typically completed in about two years. Without further training, associate’s degrees are essentially useless in the world of behavioral therapy. Therefore, it is imperative that you realize this when you sign up for them and that you make plans accordingly to transfer any credits earned to an accredited bachelor’s degree program. On the upside, associate’s degrees are very inexpensive to earn and can help you save a lot of money on your education.

Bachelor’s Degree: A bachelor’s degree is the first area of study where you begin to truly understand behavioral therapy and all that it entails. In addition to studying behavioral therapy, you will also learn general subjects that every person needs to know. A bachelor’s degree can be completed in about four years and makes you eligible for other higher level degrees. While it is possible to find very entry level work with only a bachelor’s degree, such as being a behavioral therapist assistant, the most lucrative and prestigious positions in the field will not be available to you with only this level of education.

Master’s Degree: Almost all successful professionals in the behavioral therapy field have at least a master’s degree. Master’s degree programs are an in depth study of behavioral therapy and the job you wish to do within the field. They can be completed in anywhere from one to three years, depending upon your exact program and the amount of classes you choose to take each term. Master’s degree programs are designed with working adults in mind, making it easy to balance your life, job, and family with your schooling. What’s more is that you can start a master’s degree program with any bachelor’s degree; it does not have to be related. This is great news for those who feared they would have to start their educations over from scratch.

PhD: The PhD is the highest level degree anyone can receive within the field. With a PhD in behavioral therapy, you can qualify for every job in the field and will typically make more than most other professionals. A PhD does take around five years to complete, but you can work while you earn it.