What Does It Look Like To Work As An ABA Provider?

ABA positions typically fall under 2 tiers: Employees, or  Independent Contractors (IC).  IBG shares the information below to help clarify some foundational differences between these positions.  Note: IBG recommends seeking professional advice before making any employment decisions, as the information below is not all-encompassing of your unique circumstances. 

Independent Contractor

Working as an independent contractor is an option for Board Certified ABA providers, only.  Per federal regulations, RBT’s, student behavior technicians and behavior technicians must work as an employee, as they require supervision to conduct their job responsibilities.

Flexible Schedules & Responsibilities

  • Working as an independent contractor (IC) means you are not an employee of the organization.  IC’s are professionals who have the qualifications and trainings necessary to provide services on behalf of an organization of their choice, on an as-needed basis.
  • IC’s primary obligations to the organization are to provide services that are in line with the organization’s practice guidelines, missions and values.  IC’s have the flexibility to work within their personal availability, to be as involved they wish with additional organizational functions, and to contract their services with any organization they choose.
  • IC’s weekly/monthly hours are dependent on the number of cases they agree to take on with the organization(s), and is reliant on the amount of work opportunities the organization(s) have to offer.  More simply stated, the amount of hours IC’s work is not guaranteed by any organization, and may fluctuate over time.

Financial Considerations

  • Independent contractors do not receive standard benefits from the organization(s) they contract with, as is characteristic of employees.  As a result, IC’s typically receive higher hourly compensation, pay their own taxes, and manage their own benefits.  This includes, but is not limited to, planning for vacations and time off, developing savings and retirement plans, and choosing personal health insurance plans.
  • IC’s have a very large range of compensation opportunities, as they have the ability to work as much, or as little as possible.  When IC’s work, they get paid; when they do not work, they do not get paid.  Therefore, sound financial management is critical for IC’s, as there is no guarantee of work or consistent compensation.


Schedules & Responsibilities

  • Employee positions are the most commonly known position for many organizations.  Working as an employee means receiving guaranteed part-time or full-time hours with an employee contract that outlines all requirements and obligations you vow to follow while employed by the organization.  Typically, employees are to only work for the organization that hires them, are required to adhere to all organizational guidelines, required to attend mandatory organizational meetings, must work the hours stipulated in their contract and be approved for requesting time off.  Employees automatically have taxes and other expenses taken out of each paycheck.

Financial Considerations

  • Working as an employee provides consistent compensation on a schedule that is agreed upon in your contract.  Employees typically receive benefit packages from the organization, such as health insurance, retirement plans, paid time off, health savings accounts, and bonus packages.  Compensation is typically lower than independent contractors who work equivocal positions due to these employee benefit packages.
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