Do you want to make a difference in the lives of others? Are you looking for a career that is both challenging and rewarding? If so, then you may want to consider becoming an applied behavior analyst! ABA has become one of the most in-demand professions in the world, and there is a growing need for qualified professionals. We will provide an overview of what ABA is and discuss the steps necessary to become a certified behavior analyst.
What Is ABA?
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the scientific study of behavior. The goal of ABA is to change behavior to improve the quality of life for individuals. ABA is an effective treatment for autism and other developmental disabilities.
Steps To Becoming One
1. Complete a graduate-level program
First, you must complete a graduate-level behavior analysis program and pass the BCBA exam. Many accredited programs across the country offer both online and in-person instruction. Once you have completed a program, you will be eligible for the BCBA exam.
The BCBA exam is a four-hour test covering the six core principles of behavior analysis. The test is divided into two sections: a multiple-choice section and an essay section. You will have three hours to complete the multiple-choice section and one hour to complete the essay section. To pass the exam, you must receive 75% or higher.
2. Find an Internship
After you have obtained your BCBA, the next step is to find an internship. Many behavior analysis programs offer internships as part of their curriculum. However, if your program does not offer an internship, you can contact local clinics or organizations that provide ABA services.
An internship will allow you to gain experience working with clients and implementing behavior change plans. It is important to find an internship that is supervised by a BCBA so that you can receive the necessary guidance and support.
3. Get a Master’s Degree
While it is not required, many employers prefer hiring candidates with a master’s degree. If you are interested in pursuing a career in ABA, you may consider obtaining a master’s degree in behavior analysis or a related field.
To get a master’s degree, you will need to complete a graduate-level program. Most programs take between two and four years to complete. Once you have earned your degree, you will be eligible to take the BCBA exam and become a certified behavior analyst.
4. Get Certified
After you have completed a graduate-level program and passed the BCBA exam, you will be eligible to become a certified behavior analyst. You must apply to the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB) to do this. The BACB is the organization that oversees the certification process for behavior analysts.
To be eligible for certification, you must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, complete a graduate-level program in behavior analysis, and pass the BCBA exam. Once you have met all the requirements, you can submit your application for certification.
5. Apply For Jobs
Many organizations provide ABA services. You can search for open positions on the BACB website or job websites such as Indeed.com. An organization like Blossom Children’s Center that offers ABA services advertises online for such positions. You get to learn a lot and be able to differentiate response generalization vs stimulus generalization while on the job. When applying for jobs, highlight your experience and education in behavior analysis.
You can also contact local clinics or organizations that provide ABA services to inquire about open positions. Often, these types of organizations need behavior analysts but do not have the resources to post open positions online.
6. Get Involved In the Community
As a behavior analyst, there are many ways to get involved in the community. You can volunteer your time to provide ABA services to organizations or individuals in need. You can also join professional organizations such as the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) or the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS).
These types of organizations offer many resources and networking opportunities for behavior analysts. Community involvement is a great way to give back and learn more about applied behavior analysis. It is also an excellent way to meet other professionals in the field and expand your network.
Applied behavior analysis is a growing field with many opportunities for those interested in pursuing a career in this area. With the right education and training, you can become a certified behavior analyst and work with individuals of all ages to help them reach their full potential.