Behavioral Analysts: Types, Jobs, Certifications & More

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The term “behavioral analysis” is used with a varying degree of accuracy. There are many types and specializations within this field, which can be seen by the variety of skills that behavioral analysts learn during their training period. The result will be a job well-suited for those who want to devote themselves to public service as well as individuals hoping to make a career change or supplement their income while they study further in school.

Behavior analysts are professionals who work with people with autism and other developmental disabilities. They are responsible for the development, implementation, and evaluation of interventions to improve behavioral outcomes. Behavior analysts may also be involved in research on behavior and learning, such as the study of how children learn concepts or develop language skills. Read more in detail here: behavior analyst jobs.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the typical American works 7.61 hours every day. What would you want to do with that time? Working as a behavioral analyst may be perfect for you if you like assisting others and want a profession with strong job security and a good compensation.

You’ll need to finish some coursework, participate in a supervised practicum, and apply for certifications before you can begin working. You’ll also need a license in certain states.

All of your hard work will pay off in the form of a career that actually benefits others.

What is the Role of a Behavioral Analyst?

A therapist who specializes in behavioral analysis is known as a behavioral analyst. Pause if you’re seeing someone reclining on a sofa while you’re sitting in a chair taking notes. As a behavioral analyst, you’ll engage in dynamic, collaborative, and fun work. There’s a good chance neither you nor your customers will have time to relax and talk.

According to experts, conduct is at the core of the job you’ll be doing. Behavioral analysts feel that altering their clients’ behavior and reactions may enhance their overall quality of life. You’ll be an expert at influencing change.

During the course of a working day, behavioral analysts are responsible for a variety of duties. You could:

  • Create therapeutic approaches. You’ll visit with a customer to learn about their current behavior and how a change may benefit them. After that, you’ll work with your client to create a treatment plan.

  • Put plans into action. You’ll start using your therapeutic route after it’s been authorized. Work through the stages you’ve defined with your customer on a frequent basis (sometimes daily).

  • Evaluate. Determine if your strategy is working and keep track of your progress. If you don’t notice any progress, make changes to your plans.

Behavioral analysts have a say in where they work. Your workplace might be at one of the following locations:

Some people choose to have treatment sessions at their homes. In some cases, you’ll spend a significant portion of your day traveling from one customer to the next.

Every applied behavior analysis (ABA) treatment plan is unique, although there are certain commonalities.

  • You’ll inform your customers what you’re working on for the session and precisely what they need to do.

  • When the activity is accomplished, offering a food, a nice word, a smile, or anything enjoyable will assist. Positive conduct is reinforced as a result of this.

  • Repeat the process until the reward is no longer necessary for job completion. This aids in the acceptance of change.

  • Adjust: If the customer is unable to complete the assignment, look for ways to simplify the procedure. Breaking down multi-step tasks into smaller chunks makes them simpler to complete.

To encourage behavioral changes, trained ABA therapists do not utilize punishment, including physical reprimands. Rather, they use reasoning and incentives to make the shift seem more acceptable.

Which Analyst Certification Should You Pursue?

All certifications for ABA practitioners are handled by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (as the name implies). You’ll work with this company to show your credentials to your customers if you pick this career choice. Depending on the sort of job you want to pursue, the board provides a variety of qualifications.

Choose from the following ABA careers:

  • Obtain a bachelor’s degree from an authorized institution, complete 2,000 hours of supervised fieldwork, and pass a test to become a board certified assistant behavior analyst (BCaBA). With a BCaBA certification, you’ll be able to practice behavior analysis under the supervision of a board certified behavior analyst. With this qualification, you may manage a group of RBTs.

  • Obtain a master’s degree from a recognized institution, complete 2,000 hours of supervised fieldwork, and pass a test to become a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA). You may administer ABA programs, RBTs, and BCaBAs with a BCBA qualification.

  • BCBA-D (Board Certified Behavior Analyst – Doctoral): Complete 2,000 hours of supervised fieldwork and pass a test to get a PhD degree from a recognized institution. You’ll work in the same capacity as a BCBA, but with the extra distinction of having the term doctor in your title.

People who do not desire to get a bachelor’s degree or higher have another choice. You may use the registered behavior technician (RBT) qualification to implement treatment programs created by others.

Where Can I Get an Education?

If you want to work in the ABA area, your educational alternatives are restricted. You must enroll in a Behavior Analyst Certification Board-approved program, and not all companies are accredited.

All certified programs are listed on the Association for Behavior Analysis International’s website, which is updated on a regular basis. Before you sign the registration application, check the website to see whether your school is listed.

The amount of time you’ll spend in school depends on the sort of degree you’re pursuing. With a bachelor’s degree, you’ll be out of the classroom in about four years. You may be studying for another three to four years if you pursue a PhD degree.

After you’ve finished your coursework, you’ll need to focus on your practical. According to George Mason University, students cannot sit for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s certification exam unless they have shown completion. To check off all of the essential boxes, you’ll typically need a month of full-time employment.

Work closely with an ABA practitioner throughout your practicum. Find out how to:

  • Construct an ABA program.

  • Conduct behavioral evaluations.

  • Examine the outcomes of the tests.

  • Treatment programs based on ABA should be implemented.

  • As required, alter your strategy.

  • Compile information and update client charts.

  • Maintain a professional and suitable demeanor.

You may take your certification test after you have your degree and have completed your practicum. However, in other areas, you must complete additional requirements before you may begin working.

Requirements for State Licensing

ABA is a kind of treatment, and families deserve to engage with specialists who are skilled, well-trained, and responsible. Some governments maintain strict supervision over licenses to ensure that families are safeguarded. Before you work with your first client, you’ll need an official stamp of approval if you practice in one of these states.

The procedures for obtaining a license differ substantially from one state to the next. Here’s an example of what some states require:

  • Texas: Provide documentation of your Behavior Analyst Certification Board certification and pay a $165 fee.

  • Alabama: Show confirmation of certification from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board and pass an Alabama Law Enforcement Agency background check. Depending on the license type, fees range from $25 to $150. You’ll also have to pay for the background check.

  • Michigan: Fill out an online application form that is divided into parts. Prepare to answer questions about your educational background, criminal history, moral character, and other topics. A charge of $443.70 is required.

  • New Mexico does not need a state license. You’ll be ready to work after you’ve obtained certification from national organizations.

  • New Jersey’s governor signed the Applied Behavior Analyst Licensing Act into law in January 2020. To work, you must get a license, although the rules and regulations are currently being debated.

Discuss your home state and desired career location with your school’s guidance counselor. Determine if you need a license and, if so, get one. In most circumstances, completing the form entitles you to a temporary license. However, failing to apply before starting employment might result in hefty penalties.

Behavioral analysts are in high demand.

According to researchers, the demand for skilled ABA practitioners vastly outnumbers supply. People who want to use this type of therapy may have to look for help for months, or they may have to drive for hours to find someone who can help them. When you get certified, you’ll almost certainly find customers eager to collaborate with you.

For many individuals, particularly those who want to have a family, job stability is essential. You’ll need a stable wage to keep your family nourished and safe. Based on the findings, it’s evident that a career in ABA is well-protected.

These concerns are confirmed by a simple search on Indeed. In June 2020, there were over 1,500 job openings for ABA therapists. Many of the vacant roles had anything to do with autism.

Is This a Valuable Position?

ABA is often used by people with autism to help them achieve fundamental living skills. You might assist clients with getting dressed in the morning, discussing pReferences with family members, or dealing with powerful emotions. You could be the link that a family needs to start fixing issues rather than just concealing them.

Your pay will differ based on your employer, state, degree of education, and experience. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, psychologists earn more than $80,000 a year on average.

Job happiness is an example of an intangible. With each session, ABA experts see their clients’ growth and progress. They often form deep bonds with their customers and their families, and they share in their triumphs as a group.

You’ll know you’re making a difference for someone in need every day when you go to work. For some individuals, the feeling of worth is enough to make the work worthwhile.


Concerning Behavior Analysis. The Association of Professional Behavior Analysts (APBA) is a professional organization of behavior analysts.

Concerning Behavior Analysis. Behavior Analyst Certification Board is an organization that certifies behavior analysts.

Assistant Behavior Analyst with Board Certification. Behavior Analyst Certification Board is an organization that certifies behavior analysts.

Behavior Analyst with a Board Certification. Behavior Analyst Certification Board is an organization that certifies behavior analysts.

Doctoral Board Certified Behavior Analyst Behavior Analyst Certification Board is an organization that certifies behavior analysts.

Programs that have been accredited. The Accreditation Board of the ABAI.

The Handbook of Applied Behavior Analysis Practicum (2017). George Mason University is a public research university in Fairfax, Virginia.

Apply for a license as a behavior analyst. The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation is in charge of licensing and regulation.

The Alabama Behavior Analyst Licensure Board regulates behavior analysts in the state. The Alabama Department of Mental Health is a state agency that deals with mental health issues.

Analysts of human behavior. The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs is the state’s licensing and regulatory agency.

What Is Behavior Analysis and How Does It Work? The New Mexico Association for Behavior Analysis is a non-profit organization dedicated to the study of behavior.

The Behavior Analyst Licensing Act is signed into law (January 2020). Autism in New Jersey is a state in the United States.

Implications for Service Delivery for Children with Autism in the United States of Certified Applied Behavior Analysts. (As of December 2019) Psychiatric Services are available.

Autism ABA Therapist Indeed.

Is There Any Proof? Treatment Modalities for Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Narrative Literature Review (2016, January). Cureus.

Autism Spectrum Disorder Treatment for Children and Adolescents (2016, August). Psychopharmacology.

Support from supervisors as a predictor of burnout and therapeutic self-efficacy in ABA school therapists. (February 2009). The Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders is a publication dedicated to the study of autism and developmental disorders.

Parental Therapeutic Self-Efficacy in Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention for Children with Autism. (October 2002 – September 2002). Developmental Disabilities Research

A Meta-Analytic Study of the Effectiveness of Applied Behavior Analysis Interventions for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. (July of this year). Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) research

For Individuals Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Advances in Our Understanding of Behavioral Intervention: 1980 to 2020 (2020). The Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders is a publication dedicated to the study of autism and developmental disorders.

Behavior analysts are experts in the field of autism. They use a variety of techniques and tools to improve the lives of those who have autism. Behavioral analysts are also known as behavior therapists or specialists, and they can specialize in different areas such as child development, school-based interventions, parent training, and more. There is no official certification for becoming a behavioral analyst; however there are certifications available for those who wish to become certified behavior analysts. Reference: behavior analyst certification board.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the two types of certification you can get to be a behavior analyst?

A: There are three types of certification for behavior analysts – Certified Behavior Analyst, PhD in Psychology/Behavior Analysis and Doctoral Candidate in Applied Behavior Analysis.

What is the most common type of work a behavior analyst will do?

A: A behavior analyst will often work in a school as part of the special education or classroom management staff. They might also be employed by an educational institution to create and implement behavioral intervention plans for students with specific difficulties, like autism spectrum disorder. Behavior analysts may have their own private practice where they provide services like coaching and consulting.

What else can I do as a BCBA?

A: A BCBA is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. They are trained to provide psychological services for children and adults with behavioral issues, including autism spectrum disorders, learning disabilities, ADHD, or other mental health concerns.

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