How Long Does It Take to Become a BCBA?

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The BCBA is the highest level of clinical care for people with autism. The Red Cross has a training program to help practitioners become BCBAs, but it takes at least 2 years of full-time education and experience before becoming eligible for certification. Although there are many resources available online, it can still be expensive to start this process. How will future students cope?

Becoming a board certified behavior analyst is not an easy task and it takes time. The average salary for a BCBA is $64,000.


To become a BCBA, you may take a variety of routes. Before you can become a BCBA, you’ll need many years of higher education and professional experience. The time it takes to acquire a BCBA varies based on one’s route of study, however it may take anywhere from 6 to 10 years to finish an undergraduate and graduate degree.

A bachelor’s degree usually takes four years, a master’s degree two years, and then applicants must complete 1,500 hours of supervised fieldwork in applied behavior analysis. The supervised fieldwork hours may be completed in roughly a year, however many individuals take longer depending on their speed.

Getting the Process Going

There are numerous requirements to become a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA) and conduct applied behavior analysis (ABA) treatment to aid persons on the autistic spectrum. To ensure high levels of safety and ethics, the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) supervises the rules that govern this crucial clinical profession.

To become a BCBA, the BACB provides a set of prerequisites. Previous schooling and job experience are some of the qualifications.

The Basics of Becoming an ABA Therapist

A master’s degree in a relevant discipline, such as education, psychology, or medicine, is usually required of a BCBA. A bachelor’s degree, which takes on average four years to finish, is required before pursuing a master’s degree. In the United States, master’s degrees take an average of two years to complete.

If you have a bachelor’s degree and wish to become a BCBA, you may look for master’s programs that provide recognized or approved training that meets the BACB’s standards. These programs might be in a variety of disciplines, including:

Minimum hours studying particular subjects are required in ABA treatment coursework.

  • 45 hours of professional and ethical behavior

  • 45 hours of behavior analysis ideas and principles

  • Fundamental components of behavior modification and particular behavior change concepts are covered throughout 45 hours.

  • Depending on your pReferences and the school’s course, 30 hours of discretionary behavior-analytic material

  • 30 hours of client needs identification and evaluation

  • 20 hours of research and development

  • Intervention and behavior change considerations; behavior change systems; and implementation, management, and supervision each get 10 hours.

If you already have a master’s degree and want to become a BCBA, you’ll need to locate a graduate certificate or professional development program that can provide you with the appropriate training. You might also enroll in a postdoctoral (PhD) program focused on ABA treatment. If you teach psychology, behavioral therapy, or special education at a university level and begin teaching ABA treatment for at least three years as a full-time faculty member, you may satisfy the criteria.

With the help of an ABA therapist, you’ll be able to do supervised fieldwork.

You must also complete a set amount of supervised experience with clients while you finish the needed courses, whether via an approved college or university program or a separate validated course sequence. This might be in the form of:

  • supervised fieldwork for 1,500 hours This is the minimum prerequisite for gaining practical experience while studying ABA therapy. This may be done at a school, medical office, clinic, or private ABA therapy practice; there are no constraints on where it can be done. Your supervisor must be a current BCBA who satisfies the standards for continued supervision.

  • A total of 1,000 hours of practicum work are required. This is one of two more rigorous training tracks available outside of university or college environments via validated course sequences. Your supervisor, like the normal fieldwork component, must be a certified BCBA who complies with the board’s supervision criteria.

  • A total of 750 hours of extensive practical work is required. This practicum, which is presented as part of the validated course sequence, enables you to concentrate in-depth for a significantly shorter length of time.

  • Intensive practicum work for 500 hours. Only PhD candidates with at least 10 years of experience working in a therapeutic, educational, or medical context are eligible for this supervised experience route.

You may apply for the board examination after you have completed the academic and practical requirements for ABA therapy certification.

To become an ABA therapist, you must pass a board certification exam.

You may apply to take the board certification test online after you’ve created an account with the BACB. This necessitates having the relevant papers ready to submit, such as supervisor reports, course grades, and any professional information.

At the conclusion of the application, you must sign the Eligibility Affidavit, declaring that you have read and understand the BACB criteria. You must also disclose any symptoms, investigations, or events that may affect your ability to pass the test or practice as an ABA therapist in a timely manner.

You have 90 days to make your payment after submitting your application for it to be completed. If you qualify for the test, you will be informed and requested to set an exam date.

Becoming an ABA Therapist takes time.

Coursework, faculty teaching and research, and postdoctoral experience are the three fundamental ways to become an ABA therapist, according to the BACB. Each of these paths requires a substantial amount of education — at least a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree, with the possibility of further graduate certification, professional certification, or employer-provided training — as well as a large amount of practical experience.

Many degree programs, professor positions, clinics, special education institutions, and other jobs may seek for practical work experience when selecting individuals, therefore it is beneficial to work in a relevant sector for at least a few years. The overall time it takes to become a qualified ABA therapist varies, however it might take anywhere from 6 to 10 years.

If you have the necessary education, training, and experience for this therapist role, you will be able to deal with children and adults on the autism spectrum in a safe, ethical, and comprehensive manner. You may begin assisting individuals after you have completed the education and training requirements and have been certified.


What Does It Take to Become a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst? (BCBA). Indeed.

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

Handbook for Board Certified Behavior Analysts (2020). Behavior Analyst Certification Board is an organization that certifies behavior analysts.

The “how to become a bcba assistant” is a question that many people with autism are asking. The process of becoming a BCBA can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years depending on the individual.

Frequently Asked Questions

How hard is it to become a Bcba?

A: It takes a lot of work and dedication to become an NBA baller. You will have to train day in and out, continue your education throughout high school, college, or even after college if you plan on playing professionally.

Is becoming a BCBA worth it?

A: I am a BCBA.
I am an expert in my field and make the best of me every day, so it would depend on what youre looking for. It is worth considering how much your life will change if you become a BCBA as opposed to getting another job or going back to school

How does one become a Bcba?

A: To become a bacontrioter, one must fill out an application at https://www.reddit.com/r/Bcba/.

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