Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming an ABA Therapist

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The AAC field is continually growing and changing with new emerging technologies, but there’s always room for more data analysis. Learn how to become an ABA therapist in this step-by-step guide.

Becoming an ABA Therapist is a difficult process. The “become certified aba therapist” is a step-by-step guide to becoming an ABA Therapist.


Qualifying courses in behavior analysis or a closely related discipline is required of ABA therapists. Aspiring ABA therapists must undergo an authorized practicum experience and pass the national certification test after earning a qualifying degree.

Bachelor’s and graduate-level ABA certificates are available. A doctoral degree is required for Behavior Analyst with a Board Certifications (BCBAs), whereas a bachelor’s degree is required for Assistant Behavior Analyst with Board Certifications (BCaBAs). Individuals who have completed doctoral-level behavior analysis curriculum are eligible to apply for the BCBA-D certification.

BCBAs are qualified to practice as independent practitioners in their specialty once certified. BCaBAs undertake much of the same work as BCBAs, however they must be supervised by a BCBA at all times.

You are fully certified to begin working as an ABA therapist after you pass the Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s (BACB) national certification test.

What Does an ABA Therapist Do?

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is a form of behavior treatment based on learning and behavior research. ABA therapists are educated to examine how behavior works, how it is influenced by the environment, and how learning occurs. ABA therapists assist their clients with developmental impairments by developing personalised treatment programs that are tailored to each person’s specific requirements.

As an ABA therapist, you begin each client’s treatment by performing a full examination to learn about the client’s present issues, their everyday settings, and their particular behavior objectives. You assist clients in improving their social, communication, and learning skills by developing individualized treatments that push them to try new things.

What Does it Take to Become an ABA Therapist?

You must complete particular schooling, practicum, and test criteria to become an ABA therapist. The BACB maintains strong qualifying rules to guarantee that all ABA therapists provide behavior analysis services to all of their clients responsibly, ethically, and professionally.

The BACB website provides step-by-step procedures for becoming a certified behavior therapist. All certifications need a minimum degree of education, a certain number of hours of supervised field work, and a passing score on the relevant national certification test, regardless of the level of therapist you want to be.

Consider your educational background before pursuing a career as an ABA therapist. BCaBAs must have a bachelor’s degree to apply. Those with a master’s degree may apply to become BCBAs, while those with a doctorate degree can seek to become BCBAs – doctoral (BCBA-D).

Behavior Analyst with a Board Certification

BCBAs are behavior analysts who have earned a graduate degree in the area. They are self-employed behavior analysts who work with a wide range of customers in a number of situations.

The following are the prerequisites for becoming a BCBA:

  • Complete a BACB-accredited institution with an approved master’s or doctoral degree.
  • Acceptable behavior analysis graduate-level education must be included in your program or completed independently.
  • Completing the bare minimum of supervised experience or fieldwork is required.
  • Take the BCBA certification test and pass it.

A graduate degree in behavior analysis, education, or psychology that incorporates behavior analysis courses is typically appropriate. You may submit a preliminary degree review before applying for BCBA certification if you’re not sure whether your degree qualifies you.

The supervised experience requirement must be performed after you have finished your graduate degree. The following are the BCBA experience requirements:

  • 1,500 hours of supervised independent fieldwork, 1,000 hours of practicum, or 750 hours of intense practicum total.
  • Per supervisory period, a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 130 hours of experience are required.
  • Period of supervision: one calendar month

The BCBA/BCaBA Experience Standards guide has further information on supervision requirements, experience hours, and optional resources.

It’s crucial to remember that from January 1, 2022, the qualifying conditions for the BCBA and BCaBA certifications will alter somewhat. If you plan to apply after this date, be sure to check the BACB website for the most up-to-current qualifying criteria.

You may apply for certification after you’ve satisfied all of the current qualifying criteria. You may fill out and submit the certification application online, as well as pay the $245 application cost. You may submit all supporting papers to your BACB account online.

When your application is approved, you can register to take the BCBA exam. The exam costs $125 and is offered at Pearson Vue testing centers worldwide. As soon as you pass the exam, you are officially a Behavior Analyst with a Board Certification.

There are several free and paid tools accessible online to help you prepare for the BCBA test.

Assistant Behavior Analyst with Board Certification

To be certified as a BCBA, a BCaBA must complete many of the same standards as a BCBA. The main distinction is that a BCaBA has a bachelor’s degree rather than a master’s. BCaBAs carry out behavior plans and strive toward behavior objectives that their supervising BCBA has developed.

While BCaBAs are unable to function alone, they serve an important role in providing behavior analysis services to children and people who need them. Technician in Applied Behavior Analysiss (RBTs) that are members of the ABA team may be supervised by BCaBAs.

The following are the conditions for applying for BCaBA certification:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an approved institution is required.
  • Complete behavior analysis curriculum at the college level.
  • Complete the supervised practical experience hours that are necessary.

BCaBAs must meet the same supervised experience criteria as BCBAs. You may apply for certification after you’ve satisfied all of the BCaBA’s qualifying criteria. The application price for BCaBA certification is $175, plus a $125 test fee payable to Pearson Vue.

You become a certified ABA therapist after passing the national BCaBA test. It is up to you, however, to ensure that you always operate under the supervision of a qualified supervisor and that your certification remains valid.

Behavior Analyst with a Board Certification – Doctoral

Individuals who have completed a doctorate program in behavior analysis are accorded the BCBA-D designation. It is not a distinct certification from the BCBA, and it does not provide any more rights, but it does acknowledge the additional competence that a PhD level practitioner has.

If you want to become a BCBA-D, you must first be a BCBA and then complete one of three qualifying requirements.

  • You have a doctorate degree from an Association for Behavior Analysis International-accredited doctoral program (ABAI).
  • You have a doctorate degree from a non-ABAI-accredited institution and have written at least two peer-reviewed behavior-analytic journal papers, as well as doctoral-level behavior-analytic courses, supervision from a BCBA faculty member, or a behavior-analytic dissertation.
  • You have a PhD from a recognized university, 1,800 hours in applied behavior analysis (after becoming BCBA certified), and at least two peer-reviewed behavior-analytic journal papers.

You may complete the online BCBA-D application if you meet the aforementioned qualifying conditions for the BCBA-D certification. You must pay the application cost of $105 and submit all supporting documents to your BACB account.

Technician in Applied Behavior Analysis

RBT is a paraprofessional credential awarded to those who have completed high school and want to work in the area of behavior analysis. Most ABA teams include RBTs, who collaborate closely with BCBAs and BCaBAs to offer ABA treatments.

RBTs, like BCBAs and BCaBAs, must complete qualifying standards in order to be certified. RBTs must meet the following requirements in addition to being at least 18 years old and possessing a high school diploma:

  • A background check must be passed.
  • Complete a 40-hour training course, either in person or online.
  • Complete a preliminary competence evaluation.
  • Make an application for certification.
  • Take the national RBT test and pass it.

RBTs are not formally called behavior therapists since they lack the significant training and supervised field experience requirements that BCBAs and BCaBAs have. They are, nonetheless, qualified professionals who can develop into highly proficient behavior analysts.

What Can a BACB Certification Get Me?

Professionals holding a BACB certification have a wide range of job options. Behavior analysts at all levels often collaborate as therapy teams in a number of contexts. In each situation, the actual function differs, such as supervisory vs direct healthcare provider. To provide effective evidence-based therapy, all views are critical.

Certified behavior analysts operate in a variety of situations, including the following:

  • Schools.
  • Hospitals and clinics are two types of healthcare facilities.
  • Organizations in the community.
  • Incorporated settings
  • It is a private practice.
  • Governmental organizations.

You will almost certainly always be a member of a multidisciplinary team, regardless of whatever professional context you choose to work in or what degree of certification you earn. Teachers, physicians, parents, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and other experts are regularly consulted by behavior analyzers to ensure that their clients’ objectives are matched in all aspects of their life.


ABD stands for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Autism Speaks is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about

Experience Standards for BCBA/BCaBA. Behavior Analyst Certification Board is an organization that certifies behavior analysts.

Assistant Behavior Analyst with Board Certification. Behavior Analyst Certification Board.

Behavior Analyst with a Board Certification. Behavior Analyst Certification Board.

This is the home page. Behavior Analyst Certification Board is an organization that certifies behavior analysts.

Technician in Applied Behavior Analysis. Behavior Analyst Certification Board.

The “aba therapist salary” is a step-by-step guide to becoming an ABA Therapist. It includes information on how to become certified, what the job entails, and much more.

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