What Is a Behavior Analyst? (Everything to Know)

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A behavior analyst is an autism specialist who helps assess, plan and implement interventions for individuals with the disorder. People in this role often design programs to teach visual schedules or social skills that help children develop their communication abilities.

A “behaviour analyst” is a person who studies and assesses the behaviour of people with autism, learning disabilities, or other developmental disorders. They can also help develop effective strategies to help these individuals better function in society. Read more in detail here: behaviour analyst salary.


Applied behavior analysis (ABA) treatment is provided by a board certified behavior analyst.

When looking for behavior treatment for a kid with autism, physicians and other professionals are likely to prescribe this kind of therapy.

ABA therapy is a research-based treatment method that is closely monitored by a certifying authority. To work as a behavior analyst, all ABA therapists must be certified by the board. 

What Is a Behavior Analyst Who Is Board Certified?

Since the 1950s, applied behavior analysis (ABA) treatment has helped persons with developmental disorders, particularly autism, reduce maladaptive behaviors such as isolation, violence, and self-injury, and promote positive cognitive, socialization, and communication skills.

It is a long-term therapy strategy that incorporates a tailored therapeutic intervention. Each session is broken down into manageable stages. If one strategy does not work well for a specific client, therapy practitioners monitor progress in order to change the plan.

There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution that will work for every customer. Every treatment strategy is unique to the patient.

Certified behavior analysts implement ABA treatment. The Behavior Analyst Certification Board oversees the requirements for becoming a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA) (BACB). BCBAs must fulfill a high level of education, practice, and credentials before they can operate as an ABA therapist, as the board maintains professional standards for them. This is a critical step in assuring the safety and security of those on the autism spectrum and those with other developmental disabilities.

Behavior analysts may work one-on-one with a child or as part of a team to provide ABA treatment. Many BCBAs lead teams of registered behavior technicians (RBTs) and board certified assistant behavior analysts (BCaBAs) who work with individual clients to carry out the BCBA’s treatment plans.

Some behavior analyzers train the next generation of BCBAs as academics. Others have worked as therapists for decades, specializing in children and people with autism. BCBAs are divided into many subcategories, so if you decide to pursue this profession, you may select which route is ideal for you. 

How to Become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst There are a variety of ways to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

There are three routes to become a BCBA till 2022. The BACB will create a fourth path to become a behavior analyzer after January 2022.

Currently, there are three ways to become a certified behavior analyst: 

1. Coursework in behavior analysis. This first option is suitable for you if you have a graduate degree in behavior analysis from a discipline such as education or psychology. You enroll in ABA courses after completing a master’s degree or a doctorate from a recognized school. It has to be:

  • Completed at an eligible institution, which includes the one where you earned your graduate degree.

  • This course is for academic credit.

  • With a passing grade, the assignment was completed.

  • The Task List of the BACB was the focus.

  • Coursework includes the BACB’s ethical and professional conduct standards, ideas and principles of this sort of treatment, research methodologies, and other data concerning contemporary ABA procedures.

Following the completion of the requisite ABA courses, you will be expected to complete supervised experience. Under the guidance of qualified ABA therapists, you will put what you’ve learned into practice. You may have a variable number of needed hours depending on the sort of fieldwork you pick.

  • The standard approach of supervised independent fieldwork requires 1,500 hours in total, with two supervisor interactions throughout that time.

  • Practicum fieldwork, which takes 1,000 hours and four supervisor interactions, is a speedier way to finish.

  • The quickest route is to do intensive practicum fieldwork. Although just 750 hours are required, you must have eight supervisor interactions throughout that period.

After you’ve finished your fieldwork, you’ll need to apply to the BACB to take the certification exam. You will know if you passed or failed the test shortly after taking it. You will get your certification by email within a week if you pass.

After that, you are a fully qualified ABA therapist. To keep your certification current, you must maintain your credentials. 2. Faculty research and teaching: This second option, like the first, requires the completion of the required graduate degree, but it also necessitates the appointment of a faculty member teaching behavior analysis.

You must be a full-time instructor at an authorized college. The following conditions must be met by your teaching:

  • At least five sections or iterations of behavior-analytic courses must be taught.

  • Based on the BACB Coursework List, you must teach at least two behavior-analytic course topics.

  • Each class you give should primarily concentrate on ABA.

  • Graduate-level courses are required to be taught.

Faculty members at universities and colleges are also expected to do research and publish in their fields. To get certified in ABA treatment, you must publish ABA-related publications in a high-quality, peer-reviewed journal with at least one experimental evaluation. You must be one of the paper’s first three authors, although it may be published at any time during your tenure as a professor. Before you may apply for BCBA certification, the BACB requires that you publish at least one paper that meets these standards. You must also satisfy the same supervised experience criteria as the initial BCBA route.

3. Postdoctoral experience: You must have an appropriate graduate degree from a BACB-accepted school, same as the other ways to earning a BCBA. This degree must have been earned at least ten years ago. You must also have at least 10 years of full-time postdoctoral practical experience as a therapist, educator, or clinician in a behavior analysis-related discipline.

After that, you’ll need 500 hours of supervised experience and a suitable state license or certificate to practice. Over the course of your ten years of employment, you may hold a variety of licenses. Because the BACB thinks you will grow in your profession and get greater certifications, this is the case.

There will be a new method to acquire a BCBA and practice as an ABA therapist after January 2022 if you apply after that date. This program has been accredited by the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI).

Rather of receiving a graduate degree from a university or college, you may acquire a master’s or doctoral degree from an ABAI-accredited school, which assures you get ABA therapy courses and ultimately a BACB certification. In addition, you must complete the requisite supervised experience hours, apply for and pass the BACB certification test, and then obtain your certification.

Your graduate degree must have focused on ABA treatment in order to be eligible for this new program.

Behavior Analyst Career Options

BCBAs may supervise groups of RBTs who work with certain customers. Each client’s treatment plan is created and overseen by a BCBA, who keeps track of progress and objective measures of change. They urge their staff to alter strategies as required in order to assist customers in developing beneficial habits.

BCBAs may also help with:

  • Individualize your work with autistic people.

  • Students should be taught about ABA treatment.

  • Investigate novel methods for assisting persons with autism.

  • Obtain additional certification so that you may supervise BCBA trainees throughout their supervised experience.

Keeping Your BCBA Certification Active

You must renew your BCBA certification every two years, regardless of the kind of BCBA you received.

When you initially get your certification, you’ll pay $245 for the application, $140 for the chance to repeat the exam within two years of your first try, and $125 to schedule your exam, which will most likely be at a local test center but might also be done online. The internet alternative is becoming more popular and widely available.

You must maintain your credentials after completing your certification test and becoming a BCBA. To retain your certification, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Obtaining 32 continuing education credits, including at least four in ethics. This makes it easier for you to keep up with the latest ABA treatment techniques.

  • Follow the BACB’s self-reporting and ethical requirements to the letter.

  • If you supervise other ABA providers, you must meet current supervisory standards and maintain current with these requirements as they evolve.

  • Apply at least 45 days before your certification expires to recertify.

  • All applicable recertification costs must be paid.

New continuing education requirements will take effect in 2020. CEUs earned via learning, teaching, and scholarship programs are all legitimate and contribute toward the 32 credits required to keep your certification current.

To operate as a therapist in your state, you must first get a license. Licensing criteria for clinicians and educators in diverse contexts vary by state. Another important aspect of being an ethical therapist is proper licensing.

Because behavior analyzers interact with vulnerable people, it’s critical that they complete all standards to guarantee their overall safety. Once you’ve been licensed and registered, you’ll be listed on state websites as well as the BACB website, making it easy for prospective customers to locate you. 

Working as a BCBA to Satisfy a Massive Public Need

Anyone interested in assisting persons with developmental problems, such as autism, should consider becoming a BCBA. As more individuals are diagnosed with autism, there is a strong need for board certified behavior analysts in particular.

With the number of children diagnosed with autism increasing year after year, more parents are seeking ABA treatment for their children. The demand for this sort of therapist increased by 1,942 percent between 2010 and 2018, with an increase of 127 percent from 2017 to 2018. 

When you become a board certified behavior analyst, you may deal with persons on the autism spectrum and their families in almost any setting. Many ABA therapists go to their clients’ homes, particularly when they are young. This creates a secure, practical setting in which children may feel at ease while learning.

Behavior analyzers work in schools, business or nonprofit organizations, community centers, and clinics or hospitals on a daily basis. They may work for the government, organizations, or bigger corporations, or they may run their own practice.

You will make a real impact in the lives of persons with autism and other developmental disabilities as a behavior analyst. It’s a lucrative and promising professional path.


A behavior analyst is a professional who works with individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. They work on identifying and changing behaviors that can be difficult for the individual to manage. Reference: what does a behavior analyst do in the fbi.

Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly do behavior analysts do?

A: Behavior analysts are experts in behavior and motivation. They use a variety of research practices to collect data on human or animal behaviors, such as surveys, interviews, observations and experiments.

What skills does a behavior analyst need?

A: A behavior analyst is someone who has a PhD and has experience in the field of mental health. They would work with individuals, groups, or organizations to make sure that they are achieving their goals. Some examples of behaviors that a behavior analyst may be involved with include attention deficit disorder, autism spectrum disorders (ASD), bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

What does a behavior analyst do on a daily basis?

A: Behavior analysts are mostly involved in the field of psychiatry. They help with diagnosing and treating mental health disorders, as well as their underlying causes.

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