How To Become an ABA Therapist

Becoming an ABA Therapist
  1. Step 1: Earn an Undergraduate Degree. The first step in becoming an ABA therapist is to obtain an undergraduate degree. …
  2. Step 2: Earn a Graduate Degree. …
  3. Step 3: Obtain Licensure and Certification. …
  4. ABA Therapist. …
  5. ABA Training Coordinator. …
  6. Clinical Supervisor. …
  7. University Professor. …
  8. Clinical Director.

Ask Dr. Doreen: How to become an ABA therapist

Differences between BCBA and BCBA-D

A BCBA is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. They frequently assist children with ASD in reducing their problematic behaviors by determining their underlying causes in schools, homes, hospitals, private practices, and other institutions. A Board Certified Behavior Analyst with a PhD is known as a BCBA-D. D. as opposed to a BCAB, who only holds a master’s degree. This is the primary distinction between the two.

The requirements for working as an independent practitioner are the same for BCBA-Ds and they have the same duties and responsibilities as BCBAs. BCBA-Ds can, however, teach college courses and conduct laboratory research.

What is an ABA therapist?

Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are taught fundamental life skills and a variety of academic techniques by an applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapist in order to help them function in society. The majority of their efforts are directed toward improving the kids’ communication skills and teaching them how to handle different social situations. Patients with traumatic brain injuries or severe developmental disabilities, in addition to those with ASD, also benefit from working with ABA therapists.

An ABA therapist’s primary responsibility is to recognize and assess a patient’s distinctive behavioral characteristics in particular contexts, situations, and environments. They can determine the precise causes that set off different behavioral patterns after determining how these events affect the patient’s behavior, and collaborate with them to create therapeutic strategies.

The most common activities for an ABA therapist are:

How to become an ABA therapist

To pursue a career as an ABA therapist, take the following actions:

1. Earn a bachelors degree

Getting a bachelor’s degree is the first requirement for becoming an ABA therapist. No specific major is required, but psychology is a popular choice because many of its courses deal with topics that are closely related to ABA therapy, such as emotional disorders, mental illnesses, and developmental problems. Another well-liked major for those aiming to become ABA therapists is sociology.

2. Find an internship

You can look for an internship during your time in college that will allow you to work closely with an ABA therapist and their clients. By giving you real-world experience and exposing you to realistic situations, this can help you finish your basic education.

3. Earn a masters degree

Choosing to enroll in a graduate program in behavioral analysis will allow you to further your education in the area. They typically last two years, and in order to graduate, students must finish an applied behavior analysis-related thesis. The entire final year is typically spent conducting the necessary research for the thesis and writing it; students then present their work at the end of the year.

4. Begin a practicum

Some states require therapists to hold a license, and to do so, you must complete between 1,000 and 1,500 hours of clinical work while being supervised by an already-licensed therapist. The majority of institutions let students start their practicum after finishing their thesis, allowing them to fully concentrate on gaining as much real-world experience as possible.

5. Get certified

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) grants certification to aspiring ABA therapists. One of three requirements must be satisfied by those who want to become certified as applied behavior analysts:

Students can submit their applications either online or by mailing them to the BACB. The applicant is qualified to take the certification exam, which consists of 160 multiple-choice questions in four hours, if the board determines that they meet at least one of the three requirements. A candidate must correctly respond to 114 of the 150 questions in order to receive a passing grade.

6. Continue your education

Although passing the BACB exam entitles you to employment in an ABA environment, you must recertify every two years to demonstrate that you are current with industry best practices.

Important skills for an ABA therapist

The most useful skills for an ABA therapist are:

Related job titles

The following are a few jobs associated with ABA therapy:


Is being an ABA therapist hard?

Nobody is going to try to convince you that working as an ABA therapist doesn’t occasionally involve trying times and heartbreaking situations. The work of applied behavior analysis therapy demands a lot of heart, a lot of repetition, and a lot of doing things incorrectly the first time.

How much do you make in ABA?

A bachelor’s degree ABA provider can expect to make an average salary of $47,000 per year, while a master’s degree ABA provider can expect to make an average salary of $55,000 per year.

Is ABA therapy a good career?

Jobs in ABA Therapy are numerous and worth considering if you’re one of those seeking a stable career that involves more than just clocking in and out. Children and teenagers with autism and their families receive crucial supports from the field in which we work, behavioral health and autism therapy.

How do I get started with ABA?

  1. STEP 1: REACHING OUT. Simply get in touch with us via phone, email, or contact form to begin your journey.
  3. STEP 3: complimentary consultation. …
  4. STEP 4: evaluation & insurance authorization. …

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