A Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) is a professional who works in the mental health field, associated mostly with autism treatment. BCBA careers can be found in many other areas as well — including nursing homes or assisted care facilities and other health care settings. These professionals focus on the principles of behavioral psychology to provide care for clients struggling with social incompetence, emotional challenges or behavioral issues.
What Is the Role of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst?
If you choose to step into a Board Certified Behavior Analyst job, you will have a number of responsibilities depending on where you are employed. The primary goal in all BCBA jobs is to perform assessments of your clients’ behavior and then use those assessments to further evaluate their actions, determine routes of treatment, and provide behavior-based services.
Additionally, you will likely be responsible for the following:
Designing behavior-based plans catered to each individual's needs
Treating clients in individual and group settings
Creating and maintaining proper documents regarding treatment
Entering behavioral data into information systems for patient records
Writing professional recommendations based on client progress
Depending on their level of education and training, BCBAs may also be expected to oversee registered behavior technicians and others in the field during treatment sessions. Work responsibilities in BCBA careers can vary greatly depending on the treatment setting. For example, a BCBA working with children who are autistic may be required to provide emergency or interventional behavioral treatment while a BCBA in another setting might be more responsible for overseeing behavioral group therapy activities.
What Education Is Typically Needed to Be a Board Certified Behavior Analyst?
Choosing a BCBA career path will mean that you need certain educational credentials and certifications before you are qualified to hold this role in the mental health field. To become a BCBA, you will need to meet requirements established by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. There are three ways you can become certified as a BCBA:
Hold an accredited graduate degree, coursework in behavioral analysis, and extensive supervised training in the field
Hold an accredited graduate degree, extensive supervised experience, and a full-time job that revolves around behavior analysis
Hold an accredited doctoral degree and 10 years of behavioral analysis experience in a hands-on treatment setting
If you take the third option and already hold a doctoral degree, you may be interested in eventually becoming a BCBA-D, which is a higher-level position in the field. Once you have obtained either a BCBA credential or a BCBA-D credential, you must take part in continuing education to recertify every two or three years, depending on your certification. You must also agree to practice only according to ethics policies set forth by the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts.
Pursuing a Board Certified Behavior Analyst career could be one of the greatest professional decisions you ever make if you have a passion for helping those with behavioral challenges. Learn more about BCBA positions and current career opportunities at Invo Progressus today!
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