The Growing Demand for BCBAs
A report issued in 2021 by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board shows that the demand for behavior analysts with board certification has increased nearly 6,000 percent over the past twelve years. Demand for behavior analyst assistants who hold certification has also increased dramatically. In Arizona, for example, the report shows that in 2020, there were 1,234 job postings for behavior analysts. In 2021, the number jumped to 1,625 postings, a 32 percent increase.
Board certified behavior analysts (BCBAs) play an important role in monitoring a child’s services. Job responsibilities include conducting assessments, developing and monitoring individualized treatment plans, behavior support plans and intervention plans, monitoring data collection, reviewing program effectiveness and client progress, conducting functional assessments and functional analysis of problem behaviors when needed, and providing support, instruction, and feedback to families and caregivers with regard to managing challenging behaviors, and teaching substitute behaviors using ABA principles. BCBAs may also train and supervise ABA/Behavioral Technicians.
BCBAs must hold a master’s degree in a human services field such as psychology, behavior analysis, education, special education, early child education, or similar field of study in order to be eligible for board certification.
Proof of training is also required with either 1,500 hours of clinical experience under the supervision of an experienced behavior analyst, a practicum of 1,000 hours of clinical experience under closer supervision, or 750 hours of clinical experience under the strictest level of supervision.
In order to sit for the certification exam, the candidate must have a master’s degree in behavior analysis, education, or psychology, plus supervised clinical experience. They can also qualify for the exam if they have the education and experience noted above and have taught behavior analysis as a faculty member for at least 3 years. Candidates who have earned a doctoral degree in behavior analysis, education, or psychology, along with supervised clinical experience, can also take the exam. Depending on the state, the BCBA may be required to get a state license.
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