Board Certified Behavior Analyst Jobs & Career Guide

What in this guide?

  • Overview
  • What does a BCBA do?
  • How to become a BCBA
  • How much do you earn?

By psychologyjobs.com Staff Writer

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What is a BCBA?

A BCBA, or Board Certified Behavior Analyst, is a professional who has received certification from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).

This certification is recognized internationally and denotes a high level of competence in the principles and practices of applied behavior analysis (ABA).

What does a BCBA do?

  • Conduct Behavioral Assessments – This includes initial and ongoing assessments to identify behavioral needs and to formulate effective intervention plans. Common assessments might involve functional behavior assessments (FBA) or other diagnostic tools that determine the causes and functions of specific behaviors.
  • Develop Individualized Behavior Plans – Based on assessment outcomes, a BCBA designs comprehensive behavior intervention plans that address specific behavioral needs of the client.
  • Implement Behavior Intervention Plans – BCBAs oversee the implementation of behavior plans, ensuring interventions are executed correctly to maximize effectiveness. This involves working directly with clients as well as collaborating with other professionals and educators who interact with the client.
  • Data Analysis and Modification of Plans – They collect and analyze data to monitor the progress and effectiveness of interventions. Based on this data, BCBAs make necessary adjustments to the behavior plans to ensure continued progress and goal attainment.
  • Supervise Lower-Level Staff – BCBAs provide direct supervision to Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs), Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBAs), and other support staff implementing behavior analytic interventions.
  • Training and Development – They train caregivers, educators, and other professionals on how to implement and sustain behavior analytic interventions effectively. This training ensures that therapeutic strategies are consistently applied across all environments the client accesses.
  • Interdisciplinary Collaboration – Work collaboratively with other professionals such as educators, therapists, and medical professionals to provide holistic care to clients.
  • Advocate for Clients – BCBAs often advocate for the needs and rights of their clients, particularly in educational and social service settings, to ensure that necessary accommodations and supports are in place.
Being a BCBA is a unique blend of science and heart. It’s about using data to understand behavior, but it’s also about compassion and building relationships with clients and their families. It’s incredibly rewarding to see a client achieve a goal they’ve been working towards, and it can be challenging when progress is slow. But overall, it’s a privilege to be part of someone’s journey towards a more fulfilling life.
Dr. Sarah Smith, BCBA-D, Founder of Hopeful Beginnings Center for Autism

A day in the life of a BCBA

Here is a typical daily schedule for a BCBA working in a private clinic:

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM: Morning Preparation

Start the day by reviewing client files and notes from the previous day’s sessions. Update treatment plans and prepare materials for today’s sessions.

Briefly meet with support staff and Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs) to discuss the day’s schedule, client-specific strategies, and any urgent issues.

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Conduct a direct therapy session with a client. Implement and model behavior intervention plans, focusing on specific therapeutic goals.

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Observe an RBT conducting a session to ensure proper implementation of behavior plans. Provide immediate feedback and coaching to enhance technique and effectiveness.

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Meet with parents or caregivers to discuss progress, concerns, and make adjustments to home-based strategies. This often involves collaborative planning and reinforcement of training.

Lunch Break

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Participate in a team meeting with other professionals such as occupational therapists, speech therapists, and psychologists to discuss integrated care and multi-disciplinary approaches for clients.

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Conduct another session with a different client, possibly focusing on more complex behavioral interventions or new techniques introduced in the treatment plan.

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Analyze data collected from the day’s sessions to monitor progress and efficacy of interventions. Prepare reports and adjust treatment plans accordingly.

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Complete detailed notes on client progress, session specifics, and observations. Plan for future sessions based on today’s insights and data trends.

Set up goals and materials for the next day’s sessions.

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM:

Spend the last hour of the workday reading recent ABA research, participating in online forums, or completing continuing education courses to stay updated with the latest practices and maintain certification requirements.

How to become a BCBA

Obtain a Relevant Bachelor’s Degree

Begin by earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology, education, or a related field. This foundational step is crucial as it prepares you for advanced studies in behavior analysis.

Earn a Master’s Degree

You must obtain a master’s degree or higher in behavior analysis, education, or psychology. The program should include coursework specifically in behavior analysis.

Complete Relevant Coursework

Enroll in a Verified Course Sequence (VCS) approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). This coursework covers essential topics in behavior analysis, ethics, and intervention strategies. The BACB provides a list of approved courses and institutions.

Gain Supervised Fieldwork Experience

  • Accumulate a specified number of hours of supervised fieldwork. The BACB outlines several options for this:
    • Supervised Independent Fieldwork: 1,500 hours of supervised experience.
    • Practicum: 1,000 hours within a more intensive university-based practicum.
    • Intensive Practicum: 750 hours, offering even more supervision than the standard practicum.
  • This fieldwork must be supervised by a BCBA and involves applying behavior analytic skills and knowledge in practical settings.

Apply for and Pass the BCBA Examination

After completing your degree and supervised experience, you must apply to sit for the BCBA examination. This involves submitting your transcripts and fieldwork documentation for verification.

The BCBA exam is a comprehensive test that covers the core principles of behavior analysis, including designing and implementing interventions, behavior assessment, and ethical considerations.

How much do you earn as a BCBA?

The average salary in the US for a Board Certified Behavior Analyst is $72,524. For more insights please see our BCBA salary guide.

Latest BCBA Job Listings

PositionCompanyLocationPosted
Registered Behavior TechnicianEducational Service District 112 Vancouver, Washington US07/16/2024
General Responsibilities Under the direction of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), the Registered Behavior Technician is responsible for the implementation of behavior intervention plans developed by the IEP team, collecting data and conducting assessments.Salary:The salary range for this position is $28.39 – $34.54* per hour.Offers are made at the beginning of the range. *The salary range starting September 1, 2024, … More
School Psychologist or School Psychology Intern **New Starting Salary Information with Signing Bonus**Jordan School District West Jordan, Utah US07/16/2024
In Jordan School District People Come for The Job and Enjoy the Adventure Jordan School District is located just miles from downtown Salt Lake City in the heart of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains with easy access to five national parks. Our employees thrive working in one of the most exciting and scenic areas of the country where they enjoy hiking, mountain biking, skiing, golfing, fishing, professional sports, great food and an exciting night … More
Registered Behavior Technician (RBT)Early Autism Services Beaverton, Oregon US07/16/2024
Are you passionate about making a positive impact on the lives of children? We welcome you to apply now and join our dedicated team at Early Autism Services as a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT). We are seeking enthusiastic individuals from diverse backgrounds to provide personalized 1:1 Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy to children (ages 2-11) in a supportive environment. At Early Autism Services, we provide the training needed to build your career and grow your skills as … More
Board Certified Behavioral Analyst (BCBA)Talent Acquisition Specialist Dover, Delaware US07/15/2024
Company:Benchmark Human ServicesLocation:Dover, DECategory:Group HomesWage:Annual Salary: $75,000Description: Since 1960, Benchmark has been empowering marginalized populations to see their potential. We are committed to realizing the full potential ofEVERYONE those we serve, our partners and … More
Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)Behavioral Services of Tennessee Cordova, Tennessee US07/14/2024
About US: We know as a BCBA you have a variety of employment opportunities, but there are many reasons to choose BSTN. Founded in 2001, BSTN is BCBA owned and operated. We provide community-based services to adolescents and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including some of the most challenging cases in the state. All of our current BCBAs have each worked for BSTN for several years, so any new BCBAs will not only obtain invaluable professional experience, but … More
Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)St. Coletta of Greater Washington Washington, Dist. Columbia US07/12/2024
Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Under the general supervision of the Director of IEPs and Assessments, the incumbent performs a full range of professional duties in support of the positive behavior program. Responsibilities include assessing students, analyzing data, developing appropriate and effective behavior support strategies, and developing and training staff on implementation. Other duties include the … More
BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst)Early Autism Services Countryside, Illinois US07/12/2024
Are you a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) ready to learn and grow with a company that is committed to high quality services that prioritizes child-centered, compassionate care? Early Autism Services (EAS) is currently seeking a BCBA to fill a full-time role to expand our home-based services in Cicero, IL. EAS is a founder-owned company, providing proactive, personalized ABA therapy for children nationwide. Our core values are to provide high caliber services through data-driven … More
Board Certified Behavior Analyst -BCBAMount Prospect Academy Pike, New Hampshire US07/12/2024
Mount Prospect Academy Board Certified Behavioral Analyst (BCBA) Trama Informed Reports To: Executive Director Salary up to $75,000 Location: Pike, New Hampshire Offering Affordable Temporary Employee Housing available in Pike, New Hampshire location only for those looking to relocate to NH *selected positions available*. … More
Position
General Responsibilities Under the direction of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), the Registered Behavior Technician is responsible for the implementation of behavior intervention plans developed by the IEP team, collecting data and conducting assessments.Salary:The salary range for this position is $28.39 – $34.54* per hour.Offers are made at the beginning of the range. *The salary range starting September 1, 2024, … More
Company
Educational Service District 112
Location
Vancouver, Washington US
Posted
07/16/2024
Position
In Jordan School District People Come for The Job and Enjoy the Adventure Jordan School District is located just miles from downtown Salt Lake City in the heart of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains with easy access to five national parks. Our employees thrive working in one of the most exciting and scenic areas of the country where they enjoy hiking, mountain biking, skiing, golfing, fishing, professional sports, great food and an exciting night … More
Company
Jordan School District
Location
West Jordan, Utah US
Posted
07/16/2024
Position
Are you passionate about making a positive impact on the lives of children? We welcome you to apply now and join our dedicated team at Early Autism Services as a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT). We are seeking enthusiastic individuals from diverse backgrounds to provide personalized 1:1 Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy to children (ages 2-11) in a supportive environment. At Early Autism Services, we provide the training needed to build your career and grow your skills as … More
Company
Early Autism Services
Location
Beaverton, Oregon US
Posted
07/16/2024
Position
Company:Benchmark Human ServicesLocation:Dover, DECategory:Group HomesWage:Annual Salary: $75,000Description: Since 1960, Benchmark has been empowering marginalized populations to see their potential. We are committed to realizing the full potential ofEVERYONE those we serve, our partners and … More
Company
Talent Acquisition Specialist
Location
Dover, Delaware US
Posted
07/15/2024
Position
About US: We know as a BCBA you have a variety of employment opportunities, but there are many reasons to choose BSTN. Founded in 2001, BSTN is BCBA owned and operated. We provide community-based services to adolescents and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, including some of the most challenging cases in the state. All of our current BCBAs have each worked for BSTN for several years, so any new BCBAs will not only obtain invaluable professional experience, but … More
Company
Behavioral Services of Tennessee
Location
Cordova, Tennessee US
Posted
07/14/2024
Position
Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Under the general supervision of the Director of IEPs and Assessments, the incumbent performs a full range of professional duties in support of the positive behavior program. Responsibilities include assessing students, analyzing data, developing appropriate and effective behavior support strategies, and developing and training staff on implementation. Other duties include the … More
Company
St. Coletta of Greater Washington
Location
Washington, Dist. Columbia US
Posted
07/12/2024
Position
Are you a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) ready to learn and grow with a company that is committed to high quality services that prioritizes child-centered, compassionate care? Early Autism Services (EAS) is currently seeking a BCBA to fill a full-time role to expand our home-based services in Cicero, IL. EAS is a founder-owned company, providing proactive, personalized ABA therapy for children nationwide. Our core values are to provide high caliber services through data-driven … More
Company
Early Autism Services
Location
Countryside, Illinois US
Posted
07/12/2024
Position
Mount Prospect Academy Board Certified Behavioral Analyst (BCBA) Trama Informed Reports To: Executive Director Salary up to $75,000 Location: Pike, New Hampshire Offering Affordable Temporary Employee Housing available in Pike, New Hampshire location only for those looking to relocate to NH *selected positions available*. … More
Company
Mount Prospect Academy
Location
Pike, New Hampshire US
Posted
07/12/2024