How to Receive Your Applied Behavior Analysis Certification

Due to the high value placed on employees in today’s workplace, credentialed organizational development professionals can be sought-after additions to a business’ managerial team.

Learn how to receive an Applied Behavior Analysis Certification to stand out from the competition and earn a place helping businesses achieve long-term success.

Why Businesses Need Certified Behavior Analysts

To attract, retain and develop professionals with in-demand skills, organizations are embracing the human side of staff and talent management, making employee satisfaction and retention key organizational goals. This requires human resources and executive management to manage people/resources/capital on a human level, applying behavioral analysis to determine the best courses of action.

According to the 2017 article, “Beyond Human Resources: 4 Ways to Improve Human Capital Management,” the transition from traditional human resources, to the more dynamic, strategic developmental functions of today’s HR and human capital management pros involves a move to “people resource management.”

The transition includes methods to optimize workforce acquisition, management and optimization and may include behavioral analysis and personality tests to discover and adjust for individual or generational preferences.

Armed with this information, a certified behavioral analyst develops, implements and measures the effectiveness of people resource management program results to determine whether they meet organizational goals.

With an increasing emphasis placed on individuals in the workplace, an aspiring professional with an advanced business analytics degree can set themselves apart by pursuing a certification to advance their behavioral analyst status beyond their master’s degree.

What is an Applied Behavior Analysis Certification?

An applied behavior analysis certification is a graduate-level certification allowing individuals to work independently and provide behavior analytics services. This certification is administered by the Behavioral Analysis Certification Board (BACB). The board has established the quality standards for behavioral analysts to offer their services in the psychology, criminal justice and business fields.

In addition to foundational knowledge of behavioral analysis within various settings, the BACB tests individuals with graduate-level degrees on the fundamentals of behavioral analytics and the tasks professionals will conduct on behalf of employers and clients. Those who have earned the Applied Behavior Analysis Certification (ABAC) have met or exceeded the quality and professional standards set by the BACB.

How Do I Earn the Applied Behavior Analysis Certification?

Applicants must meet one of three requirements to be eligible to take the ABA exam:

  1. Possess a graduate degree with 270 hours of graduate-level coursework in behavioral analysis, education or psychology from an accredited university or a graduate program that features BACB-approved graduate coursework.

  2. Applicant has earned an acceptable graduate degree (see above) and is a full-time faculty member teaching behavior analysis. The individual’s teaching position must include research and instruction, as well as 1,500 supervised hours of practical experience.

  3. A minimum of 10 years of postdoctoral practical experience combined with an acceptable doctoral degree earned within the past 10 years.

After meeting the eligibility requirements, applicants must submit a completed application and all required documentation to demonstrate that all BABC requirements have been met.

The BACB provides a list of tasks related to the Applied Behavior Analysis Certification, which can serve as study topics for individuals with behavioral analytics degrees who want to prepare for the test.

During the test, the applicant will have four hours to complete 150 multiple-choice questions with four possible answers, and 10 ungraded pilot questions. Questions and answers cover assessing patients and implementing behavioral modification processes.

Administered by Pearson Vue, the test takes place in a computer-based testing format. Pearson Vue also offers a tutorial for students interested in taking the exam. Every few years, recertification is required to maintain the Applied Behavioral Analysis Certification.

What Does an Applied Behavioral Analysis Certification Mean to Employers?

With a greater emphasis on human resource development, the business case for behavioral analysts is substantial. In addition to a graduate-level business analytics degree, professionals with an Applied Behavioral Analysis Certificate show employers their commitment to a higher standard of excellence when developing strategies to optimize employee programs.

Regionally-accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, Saint Joseph’s University’s online Behavioral Analysis Certificate coursework features a behavioral analysis component that prepares students to sit for the Behavioral Analysis Certificate exam. Successfully achieving board certification can help place you ahead of a high-demand and exclusive field of behavioral analysis experts.

Special Education Career Profile: Behavior Specialist


Special Education Career Profile: Behavior Specialist

There are many options in the field of special education. Often, it is thought that being in the education field means you are in a classroom.   But what if you don’t want to be in a classroom setting, but still want to be a powerful influence in the lives of students who may struggle? If you enjoy analyzing behaviors and creating interventions to effect a positive change, a Behavior Specialist may be the job for you.

Where Do Behavior Specialists Work?

Behavioral Specialists can work in a client’s home. He or she can also work in a clinical setting like a hospital, or be in private practice or a part of a group practice. A Behavioral Specialist can also work for a school or a school district visiting a different school each day. 

Who Do Behavior Specialists Work With?

They work with individuals who have disabilities, such as Autism, emotional disorders, or ADHD, that can affect learning or social skills. They can work with a wide range of ages from early childhood to elderly, depending on the setting.

What Do They Do? 

In the educational field, a Behavior Specialist usually has multiple schools they oversee, ranging from Pre-K to 12th grade. They are deemed with the task of observing a child with behavior problems in a classroom. They are looking for antecedent behaviors, patterns of behaviors, and the “problem” behaviors. 

The Behavior Specialist may conduct behavioral evaluations, and then will write up a plan and offer suggestions to the classroom teacher on he or she can do differently to help the child. The Behavior Specialist will also collect data and monitor the student over a period of time.

Since the Behavior Specialist is not in the classroom each and every school day, one of their jobs includes offering support to the classroom teacher. The Behavior Specialist can provide training in behavioral techniques and strategies to the classroom teacher to implement the behavior plan.

Check out Saint Joseph’s University: A One-Stop Center for Autism Support.

What Type of Education Does Someone Need to Become a Behavior Specialist?

A degree is required to become a Behavior Specialist. An undergraduate degree may be obtained in psychology, sociology, human services, special education, or behavioral science. Some employers may prefer a master’s degree.

Depending on the state and your position, a license may be required as well.

There is an additional certification for the Behavior Specialists, which is called Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA). To obtain this certification, you must have a master’s degree, several hundred hours of practicum, and pass an exam. While this is an intense and time-consuming certification, BCBA is a growing field with many job opportunities.

Behavior Specialist Salary Info

The national average salary of a Behavior Specialist is $39,604. However, this can vary greatly depending on the setting and location.

If you have BCBA certification the average salary is $58,615-a remarkable increase.

Other Resources:

Top Special Education Degree Specializations to Consider in 2018

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