Types of ABA Certifications
- BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst)
- BCaBA (Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst)
- CAS (Certified Autism Specialist)
- AC (Autism Certificate)
- RBT (Registered Behavior Technician)
- Simmons University's Online Master's in Behavior Analysis
Earn your master’s degree in behavior analysis online in 23 months through Simmons' highly respected program, BehaviorAnalysis@Simmons. Our curriculum integrates theory, research, and practice across a variety of applications to prepare students to pass the BCBA® exam and enter the field as exemplary scientist-practitioners.
If you’ve heard of or are thinking of applying for an ABA certification, the various types and levels of certification can be confusing. The field of behavior analysis has grown exponentially in recent decades, and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. In fact, Forbes rated Behavior Analysis as the number 6 most meaningful job. The ABA certifications you’ll find detailed below will outline the similarities and differences between the certifications. Once you’re familiar with their distinctions you will be better able to choose your path.
BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst)
The BCBA certification is given to behavior analysts in the field who have received a graduate degree and already provide behavior-analytic services in some fashion. These analysts are usually in a supervisory position and supervise the work of BCaBAs and Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs), among others. Applicants for this type of certificate must have their graduate degree, must have completed a certain amount of behavior-related coursework, and must have a required amount of experience as a behavior analyst. Only certified behavior analysts are able to supervise BCaBAs and RBTs.
BCaBA (Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst)
Assistants of BCBAs can apply for this type of certificate. It’s an undergraduate-level certification, given to applicants who may not practice independently. Assistants perform helpful tasks and are a vital part of a BCBA’s work. BCaBAs must have their undergraduate degree, must have completed at least 15 hours’ worth of behavior-related coursework, and must have a defined amount of experience under a BCBA.
CAS (Certified Autism Specialist)
A CAS is someone who provides support and services, within their own fields, to individuals with autism. A CAS must have a graduate degree, at least 2 years of experience in the autistic field, and must be able to pass an autism competency exam. People in many different professions have this certificate, from therapists and psychologists, to doctors and special education teachers.
AC (Autism Certificate)
This certificate in the autism field does not require a graduate degree. The main purpose of the Autism Certificate is to recognize professionals within the field that promote quality care. Applicants must be employed in a setting that fits into the autism field, must be able to pass the competency exam, and are required to obtain 14 continuing education hours. Professionals in the fields of education, healthcare, therapy, in-home care, and community services can benefit from this certificate.
RBT (Registered Behavior Technician)
RBTs typically work under BCBAs and BCaBAs and are primarily responsible for the implementations of the behavior services created. Essentially, they must perform plans as directed by the BCBA and BCaBA. A college degree is not necessary for this certificate. A high school diploma, 40 hours of completed training, and the passing of the competency exam is required. This can be a perfect pathway if you wish to receive your BCaBA or even the BCBA in the future.
Related Resource: Top 15 Best Applied Behavior Analysis Online Programs
These certifications can help improve your career, enhance opportunities, and even create a greater trust in your abilities from your employer and clients. With any luck, the information you’ve found here about the various ABA certifications will have you heading down the right path towards your perfect career.