Can You Get an ABA Job With Only a Graduate Certificate?

A person who already has a graduate degree may want to know, “Can you get an ABA job with only a graduate certificate?” An applied behavior analysis therapist, or ABA therapist, is a behavioral analyst who works within a school or educational setting and helps children who have behavior disorders that interfere with the learning process. There are graduate certificate programs available for people who already have a graduate degree in a related field and want additional education in order to work as ABA therapists.

Related resource: 40 Best Applied Behavior Analysis Graduate Certificate Online Programs

Educational Requirements for ABA Therapists

ABA therapists fall under the occupational category of psychologists, which are tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS also tracks all other occupations, including pay, job outlook and educational requirements. ABA therapists are a sub-type of psychologist, and they may be categorized as school psychologists or mental health psychologists. In order to become an ABA therapist, a person has to hold at least a master’s degree. Most states have a licensing and certification requirement for psychologists to practice. Those who work with children in an educational environment may also require a license as educators.

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Types of Psychology Degrees for ABA Therapists

A master’s or doctoral degree in psychology would set up a person to become an ABA therapist. Any of the psychology specialties may work for this type of career, such as clinical psychology or mental health psychology. A person who has practiced as a different type of psychologist, such as a substance abuse disorder psychologist, may want to become an ABA therapist. If they have not taken ABA therapy courses for their degree, then they could earn a graduate certificate in ABA therapy. The graduate certificate in ABA therapy has a prerequisite of a master’s or doctoral degree in a related field.

Other Types of Graduate Degrees That Qualify for ABA Therapists

A person who has another type of graduate degree may also earn a graduate certificate in ABA therapy. For example, a person who has a master’s degree in education, child development or social work could enter an ABA therapy program and earn a graduate certificate. The graduate certificate would prepare the person for working in ABA therapy in the educational setting, and it would build upon their past experience in working with children in a clinical or school environment.

Licensing and Certification for ABA Therapists

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, all 50 states and the District of Columbia require psychologists to be licensed in order to work in that place. A person could have multiple licenses that allow them in more than one state. The license involves taking an exam, earning continuing education credits and maintaining good standing with the licensing board. For example, the person should not have any substantiated ethics complaints in order to maintain good standing The ABA graduate certificate would be included with the person’s master’s or doctoral degree during the application process for the license to practice. Employers also consider the ABA graduate certificate as an acceptable education for these jobs.

Earning a graduate certificate for ABA therapy provides additional career opportunities. A person who works as an ABA therapist has the chance to help many students succeed in school and achieve their dreams. Knowing the answer to, “Can you get an ABA job with only a graduate certificate?”