Holders of a graduate certificate in applied behavior analysis (ABA) have several options for leveraging their specialized training in a professional setting. While a certificate does not offer the same job-seeking potential as a bachelor’s or master’s degree, it can open doors to stable employment, opportunities to gain experience in the field and excellent supplementary training for other careers. Certificate programs are also an accessible way for individuals to explore possible work environments and career paths if they choose to pursue a degree in ABA in the future.
Related resource: 40 Best Applied Behavior Analysis Graduate Certificate Online Programs
Many public school teachers can expand their core skill-set, and possibly earning potential, by gaining additional certifications to supplement their teaching degree. The skills and knowledge gained through an ABA certificate program can equip them with valuable social tools for addressing problematic behavior in the classroom. School teachers, administrators, counselors and assistants with experience in ABA or special education needs may also fill personalized instructional roles outside of the standard classroom environment. Working directly with individual children gives educators the opportunity to address specific behavioral, learning or social problems that are inhibiting their development.
Registered Behavior Technician
There are four levels of professional certification available to professionals working in behavior analysis. Becoming a registered behavior technicians (RBT) is the most accessible pathway, as the others require a bachelor’s degree or higher, according to the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). Applicants must complete 40 hours of approved training, have a high school diploma and pass a background check to be eligible to take the examination. Becoming certified as an RBT is a relatively simple way to bolster a resume and increase hiring potential as a clinical assistant or technician.
Social and Academic Counseling
Every state in the US has different laws regarding the specifics of the counseling profession, but ongoing professional development is a staple for long-term success in the field. A graduate certificate in ABA may not be a job requirement in many cases, but it can make candidates more appealing and active professionals more effective. Learning the basics of behavior analysis, especially how to implement them in a practical environment, can provide counselors with an extra edge when helping clients manage problematic behaviors. School counselors who work with children with special educational requirements can particularly benefit from behavior analysis expertise.
Addiction Therapy and Rehabilitation
Much like counselors, people working in addiction therapy and rehabilitation aren’t necessarily subject to specific professional requirements. However, employers may seek out counselors with certified experience and training in the field. ABA practices have proven to be a reliable and effective tool for dealing with the intellectual, social and physical challenges associated with addiction disorders. Anyone who works in rehabilitation environments should consider pursing education and certification in behavior analysis to give themselves more options when helping clients.
There are plenty of job opportunities in behavior analysis for people with all levels of education and experience, which makes it an appealing choice for new students. Obtaining a graduate certificate in applied behavior analysis can be a great first step towards getting a job in the field, building towards larger academic goals or expanding on existing professional skills.