Career Advancement in Behavioral Therapy: Beyond the RBT Certification

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Career Advancement in Behavioral Therapy: Beyond the RBT Certification

The journey of a behavioral therapist does not end with becoming a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT). In fact, it’s often just the beginning. The field of behavioral therapy is dynamic, with continuous opportunities for advancement and specialization. In this article, we provide a roadmap for RBTs who are looking to elevate their professional status and make a more significant impact in their field.

The Stepping Stones to Advancement

Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA)

  • What is it? The BCaBA is a certification that requires a higher level of education and experience. It’s a step above RBT and involves more responsibility, including the ability to supervise RBTs.
  • How to get there? Obtaining a BCaBA requires a bachelor’s degree and specific coursework in behavior analysis, plus a certain amount of supervised experience.

Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)

  • What is it? As a BCBA, you’ll be at the forefront of designing and supervising ABA programs. This certification opens up leadership roles and the potential to work in diverse environments.
  • How to get there? To become a BCBA, a master’s degree in psychology or behavior analysis is required, along with a specified number of hours of supervised clinical experience and passing the BCBA exam.

Specializations within Behavioral Therapy

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders: Specializing in autism allows RBTs to work closely with individuals on the spectrum, providing targeted interventions and support.
  • Organizational Behavior Management (OBM): This specialization applies ABA principles to businesses and organizations, aiming to improve employee performance and safety.
  • Verbal Behavior: This specialization focuses on language and communication for individuals who struggle with speech.

Emerging Job Roles

The world of behavioral therapy is ever-evolving, and with it, new job roles continue to emerge. Some roles that are on the rise include:

  • Behavioral Consultant: Offering expertise to schools, businesses, or individuals looking to modify or understand behavior.
  • Researcher: Contributing to the growing body of knowledge in ABA by conducting studies and publishing findings.
  • Technology-Based Roles: Developing and managing ABA-based applications and software that assist in therapy.

Lifelong Learning and Professional Development

Advancing in your career isn’t just about obtaining new certifications; it’s also about a commitment to lifelong learning. Workshops, webinars, and conferences can keep you at the cutting edge of the field. Joining professional organizations can also provide networking opportunities and resources.


Beyond the RBT certification lies a vast landscape of opportunities for growth and specialization in behavioral therapy. Whether through further education, gaining specialized skills, or stepping into emerging job roles, the path for career advancement is rich with potential. With dedication and a commitment to continuous learning, the possibilities for professional development are both exciting and boundless.

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