(Closed) NWR- calling all behavioral therapists! (Autism…specifically)

posted 7 years ago in Career
Post # 3
2195 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

I am an SLP so I do not know from personal experience. But i googled and found this:


Behavior Therapy Program Information

A Master of Science in Behavior Analysis is the most commonly offered degree; a master’s degree is the minimum required to become a certified behavior analyst. Currently, the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) accredits master’s and doctorate programs in behavior analysis. Doctorate programs in behavior analysis generally offer the same curriculum as the master’s programs, though additional practical training, behavior therapy coursework and research opportunities are provided; a dissertation is also required for the Ph.D. Concentrations in areas such as special education, organizational behavior management, developmental disabilities and behavioral medicine are often available at both graduate levels. Bachelor’s degrees are offered in behavior therapy, though graduates are qualified as assistant behavior analysts only.




Good luck! It’s an amazing field!

Post # 5
464 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

If this is something that requires certification and/or licensure, it may differ between states (that is the case for general counseling at the master’s level). Your best bet is to seek out information from the licensing and certification board, in that case. If this is something where the rules on what you need to do aren’t clear (e.g. if it isn’t something that requires certification from a specific state agency), you may want to contact other professionals in the field or professors at the school you’re thinking of applying to. Someone there should know whether you would be able to do ABA with a degree from their program.

Post # 7
29 posts
  • Wedding: September 2011

I work with kids and young adults with autism and am 1 year away from my Ph.D. with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis at UCSB. It really depends on where you want to work. You can start out as a clinician working for a private company doing behavioral work with kids with autism just with a B.A. However, it won’t pay much. If you are looking to work privately or as a supervisor at a private clinic, you would need a B.C.B.A. which requires an advanced degree (usually M.A. in Education, but any relevant M.A. would work). If you work privately though, you get into the whole problem of buying malpractice insurance and all.

Also, since it looks like you are in the Santa Barbara area, (like me!), the best place to start would be the Koegel Autism Center at UCSB. Then, you can see if you like the work and decide to apply to grad school after.

Post # 8
25 posts
  • Wedding: July 2012

Have you worked with children with autism before? I think you should really do it for a few years before you decide to go to school for it. I have done behavioral therapy for 3 years now and I absolutely hate it but I can’t find another job. All of my coworkers are looking for other jobs too. It is VERY demanding and requires a lot of patience with little pay. You will get spit on, hair pulled, bit, scratched and so on…..daily. The kids are great and I understand they can’t control what they are doing…sometimes but no matter how much you love the kids it gets very old.  Words of advice try the field out before you jump into school. You need a masters degree and need to get a BCBA, where are you located. Cal state LA has a good program it would be a masters in pschology with an emphasis in ABA, the classes you take count for the courses you need to get your BCBA, in order to get your BCBA I believe you need 1500 clinical hrs too. Good luck

Post # 11
4765 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2011 - Vintage Villas

Get your BCBA for sure! The BCBA requires a masters in some sort of related field, but I think you have more options when it comes to what program you do. I’d research the schools around you and see if any of them have a masters program that fulfills the BCBA requirements – most of them will tell you on your website!

Good luck, and I’m so excited for you! I really want to get my BCBA someday!

I agree with @July29LD‘s advice to try it out for a while before you decide for sure, but at the same time, I’ve worked with children with autism for just over a year now and I have no doubt in my mind it’s what I want to do for the rest of my life. I get hit/kicked/bit/scratched/screamed at on a daily basis, but if you really love the work you don’t mind dealing with all of those things. 🙂

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