Becoming a BCBA can take a total of 6 to 10 years. How long it takes depends on several factors.
In five steps, you'll be able to become a certified BCBA:
An aspiring BCBA is usually required to have a master's degree in a related field, like psychology, medicine, or education.
BCBAs are required to complete a bachelor's degree before getting a master's. In the United States, it takes four years, on average, to complete a bachelor's degree, and two years to complete a master's degree.
If you have already completed a bachelor's degree and know you want to become a board certified behavior analyst, you can search for master's programs that provide training.
You must ensure that the training these programs provide is certified or accredited toward the BACB's requirements. These programs might be in the following fields:
Coursework focused on applied behavior analysis needs to include minimum hours of certain topics being studied.
Becoming a BCBA can take a total of 6 to 10 years. There are different paths you can choose to becoming a behavior analyst.
You'll need several years of higher education and work experience before you can become a certified BCBA.
How long it takes you to become a certified BCBA will depend on your study duration and the time it takes to complete an undergraduate degree and graduate degree.
Generally, it takes around four years to get a bachelor's degree, two years to get a master's degree, and then you must complete 1,500 hours of supervised fieldwork in applied behavior analysis.
Even though the supervised fieldwork hours can be completed in around one year, it can take many people longer than that.
Becoming a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA) is a long-term commitment that you'll need to stick to if you want to receive certification. If you want to become a BCBA and practice ABA therapy to help people diagnosed with autism, you must meet several qualifications.
The Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) oversees regulations which define this important clinical role. The regulations help maintain high standards of ethics and safety which helps patients receive best-in-class therapy.
There are several listed requirements to become a BCBA which are listed by the BACB, some of which involve previous work experience and education.
Whether you complete the required coursework through an accredited college or university program, you must also complete a specific amount of supervised experience with patients. Below are a few options:
You can apply for the board examination once you have completed the study and practical requirements for receiving ABA therapy certification.
Once you've set up an account with the BACB, you can complete an application to take the online board certification exam. You're required to have all necessary paperwork, which includes course grades, supervisor reports, and any professional information.
You're also required to sign the Eligibility Affidavit at the end of the application. This states that you have read and are complying with the BACB requirements. Any conditions, situations, or investigations that might impact your ability to complete the exam in a timely fashion must also be reported.
You'll have around 3 months (90 days) to submit your payment for it to be processed once you submit your application. Once the payment is submitted, you'll then be notified if you qualify to take the exam, and you'll be asked to schedule an exam date.
In the references section of this guide we will include a list of helpful resources. If you have any questions about the BCBA certification process, make sure to read those guides.