How to Become a Registered Behavior Technician

This article discusses the educational requirements, tasks and responsibilities, important skills, and job outlook of Registered Behavior Technicians so you can determine if this career path suits your interests and goals.

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This article discusses the educational requirements, tasks and responsibilities, important skills, and job outlook of Registered Behavior Technicians so you can determine if this career path suits your interests and goals.

What is an RBT?

Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs) are paraprofessionals who work directly with clients and their families who are dealing with learning behavioral challenges.

RBTs work under the supervision and direction of Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs), ensuring that various therapies and techniques are executed according to behavior intervention plans (BIPs).

Aside from individuals who want to pursue the RBT profession, other professionals can also benefit from undergoing RBT training and certification, including professionals who work with individuals with ASD, teachers and teaching assistants, clinical social workers, hospital administrators and staff, case managers, and hospice staff and supervisors.

Job responsibilities: What does a Registered Behavior Technician do?

RBTs help those who need behavioral therapy, including those with mental health disorders, substance abuse patients, and individuals living with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by performing the following job duties:

·  Ensuring that the treatment plan is followed

·  Following behavior reduction and behavioral skill acquisition protocols

·  Collecting and recording data based on patient behavior

·  Teaching patients new skills

·  Helping patients reduce problem behaviors and reinforcing positive ones

·  Tracking patients’ progress and documenting any changes or concerns in patients’ behavior

·  Maintaining accurate and confidential medical documentation in compliance with HIPAA regulations

·  Collaborating with other healthcare professionals who are part of the treatment team, such as BCBAs, speech therapists, occupational therapists, and certified occupational therapy assistants (COTAs)

How to become a Registered Behavior Technician

Interested individuals need to undergo the following requirements, education, training, and certification to become an RBT:

1.    Meet eligibility requirements. To become an RBT, you must be at least 18 years old,  have at least a high school-level education, and complete and pass a criminal background check and an abuse registry check.

2.    Get training. Complete a 40-hour RBT training.

3.    Complete an initial competency assessment. After completing the 40-hour training, you need to complete an initial competency assessment no more than 90 days before you apply for an RBT certification.

4.    Get certified. Get an RBT certification from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) by paying for and passing the examination. Results are available immediately after you take the exam.  

5.    Apply for a job. RBTs find rewarding job opportunities from trusted online listings and job boards and choose a work setting that works for their needs and preferences. These settings include hospitals, mental health clinics, residential mental health facilities, schools, and even shelters.

What skills should RBTs have?

RBTs have rewarding and fulfilling jobs, but the work that they do can be challenging at times. This is why it’s important to develop a strong foundation of soft skills that can help you provide stellar assistance to patients who need your help.

·  Strong verbal and written communication skills

·  Excellent organizational skills

·  Must be able to work independently

·  Must be able to collaborate with an interdepartmental healthcare team

·  Must have empathy and compassion

·  Must be adaptable

·  Must have analytical thinking and problem-solving skills

RBT job outlook and salary

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), psychiatric aides and technicians such as RBTs have a median pay of US$39,610 per year or US$19.05 per hour in 2023.

As of 2022, there are 139,600 RBT jobs in the US, and on average, there are about 15,200 projected job openings for RBTs and other psychiatric aides and technicians from 2022 to 2032. The job outlook for this career is at 9%, which is much faster than average for all occupations.

More To Explore

CNA vs. GNA: Differences and Similarities

For individuals who are interested in entering the healthcare industry, two entry-level roles to pursue come to mind: Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and Geriatric Nursing


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