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Steps for Becoming an RBT in 2023

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In 2023, becoming an RBT will require a series of steps to ensure the provision of competent behavior analysis services. It is important to note that only individuals who demonstrate competence in behavior analysis principles and techniques are eligible for the position. There are seven steps you can take to become an RBT.

1. Get a Bachelor’s Degree

Earning an undergraduate degree is the first step for anyone considering becoming a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT). To get certified in ABA therapy in Michigan, you must have a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Education, Behavior Analysis, or a related field.

It is important to double-check with your local aba Board to ensure that you meet all the necessary qualifications. Upon graduation, it is also essential to continue furthering your education by studying and researching aba techniques and participating in supervised training and experience hours tailored toward aba therapy.

2. Complete a Minimum of 1,500 Hours of Supervised Experience

The next step is to complete a minimum of 1,500 hours of supervised experience working with individuals with an autism spectrum disorder or other related developmental disabilities. This experience should occur within two years before applying to become certified as an RBT.

Experiences should be tailored to focus on natural therapy, data collection, program development, informal assessments, and skill acquisition instruction. Acquiring this critical hands-on experience will provide future RBTs with the necessary training and confidence to perform their job once they obtain their certification.

3. Pass the RBT Exam

Step three is to take and pass the RBT exam administered by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. This exam covers skills such as identifying the learner’s characteristics and selecting reinforcement systems and client-centered responsibilities, such as practicing within ethical standards and all applicable laws.

Candidates are encouraged to study, review materials, and practice assessments before attempting the test. Resources, including study materials and practice exams, are available through various sites; however, these cannot guarantee success on the exam.

Because of this, it is important to demonstrate a thorough understanding of therapy principles before sitting for this difficult assessment.

4. Maintain RBT Certification Through Continuing Education

Becoming a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) is an incredibly rewarding career choice. Aspiring RBTs must complete many steps, including the fourth requirement of maintaining their certification every two years. This is done through continuing education credits, ranging from three to six credits.

Continuing education should be relevant to the behavior analysis field and topics and meet key RBT competencies such as understanding ethical compliance, data collection processes, or intervention implementation procedures.

5. Complete a Criminal Background Check

An RBT requires a criminal background check and fingerprinting from the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This helps to ensure those trained for this position are trustworthy and reliable professionals.

Completing this 5th step is a necessary part of the process, which must be done before the Behavior Analyst Certification Board can grant certification. It’s an essential part of the requirements, as ensuring RBTs meet high moral standards is key to upholding professional integrity in this field.

6. Comply With The Ethical Standards For Behavior Analysts

As part of the necessity to become an RBT, it is important to become familiar with and understand the ethical standards for behavior analysts. The Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) outlined those standards to help promote intelligent, professional behavior among practitioners in the field.

They include requirements related to safety and efficacy when providing treatment services, teaching professional-level ethical conduct and professional responsibility while maintaining relationships with clients, and adhering to the dictations of public policy.

7. Obtain Professional Liability Insurance

The final requirement is to obtain professional liability insurance. Liability insurance is essential for professional counselors, as it will help protect them legally in case of a malpractice case against them or their organization. Furthermore, some applicants may find that they can access a lower rate on liability insurance if they complete an ethical training course.

It’s important to listen carefully when receiving the details of these policies since the coverage and costs can vary widely from provider to provider. Although obtaining professional liability insurance may seem daunting, it is an invaluable component for quality assurance and risk mitigation in therapeutic work.


These steps may seem daunting, but if you start taking them now, you’ll be on your way to becoming an RBT. And once you’re an RBT, you’ll have the chance to make a real difference in the lives of those with an autism spectrum disorder. So what are you waiting for? Start today!