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Job Description and Requirements of an ABA Therapist

Job Descriptions November 13, 2012

The main responsibility of an applied behavioral analysis therapist is providing assistance to patients in order for them to overcome social and mental disabilities. To become an ABA therapist, you will be required to pursue the basic education in behavior analysis, psychology, or any related field of study. This occupation is secured by both graduate and undergraduate degree students. Basically, a state license is required by the ABA therapists.

ABA Therapist Job Description

ABA therapists typically learn how the environment affects the behavior and offer treatment to their patients accordingly. Generally, majority of ABA therapists deal with developmentally disabled patients as well as autistic children. The ABA therapists normally apply the reward systems to reinforce learning, positive behaviors. Also, these professionals use other techniques like milieu therapy, pivotal response training, and incidental teaching to manage their patients.

Requirements for Becoming ABA Therapist

The ABA therapist’s training requirements differ based on the employer. To enter the profession of an ABA therapist, you will be required to have either a bachelor or master degree in psychology or other related fields. For the private practice and clinical therapists, a doctoral degree is the basic educational requirement.

Bachelor Degree

There are few employment opportunities for ABA therapists with a four-year bachelor degree. However, these graduates may work with the federal government where the therapists are needed to possess a bachelor degree in psychology with a minimum of twenty-four credit hours. The federal government, based on the report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics are among the few employers who typically employ therapists who lack graduate degree though the completion for such degree is very high.

Master Degree

In order for an ABA therapists to secure jobs as researchers helping psychologists or in the industrial organizational psychology; they must hold a master degree in relevant fields. One can pursue behavior analysis programs in master of arts that usually takes two years and primarily focuses on procedures as well as principles of the behavioral analysis.


It is a must for an ABA therapists, especially those handling patients directly and who are practicing counseling along with clinical settings to obtain their license. The requirements for therapists to obtain their licenses vary by the state though most of the state oblige any candidate to have a doctoral degree and carry out a two year work experience. Besides, the applicants are required to sit for the state licensing examination.

Professional Certification

Professional certification is good and open doors for an ABA therapists to demonstrate their expertise that are offered by the Behavior Certified Behaviors Analyst (BCBA).  The minimum requirement for this certification is a master degree in any approved major. The candidate will be required to pass the BCBA certification exam in order to be admitted into the graduate degree programs in applied behavior analysis.

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