Do you love kids? Do you love that feeling you get when you help others?
Are you a quick learner? Do you have an energetic personality? Are you creative? Do you prefer a fast-paced work environment? Are responsive to receiving feedback? Do you have a knack for playing with kids and being fun? If you answered yes to these questions, then becoming an RBT might be the right career path for you!
What is an RBT?
An RBT credential is an entry-level credential required of the person responsible for the direct teaching in an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program. ABA programs (usually prescribed for 10-40 hours/week depending on severity of language deficits, and array of problem behavior) are developed to teach socially significant skill deficits, such as language/communication, self-help, and play skills, improve fluency of responding, and replace problematic behaviors with language and leisure skill activities to children and adolescents with Autism. An RBT works under the supervision of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA/BCBA-D, or BCaBA) supervisor. An RBT does not design intervention or treatment plans, but implements the plan with the client.
How much do RBTs make?
RBTs can expect between $12-$20 per hour depending on the agency and the employee benefits package. Based on IRS and Department of Labor rules, and the BACB.com, RBTs (and most BCBAs) do not inherently qualify as independent contractors, so beware of agencies offering to 1099 you. You will need to consider the benefits package, the amount of supports and supervision you will be receiving depending on the caseload, and driving/commute commitments. Some positions for RBTs are full time, others are part time, usually afterschool hours from 2:30-5:30pm or so.
Who may become an RBT?
RBT training and credential would benefit who may be seeking to sharpen his/her toolset with the addition of ABA procedures and techniques. ABA is evidence-based and medically-necessary treatment clinically recommended for autism and other behavioral disabilities/disorders. This internationally recognized entry-level behavioral credential maybe useful for:
- Those seeking a career who are at least 18 years old with HS diploma or equivalent and interested in working in the field of education, psychology or social services.
- Undergraduate or graduate students studying psychology, speech pathology, occupational therapy, or special education.
- Those working with individuals with Autism (ASD) and their family members
- Speech pathologists (SLP) and Occupational Therapists (OT)
- Direct care staff for persons with developmental disabilities and the elderly
- Special Education Teachers
- Special Education Educational Assistants (EAs) or Aides
- Substitute teachers
- After-school activity staff
- Daycare staff and supervisors
- Hospital administrators and staff
- Home health aides
- Those who work with or live with persons demonstrating challenging behavior
Why become an RBT?
Most health insurance plans in Hawaii began covering ABA treatment starting January 1, 2016. These plans require RBTs deliver the ABA intervention, with BCBA supervision. In addition, Act 199, the state licensure law, requires those practicing ABA in Hawaii become licensed with the DCCA. By 2019, this same law will require ALL professionals delivering ABA (including school-based professionals, teachers and EAs) be at least RBT credentialed, unless ABA is already in their scope of practice under another license recognized by the State of Hawaii. Thus, there is a GROWING demand for RBTs in our state! Not only do schools need RBTs, but also those agencies who deliver ABA treatment funded by health insurance. This credential offers a rewarding career for anyone in Hawaii.
What are the requirements to become an RBT?
You must be 18 years and older with a high school diploma or equivalent, complete the 40 hours of RBT training, successfully passes all portions of the competency assessment, and achieves a passing score on the RBT exam ($50), and submit an application to the BACB ($45). A clear background check is also required. Information on the written exam can be found at http://bacb.com/rbt-exam/
What kinds of things will I learn in my RBT training?
RBT training includes coursework on evidence-based behavior intervention techniques and strategies for individuals including but not limited to: Data Measurement, Assessment, Skill Acquisition, Behavior Reduction, Documentation and Reporting, Professional Conduct and Scope of Practice. The training will cover all of the tasks and subtasks in the RBT Task List (www.bacb.com) and the ethics requirements that have been indicated as being relevant for behavior technicians to possess and demonstrate in their repertoire. In addition, at ABC Group you will learn about:
|Introduction to Autism||Mand Training|
|Principles of Behavior and Functions of Behavior, and Instructional Control, and Dealing with Problem Behavior||Naturalistic Teaching Strategies|
|Antecedent and Consequence Interventions||Discrete Trial Teaching (DTT)|
|Teaching New Behaviors, Verbal Imitation, Echoics, Motor Imitation||Ethical guidelines/Clients rights/Professionalism|
|Introduction to Skinner’s Analysis of Verbal Behavior||Recording behavior and graphing, Shaping, Chaining, Continuous and Discontinuous Measurement Procedures, Task Analysis, Token economies, response cost and lots of hands-on role play!|
Where Could I Work As an RBT?
Many agencies who provide medically-necessary treatment for Autism, such as ABC Group Hawaii, hire RBTs to work in a clinic setting (like a school), or in the home or community or school settings. In addition, Hawaii Department of Education will be requiring staff who work with students with Autism possess RBT registration by 2019.
What’s the career path of an RBT?
RBTs can choose to continue on in the field of ABA, taking coursework to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) or Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) for those with a Bachelor’s Degree. ABC Group is a hybrid site for the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) Master’s in Professional ABA. This program allows students to complete their required 1500 hours supervised practicum experience at ABC Group while they are working! Dr. Amy Wiech, PhD, BCBA-D, LBA is the founder of ABC Group: Autism Behavior Consulting Group in Halawa Valley near Honolulu, and has over 25 years’ experience with children and adolescents challenged with autism. ABC Group is accredited as a Behavioral Health Center of Excellence (BHCOE) and is a kama’aina company providing ABA treatment to individuals in Hawaii since 2006. ABC Group values ethical service delivery, professional development, and a commitment it’s employees.