In-Home Behavior Technician
A certified behavior technician works within the field of applied behavioral analysis (ABA) and provides in-home services for clients. Some behavior technicians choose to specialize in a specific field to serve clients with autism, developmental delays, learning disabilities or severe mental health issues and illnesses. Some positions may require this specialized experience and training from a certified behavior technician in order for them to work with those constituents. A behavioral technician may also be able to suggest additional services that their clients could benefit from based on their comprehensive analysis of the factors that are influencing their clients’ troubling behaviors.
For certified behavior technicians who provide in-home services, they may be associated with the school system, nonprofit organizations, the government or hospitals. Typically, certified behavior technicians provide services to clients within a certain geographic area because they are traveling to different homes on a daily basis. Learn more about the education and certification requirements to work as a certified behavior technician who provides in-home services below.
How to Become a Behavior Technician
Becoming a certified behavior technician typically starts with studying psychology, education, childhood development or behavioral analysis at a college or university. To achieve certification status in behavior analysis, you will also need to have a master’s degree with experience working in the field under a supervisor. This can take some time, but many schools offer internship and externship opportunities that coincide with your regular coursework in behavior analysis.
Day in the Life of a Behavior Technician
A behavior technician works to identify harmful behavior patterns among clients and then implements strategies to reduce the occurrence of those harmful behaviors. In addition, a behavior technician also identifies helpful behaviors and finds ways to encourage them on a regular basis. Some of the challenges that behavior techs will work on with their clients is how to appropriately interact in group settings, coping strategies for finishing daily tasks to completion, addressing any issues with eating, working on stress management and minimizing aggressive behaviors.
For behavior technicians who provide in-home services to clients, they operate out of a base of operations with other behavioral staff and supervisors. They travel to the homes of clients on their caseload and work with them in their home environments. While observing patients and teaching them behavioral modification strategies, behavioral technicians also collect data on their clients’ progress so that they can chart their development. Behavioral technicians typically work with other psychologists, doctors and educators who are assigned to provide services and care to their clients. They likely report to a supervisor who keeps track of their progress with patients and provides guidance on handling the more challenging cases.
Even though a behavior tech might be focused primarily on providing in-home services, they still take into account the daily routine of their clients so that they have a complete picture of the behavioral challenges that they are encountering throughout a regular day. This means that a behavioral tech will have significant interactions with parents and other adults who are responsible for their client on a regular basis.
Licensure, Certifications and Continuing Education
To become certified through the Board Certified Behavior Analyst certification program, a behavioral tech will need a master’s degree in a field like psychology, education or behavior analysis. They must also demonstrate that they have met the experience requirements based on their number of years in training under supervision and independent work as a behavior technician. A supervisor will need to verify the hours submitted in order to qualify. Then, the applicant must pass an examination administered by the certification board.
In sum, although there is significant coursework and studying involved in becoming a certified behavioral technician, the final payoff of being able to provide critical in-home services to deserving patients is a worthy reward. The promising salary and employment opportunities outlook for certified behavior technicians who service a wide range of clients make this a lucrative and satisfying field to develop a career in. With all of the different specialties that a certified behavioral tech may choose to work in, there will never be a shortage of opportunities to explore within this field based on your interest level and exposure.