Before we get to the first advantage of becoming certified as a Registered Behavior Technician® (RBT®), let us first discuss what an RBT does. An RBT is a paraprofessional who works under the close, ongoing supervision of a Board Certified Behavior Analysis (BCBA). The RBT is primarily responsible for the direct implementation of applied behavior analytic (ABA) services. The RBT does not create care plans. It is the responsibility of the RBT supervisor to determine which tasks an RBT may perform as a according to his or her training, experience, and competence.
RBTs often assist with implementing care plans for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities. Sadly, the number of people with Autism has exploded over the last twenty years. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over 75,000,000 people worldwide are Autistic. ASD has a wide range of symptoms and levels of severity. In 2020, the CDC reported that approximately 1 in 54 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with an autism. By comparison, there are only 112,264 BCBAs worldwide (37,859 BCBAs, 4,044 BCaBAs). Considering how autism as become such a huge problem, more RBTs are needed to assist BCBAs with caring for individuals with special needs. Since 2013, the number of individuals who hold the RBT credential has increased at a phenomenal rate.
In 2020, the average RBT salary in the United States was around $40,000 per year. Entry-level salaries begin at about $28,000 per year, while experienced RBTs reported earnings of over $50,000 per year. Imagine creating a career that pays well and is in high demand! All that is required is a 40-hour online training course, an initial competency assessment, and pass the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) RBT examination. You must be at least 18 years of age and have a high school diploma and pass a criminal background check.
What are the best states to work as an RBT? We get that question often. If you would like a career as an RBT, it might be in your best interest to consider where to live in the USA. There is high demand for RBTs all over the country, however certain states offer higher salaries. The states with the top 10 highest average salaries are as follows:
New Jersey: $40,000
North Carolina: $39,000
RBTs work in many settings including schools, childcare agencies, not-for-profit organizations, insurance companies and more. What follows is a list of job titles RBTs work at:
Childcare agency administrators
General or special education paraprofessionals or teacher aides
Group home special needs staff
There are many more job and career options available and the demand is high. In addition to schools, youth and adult group homes, community organizations, health care clinics, and hospitals all hire RBT in support of BCBAs. For real-time listing of jobs consider visiting www.indeed.com
The 40-hour RBT® training is not provided by Verbal Behavior Institute (VBI). This training program is based on the BACB Registered Behavior Technician Task List-2nd Edition and is designed to meet the 40-hour training requirement to sit for the RBT Exam. The program is offered independent of the BACB. Once you registered for the course, you immediately get access to the training library with all of the recorded lessons in video format. Each lesson includes downloadable slides in PDF and PowerPoint format. There is no need to purchase additional reading material. Learn at your own pace since you have six months to complete the 40-hour training. After all lessons have been completed, you are eligible for a course completion certificate.
To become an RBT there are four steps.
Step #1: Take the 40-hour one RBT training course offer by Verbal Behavior Institute. The course features recorded videos that can be viewed on any internet-capable computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
Step #2: All RBT candidates are required to complete an initial Competency Assessment. During the assessment you must demonstrate an understanding of each of the skills taught during the 40-hour RBT training course. The assessment is conducted by a BCBA and includes questions and answers and some role-playing.
Step #3: Once you demonstrate competency, the BCBA will sign off on your Task List. During this step, the BCBA will also arrange to get your criminal background check done.
Step #4: Take the BACB RBT Examination. The RBT Exam has 75 multiple choice questions, and you have 90 minutes to complete it. Since March 2020, the RBT exam has been offered online and is proctored by a national testing center name Pearson VUE. The purpose of the 40-hour training course is to prepare you to pass the BACB RBT exam so make sure to pay close attention during the course. The BACB charges $50 for the RBT application and $45 to take the RBT exam.
The RBT credential is a national credential meaning it is valid in all 50 states. As a matter of fact, the credential is also valid in Canada. The need for training staff to work with individuals with special needs has exploded. Having a national credential allows you to move anywhere in the country and find employment.
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