What Is a Full Time ABA Therapist and How to Become One
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy aims to reduce or eliminate instances of harmful or disobedient behavior in patients with mental or physical health issues. ABA therapists often work with children who have autism or other developmental difficulties, but they also assist adults with psychological disorders. As a full-time ABA, you work about forty hours a week and typically visit your patients at home, though your sessions may take place at school, work, or in a clinic. You observe their interactions and take notes, counting the number of times they perform the targeted behavior. Working with the patient's parents or caregivers, you develop a plan to decrease the negative actions and improve their overall social skills. During follow up visits, you assess the patient's progress and make adjustments to the treatment plan when necessary.
The educational requirements to become a full-time ABA therapist vary, depending on the level of the position and the type of therapy performed. Entry-level ABA therapists who use a pre-planned program need a high school diploma or equivalent. While post-secondary education is encouraged, most employers provide on-the-job training. More advanced positions require an associate or bachelor's degree in applied behavior analysis, psychology, sociology, or a related field. To become board certified in this field, you must complete at least a master’s degree in applied behavior analysis and complete a set number of clinical hours. Many start their careers as interns or part-time employees to gain hands-on experience before seeking full-time ABA therapist positions. You find ABA therapists in clinics, schools, and behavior analyst agencies.