Board certified behavior analysts (BCBA) are people who work with children and help them to overcome challenges. A significant portion of their work involves designing behavior plans that will improve the way they behave at home and school. They collaborate with the parents and the children and help to establish healthy behavior patterns, using evidence-based practices.
The work of a board certified behavior analyst is important because unaddressed behavior issues can cause problems throughout a child’s entire life.
To start your career as a board certified behavior analyst, you need to complete training and earn the right certification, as well as any professional licenses required to operate in a particular state. Some states have strict requirements for pediatric care professionals, and this is something that you will need to examine on a state by state basis.
Many analysts work on a near-freelance basis and are expected to own their testing tools and be mobile enough to visit the families in their homes. This applies in particular with early intervention specialists that work with families that have children under the age of three.
Board certified behavior analysts will be expected to re-certify regularly and must comply with a code of conduct. Their day to day work will include development assessments, as well as IFSP services, and work with families that have children with behavioral problems. The involvement could be short term, which is something that some analysts struggle with early in their career because it is easy to become invested in the families and their individual struggles. It is important to understand that while caring and becoming invested is an important thing and shows compassion towards the families, a level of professional detachment is necessary to stop struggles with leaving families behind when your work is done, or the child moves into the education system.