Behavior technicians are professionals who work in the field of applied behavioral analysis. They work with a wide range of clients, including children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), hyperactivity, learning disabilities, maladaptive behavior, adjustment issues, aggression, and other issues. The job of a behavior technician is to study the science of human behavior, actions, and interactions. They put theory into practice to improve human conditions by devising custom treatment plans and therapeutic interventions. A career in behavioral analysis can be gratifying if you are interested in the psychology of behavior and want to improve the lives of people suffering from behavioral issues.
To assist you in creating a compelling resume and help you grab excellent job opportunities, we have curated a list of essential information on this page. Let's begin by analyzing the three most common resume formats to present your credentials.
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Job Duties of a Behavior Technician
Behavior technician responsibilities include collaborating with health care providers, caregivers, and educational institutions to provide mental health services to people suffering from behavioral disorders.
Some of their other job duties include:
Upholding the highest standard of quality of care while providing services such as emotional and psychological development to patients.
Conducting one-on-one sessions with clients to understand and study their behavioral problems.
Teaching children with special needs and affected young adults to develop essential skills such as communication, language, personal hygiene, and independence by deploying various positive and negative reinforcement techniques, prompting and fading, and task analysis.
Implementing various behavior modification techniques like differential reinforcement of alternative behaviors (DRA) to reduce problematic behaviors exhibited by clients.
Encouraging recreational activities such as joining book clubs, cooking or painting classes that help patients develop social skills.
Providing onsite management at client’s home, community, and school settings.
Informing caregivers and parents about therapeutic and intervention techniques.
Working closely with the senior behavior analyst and following prescribed behavioral skill acquisition and behavior reduction protocols.
Reporting patient progress to supervisors and consulting with authorities before implementing new strategies of therapeutic care.
Attending various training programs or seminars to keep up with evolving industry standards and best practices to expand their knowledge and enhance existing skills.
Maintaining accurate records of patient behavior progress based on continuous evaluation and observation with the help of session notes, datasheets, and recordings.
Complying with existing regulations, policies, procedures, and standards set by the authorities they are working under.
Behavior Technician Median Salaries
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors is $46,240 as of May 2019.
Top Skills for Behavior Technicians
- Problem-solving: To provide the best care possible, Behavior Technicians must have extreme proficiency in applied behavior analysis therapy, a type of therapy that involves evaluating a client’s behavior and developing a treatment plan to help improve specific skills. They should ask the right questions to determine the root cause of a behavioral problem and appropriately adapt the best treatments for each client.
- Empathy: Behavior technicians work with clients who need extra attention, such as children and individuals with autism. Before approaching each client, they should be able to form an understanding of their client’s existing struggles and frustrations. This helps both parties maintain a positive outlook during challenging situations and build a foundation of trust.
- Patience: When dealing with stressful and unexpected circumstances, such as a treatment method failing or slow progress, it is essential for Behavior Technicians to remain motivated and committed. Having a versatile attitude is key to focusing on the process rather than expecting immediate results.
- Attention to detail: Observation is critical to see how patients respond to different parts of therapy and make adjustments to treatment methods accordingly. Applied Behavior Analysis involves picking up on minute changes in behavior that will aid in determining their causes and eventually an ideal treatment plan. In addition to observation, behavior technicians must have a good memory and ability to process and input patient data with accuracy and efficiency.
- Communication: Like any other social service field, behavior technicians must possess strong verbal and written communication skills. Taking detailed and precise session notes, situational documentation, and patient assessments are essential duties of any Behavior Technician. Along with written communication, behavior technicians spend a lot of their workday speaking with clients and other medical professionals to better understand their patients and potential treatments.
- Physical fitness: The job of a behavior technician often involves working prolonged hours and assuming a variety of postures such as kneeling, sitting, squatting, and standing when dealing with younger children or those with challenging or aggressive behavior. During these circumstances, the physical response of a technician can be critical to keeping themselves and their patients safe. Behavior technicians will also have to adjust their schedules and be physically present at the assigned job locations such as health facilities, educational institutions, and patients’ homes.
Educational Requirements for Behavior Technicians
DegreeThe minimum qualification to become a behavior technician is to have a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Behavior Analysis or a related field such as Psychology or Special Education. Some universities, such as Florida Tech University, offer a Bachelor of Art in Applied Behavior Analysis. These degrees require mandatory training and teach the necessary skills and knowledge needed to understand human behavior and cultural/social factors.
To continue a more advanced career in behavior analysis, many students pursue a Master’s Degree from accredited programs such as Northeastern University’s Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis. After obtaining their master’s degree, students often complete the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Exam (BCBA), which provides an added display of qualifications.
CertificationsThe Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) is a unique qualification provided by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). It is a standard credential for behavior technicians working in a clinical setting as well as other fields.
Many universities and organizations worldwide offer this certification, such as Carroll Community College, Autism Partnership Foundation, and the University of Michigan- Dearborn.
Once you meet the educational requirements, candidates must apply with the BACB for the RBT credential and meet the additional experience qualifications for the RBT exam. The RBT Handbook clearly outlines steps to earning and maintaining RBT certification.
Behavior technicians can also advance their careers by becoming a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) and or a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), both of which can be obtained through the BACB after meeting qualifications and passing an exam.
Behavior Technician Resume-Writing Tips
Crafting a compelling and eye-catching resume is important to get a job in this profession. Follow the tips below to improve yours.
- List your skills and certifications in vertical format in a separate section. To increase readability and make your resume less cluttered, consider listing essential skills vertically in a different format. Use bullet points for an organized structure.
Follow the same vertical approach for listing your certifications. For better retention, spell out acronyms — for example, applied behavior analysis instead of ABA.
This helps the reader form an understanding of your skills and qualifications quickly.
- Showcase your clinical experience as a behavior technician. Including clinical experience is necessary. Your experience should demonstrate your ability to do the job. For example, applying for a job at a mental health facility, including previous related expertise such as in a hospice, can be beneficial.
- Avoid using jargon excessively. Use simple words and keep sentences short. Spell out acronyms or “scientific terms” when mentioning your experience working with children or adolescents suffering from various behavioral disorders.
For example, instead of writing:
“Facilitated and supervised treatment and therapy sessions for children with ADHD.”
“Facilitated and supervised treatment and therapy sessions for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).”
What are some of the techniques used in applied behavior analysis?
The five most commonly used techniques in applied behavior analysis are Positive Reinforcement, Negative Reinforcement, Prompting and Fading, Task Analysis, and Generalization. These techniques are used to understand the reason behind an individual's behavioral challenges. These techniques aim to understand stimulus, behavior, and response. The stimulus is the trigger that provokes specific behavior, and the answer is the reaction to the behavior.
What are some behavioral disorders in children?
Some children exhibit challenging behaviors such as hyperactivity, aggression, non-cooperative attitudes, depression, and other disruptive behavior disorders. Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), Conduct Disorder (CD), and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are the three most common disruptive behavior disorders. These behaviors can result from various factors such as one-time stressors in a child’s life, trauma, any other existing disorders, parental neglect, or psychological or emotional problems.