Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) and Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBA) play a vital role in special education programs. Pediatric Therapeutic Services (PTS) places BCBAs and BCaBAs in our partnering school districts. If you are considering a school-based behavioral health career, it’s important to understand the difference between these two roles. Contact us today if you have any questions!
BCBA vs BCaBA: A Closer Look
Both positions work within behavioral health, however, they serve different roles:
A BCBA is a behavioral health professional with a masters-level certification to provide behavior-analytic services.
This role is responsible for analyzing and changing behaviors by using a number of applied techniques to teach more effective behavior. They are also certified to supervise professionals who work directly with clients, such as BCaBAs and Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs).
A BCaBA is an undergraduate-level certification to provide behavior-analytical services under the supervision of the BCBA. While they must be supervised by a BCBA, they have the credentials to supervise RBTs.
In this position, you will work directly with the BCBA to conduct and analyze assessments as well as create interventions based on those findings. However, any intervention or program changes must first be approved by the BCBA.
How to Become BCBA or BCaBA Certified
The journey to earning your certification in either role requires a similar path of education, fieldwork hours, and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) coursework. The main difference between these paths is the total hours required from you.
In order to take your BCBA exam, you must have:
- Master’s degree from an accredited program
- 315 hours of ABA coursework
- 2,000 supervised fieldwork hours
For your BCaBA exam, you must have:
- Bachelor’s degree from a qualifying institution
- 225 hours of ABA coursework
- 1,300 supervised fieldwork hours
Many individuals start with their BCaBA certification as an introduction to the profession, so they have time to gain real-world experience. They can later return to school and obtain the necessary qualifications to earn their BCBA certification.
Starting Your Career in School-Based Behavioral Health
Once you have obtained your BCBA or BCaBA certification, it will be time to start building your career. According to the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB), the US employment demand for behavior analysts has experienced a steady increase since the year 2010. From 2021 to 2022 alone, the demand for BCBA certification increased by 23%.*
Your certification allows you to provide behavior-analytic services in your preferred setting. Some BCBA or BCaBA providers may find that a school-based position best meets their professional needs, as you can work directly with struggling students throughout their day.
At PTS, we place the behavioral health service providers who engage with us directly within our partnering school districts. We ensure that you have the resources you need to conduct successful behavioral health services, so you can support your students’ whole education.
Apply to Work Alongside PTS
The role of BCBA and BCaBA service providers is essential in the school-based setting. As a behavioral health specialist who engages with PTS, you will have the opportunity to support students throughout the school day and ensure that they have what they need to succeed.
If you’re interested in providing school-based services, apply to work alongside PTS today!