RBT Certification Cost: The Beginner’s Guide to RBT Training

May 7, 2022

In general, RBT certification should cost between $100 to $400.

A potential RBT must attend a 40-hour training course to become an RBT – this course may be offered for free or could potentially cost a few hundred dollars, depending on location and individual circumstances. The application fee for the BACB is $50 and there is a $45 charge for taking the exam.

There are multiple options for online training in the RBT course which vary depending on the cost and quality. Applicants can research schools that provide an approved course if they are seeking in-house training. Here are a few options below:

Training Cost Packages
Autism Therapy Career College $29/week RBT competency assessment and full RBT certification
Relias Academy $99 75-question practice exam
RBT Online Training $35 Additional study guide for an additional $8
Florida Institute (FIT) $149 Two practice exams
Behavior Development Solutions $132 Fluency and acquisition modules to promote accurate responses
University of South Florida (USF) $200 Up to 100% discount based on USF affiliation.
Behavior University $69 Additional resources for $30 - $60.
Verbal Behavior Institute $99 Lecture-style lessons with examples
Autism Partnership Foundation Free Lecture-style lessons with information on teaching methods
University of Central Florida (UCF) $539 In-class or live streaming
Special Learning $99 Competency assessment for an additional $500.
Central Reach $149 Interactive activities

What is an RBT?

Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs) work in the department of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy. They seek to bring positive changes to the world by helping children or adults on the spectrum enrich their lives.

ABA therapy is one of the most effective methods for reducing maladaptive behaviors and helping children with autism achieve positive outcomes. RBTs help Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) administer behavioral treatment through work with individual children or small groups under the supervision of RBT supervisors, Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBAs), or BCBAs.

This entry-level position has a set of basic requirements necessary for certification qualification. An applicant must complete specialized training before attempting the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB) certification exam. Upon completion of the test, the results are immediately available. A successful test score results in certification within a week, and they can apply for relevant jobs immediately.

Who is eligible for RBT certification?

Anyone wanting to pursue a career in ABA is eligible to obtain a registered behavior technician certification. However, there are a few requirements: 

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) requires that RBT applicants must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have a compulsory high school diploma
  • Must pass a background check
  • Complete the 40 hour training module
  • Participate in the initial assessment of competency

What are the significant steps associated with RBT certification?

The BACB released its first RBT handbook in January 2020, providing details on RBT certification. There are three major steps to RBT certification.

1. The RBT coursework

The BACB issues strict guidelines about the 40-hour coursework RBT candidates must complete. Universities, agencies, and online training programs provide training that covers the RBT edition task list of BACB. The training must take at least five days to complete, but it should not exceed 180 days from the start to the end. Numerous self-paced pieces of training are available that require individuals to have the self-discipline to complete the RBT coursework within 180 days.

2. The RBT competency test

The BACB requires a candidate to pass a competency test demonstrating their proficiency in areas listed on the task list. According to the BACB website, the initial competency test includes 20 assessment items to be completed by a BCBA or other responsible assessor. An candidate must demonstrate understanding of each skill during the interview, role-play, or conversation with the client.

The candidate must demonstrate at least three of the twenty skills while working with a child, the remainder can be done in a role-play or interview setting. The child does not need to be enrolled in the program, however, they must be someone for whom the behavior analytic services deem appropriate. The applicant must practice and understand the terminology before attempting the competency test as it will make it easier for them to complete the assessment. 

3. The RBT certification exam

A candidate must register for an account with the BACB gateway before taking the exam. Proctors will guide the participant through each step for exam application. When this is finished, they need to upload documentation that confirms their eligibility for the RBT exam, including the certification representing completion of the coursework as well as the attestations by a BCBA supervisor. 

The cost of the application is $50.

After the application has been submitted, it can take up to 2 weeks for the BACB to approve the application. Once approved, the BACB will send the applicant instructions for scheduling their RBT exam via email. If the application is not approved, the BACB will send an email explaining why, and what steps the applicant can take next. 

The RBT exam fee is $45 dollars and the exam takes place at a Pearson VUE testing site, which is scheduled with the testing center once the BACB approves the application. 

The RBT certification exam includes multiple-choice questions testing the knowledge of the applicant concerning ABA theory and terminology.

Will an employer pay for RBT certification?

There are multiple online training courses available for under $100. If an applicant completes their training in advance, they will become more marketable for a professional position and will also get a higher pay rate at the beginning that offsets the initial RBT certification cost. Therefore, it is not usually in the best interest of an applicant to make the employer pay for the cost of training. 

However, employers in some locations may pay for the coursework for non-certified RBT applicants. The race to find RBT positions has become competitive, so acquiring RBT certification before applying for the position provides a significant advantage to the applicant over others. 

The final cost for completing the process should be under $800, even with additional supplemental training materials. This also includes the cost of the coursework, application fee, exam fee, competency assessment, and a few similar fees. Some autism care providers like Songbird will cover exam and other certification fees.

Conclusion

RBTs are responsible for directly implementing autism therapy and other behavior services. The BCBAs or RBT supervisors oversee RBTs to complete care. RBTs play a significant role in conducting ABA therapies.

Although there is a cost for an RBT certification, it proves advantageous for candidates once they begin searching for jobs in the RBT field. Candidates will find multiple online courses to help them prepare for the RBT exam, and once they pass, they will get the certification within a week. After that, they can apply for RBT jobs anywhere as professionals.

Songbird Therapy is a technology-enabled provider setting a higher standard for children’s autism care. With a deeply passionate team and innovative technology, we’re building a world where every child can access world-class care at home, uniquely tailored to them. 

If you are an RBT looking to help provide children’s autism care, contact us to learn how you can join the team.

Get started with care from Songbird — covered by insurance