Registered Behavior Technician Salary: What To Expect in 2022

May 13, 2022

A Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) average salary is around $43,386 per year. However, this can change based on a variety of factors including location, employer, and years of experience.

For RBTs with a bachelor’s degree, an entry-level candidate can earn between $32,000 and $43,000. After 5 to 10 years of work experience, the salary can range from $45,000 to $55,000. After a decade of work experience, the salary can range from $50,000 to more than $65,000 yearly.

If a RBT has a master’s degree in behavior analysis, the salary can also increase. Entry-level roles are within the range of $45,500 and $60,000. With 5 years of experience, the salary range is between $50,000 to $60,000 yearly. After 10 years of working experience, RBT salaries can range from $58,000 to $80,000 yearly. Put another way, obtaining a master’s degree is equivalent to 5 years of experience versus a bachelor’s degree. 

Note that conditions within the industry may play a role in salary determination as well. Some RBTs may operate part-time or full-time; however, since clinics and residential establishments often work 24 hours a day, many technicians work on weekends, nights, and holidays. The more adaptable the job candidate, the more the earning potential.

With an improved emphasis on autism spectrum disorders, developmental delays, mental health conditions, and traumatic brain injuries, the need for RBT jobs and increasing salaries in these fields is growing each year.

RBT job growth

A registered behavior technician's career profile includes treating children or adults who have various behavioral challenges and skill deficits. Medical centers, mental health facilities, academy districts, and early childhood development centers may hire a team of RBTs to help people live a more independent and quality life. 

According to the U.S. BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), registered behavior technicians will witness considerable job expansion between 2018 and 2028 which provides a measure of financial well-being since the ABA industry will likely grow RBT salaries, especially in metropolitan cities.

What does a registered behavior technician do?

While it is easy to determine the value of a job based on salary alone, each candidate should evaluate what work is involved to determine whether the position is a financial and professional fit. 

A registered behavior technician operates in clinical settings under the oversight of a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA) to deliver therapy plans.

RBTs play a crucial role to deliver therapy and work one-on-one with children with autism, implementing pre-designed programs to develop new aptitudes, sustain skills, and reduce challenging behaviors. 

This role often juggles numerous tasks, including data collection and planning out work sessions, while providing reinforcement throughout their ABA sessions. 

Certified professionals might also serve in schools or home settings to assist children with challenging behaviors or an understanding of day-to-day social and living aptitudes.

On a typical day, an RBT usually participates in care plans that promote:

  • Self-management
  • Emotional development
  • Safety skills
  • Play and leisure skills
  • Coping and tolerance skills
  • Community participation
  • Expressive and Receptive communication

Nonetheless, these are just a few therapy program elements present during standard operation as an RBT. 

Some additional registered behavior technician responsibilities include:

  • Helping children in one-on-one or group settings
  • Communicating a child's performance to caregivers or parents
  • Preparing training materials
  • Monitoring and documenting child data
  • Following all behavior reduction and behavior aptitudes protocols

What are some considerations for working as a registered behavior technician?

Those who find human behavior assessment and observation intriguing will find a calling in this industry, as those are major components of the RBT job description. While the job role is rewarding, it can also be testing as it involves addressing challenging behaviors and skill deficits among children. 

There are some other considerations a candidate can take into account:  

  • The work environment: The employer will define service locations for registered behavior technicians. This may mean working within an office, clinic, home, or school.
  • Adaptation: Because the position entails working with children on the spectrum, an effective technician must be cautious while working.  What may be effective one day with a child might not work the next, and being able to adapt is essential for a child's success.
  • Commitment: Procedures and protocols are constantly evolving. There will always be unique and more promising ways of working with children with autism, so expect to devote considerable time to learning and research to keep up with industry trends. 

Working as an RBT 

When pursuing a job as a registered behavior technician, remember: 

  • Know the duties

Having the required RBT certification, RBTs are responsible for understanding the job duties and maintaining certification. Earned credentials are not agency-specific, so they can be transferred to a new company. 

  • Keep supervision records

RBTs should maintain supervision records for seven years. The Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) can evaluate those maintenance records at any given time, so ensure that they are readily available. In the event of an audit, technicians are allotted seven days to present supervision documentation.

  • Provide a  personal email address for the BACB account

RBT applicants must supply a personal email address to create a BACB account. Never use a company email address to build or handle the account, and maintain sole responsibility for this account. If a working relationship ends for any reason, have access to the email address assigned to the BACB account.

  • Certification needs to be renewed annually

Stay cognizant of the renewal date and present required paperwork at least two weeks in advance.  All technicians must submit a competency examination and pay the renewal fee to the BACB. Be sure to prepare for the competency assessment in advance.

Conclusion

Regardless of the amount of monetary compensation assigned to the position, watching a child’s development is one of the most rewarding aspects of serving as an RBT. Given the constant interactions and meetings with children and parents, RBTs are in a position to nurture that potential and witness this growth unfold. 

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.

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