RBT training: 7 training programs to consider

May 6, 2022

In order to become an RBT (Registered Behavior Technician), candidates must complete 40 hours of RBT training and a certification exam. New standards also demand one hour of RBT supervision training, as well as three hours of ethics training based on new RBT ethics codes.

RBT training is an excellent way to begin or develop a career as an RBT and join approximately 89,000 like minded colleagues in the field. Online RBT training is available for anyone that meets basic requirements and has an interest in providing quality therapy. The BACB (Behavior Analyst Certification Board) also extends an invitation to any paraprofessional who uses interventions to promote socially acceptable behavior. 

RBTs are taught the foundations of ABA for assisting people with developmental disorders, but they must work under the supervision of a BCBA. Instead of developing and analyzing program ideas, behavior technicians implement the identified behavioral interferences in children's school or home lives. They provide total assistance to analysts by cultivating social expertise, delivering behavior modification, gathering progress data, taking session notes, and educating child caretakers. RBTs adhere to the BCBA's therapeutic procedure of positively rewarding desired behavior to improve children’s skills.

What does an RBT do?

An RBT works in small group or one-on-one sessions with children that experience learning and behavioral difficulties. An RBT collects data and implements care protocols or behavior plans under the supervision of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). 

A registered behavior technician works as part of a care team under the supervision of a BCBA. An RBT's job responsibilities differ depending on the type of work and past experience. They carry out practical and applied techniques to support children and families in achieving social, motor, and behavioral skills. RBTs have a plentiful supply of job prospects, including here at Songbird, and careers can act as a stepping stone for those interested in pursuing a behavior analysis degree or other discipline of applied psychology.

The significance of RBT training

ABA is one of the most commonly used therapies for children with autism. Fortunately, the field is seeing an increase in RBT certifications, and it is expected to expand much faster in the future. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies behavior technicians as "psychiatric technicians and aides," which is predicted to rise by 12%, and "substance abuse, behavioral challenge, and mental health counselors," which is likely to grow by 22%. 

Due to the increased demand for both ABA services and the RBT credential, many professionals may be interested in obtaining an RBT certification. It is a valuable certification not only for those in autism-specific services, but also for direct support professionals in IDD programs, school employees, and even parents.

RBT training can be offered as a beneficial employee incentive by organizations that provide ABA services. It enables providers to hire people who have not yet obtained credentialing but wish to do so, expanding the recruitment pool. It also ensures that each new RBT within the industry receives consistent, top-quality training.

Reputable RBT training programs 

  1. The University of Texas, San Antonio

The University of Texas offers a five-week in-person course. The duration is 40 hours and the student must meet the online instructor one day a week for two hours. This course will cover basic principles and concepts of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). 

The training will cover the basic principles and concepts of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA):

  • Operationally defining and measuring
  • Target behavior
  • Functions of behavior
  • Data recording
  • Graphing
  • Program evaluation
  • Preference assessment
  • Reinforcement
  • Antecedent and contingency-based interventions, etc.

Who can apply: Administrators, teachers, direct care providers, and others who work with individuals with special needs.

Cost: $349

  1. University of Nebraska

This is a 40+ hour, self-directed, online training which fulfills the Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s (BACB) eligibility training requirements. 

The training covers,

  • Measurement
  • Assessment
  • Skill Acquisition
  • Behavior Reduction
  • Documentation and Reporting
  • Professional Conduct and Scope of Practice

Who can apply: Special education teachers, paraeducators, school psychologists, counselors, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, school intervention team members, parents, social workers, and direct-care staff working in schools, homes, or clinical settings, etc. 

Cost: Free 

  1. University of Oklahoma

This training is available 100% online covering 48 training hours and ongoing supervision from a BCBA. It is an eight-week course that concludes with a competency assessment. The training focuses primarily on using scientific and psychological principles from Applied Behavior Analysis.

Who can apply: For anyone who is interested in working with people with disabilities. 

Cost: Free 

  1. University of West Florida

The University of West Florida provides online RBT courses open to degree and non-degree seeking students. It is a 40-hour training program that meets all requirements to allow students to sit for the RBT exam.

Who can apply: Open to degree and non-degree seeking students.

  1. University of South Florida

This RBT Program is designed to meet the 40-hour training requirement for the RBT certificate. It consists of 10 online modules, and each module has a narrated presentation and a 10-question quiz at the end. Once registered, the student must complete the course within 180 days. 

Who can apply: Applicants above 18 years of age with a high school diploma or equivalent.

Cost: $200 per person

  1. University of Kansas

The University of Kansas offers a 100% online, self-paced RBT training course. The training must be completed within 180 days of registration. Upon successful completion, students will receive a certificate of completion to share with the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. This course will solidify your knowledge and skills in the direct implementation of behavioral programs.

Who can apply: Applicants above 18 years of age with a high school diploma or equivalent.

Cost: $149

  1. Florida Institute of Technology

This is a 100% online, 40-hour, self-paced training course with interactive video lectures. Students must complete the training within 180 days of registration. 

The course modules include,

  • Introduction to RBT Training
  • Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis
  • The Role of the RBT
  • Concepts and Principles 1
  • Concepts and Principles 2
  • Measurement
  • Data Use
  • Responsible Conduct 1
  • Responsible Conduct 2
  • Verbal Behavior
  • Reinforcement
  • Skill Acquisition 1
  • Skill Acquisition 2
  • Functional Assessment
  • Behavior Reduction Procedures
  • Behavior Reduction Plans
  • Responsibility to Clients
  • Responsibility to the Profession

Who can apply: Students above 18 Years of Age with a high school diploma.

Cost: $149

Advantages of RBT training

  • Becoming an RBT immediately entitles professionals to valuable BCBA mentorship and continuing education credits.
  • The RBT certification is less expensive than the BCBA exams and the required master's degree.
  • The RBT credential is a nationwide credential, which means that it is recognized in all 50 states. The certificate is also recognized in Canada. 
  • The demand for staff training involving special needs has skyrocketed. With a national credential, certified professionals can find work anywhere in the country.

Obtaining the RBT certificate is an important step toward understanding the behavior analytic theories used to treat developmental difficulties. Nonetheless, it will not provide autonomy. 

When offering ABA services, registered behavior technicians should meet with BCBAs at least twice a month. Obtaining a responsible certificate will ensure compliance with expert protocols, notably in family confidentiality. The RBT is an excellent complement to other health, educational, and social service specialists that work with children in ABA.

Conclusion

As the need for certified RBTs grows, it is critical to be able to successfully prepare for the RBT examination. A good online training program should include components such as scenario-based teaching, multimodal education like video-based training and learning activities, while providing a user-friendly platform. Effective training can help satisfy the field's need for more RBTs while also ensuring educational quality. This balance is critical for ABA providers to consider when deciding which RBT training programs to suggest or adopt in their agency.

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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