What is a BCBA® Anyways?
A BCBA® is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Behavior analysts are behavioral scientists who specialize in manipulating the environment to create the appropriate behavior change that we want to see for our clients using the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis.
What Can I Do as a BCBA®?
Simply put, anything! Anything involving behavior that is. Most often, BCBAs are known to work with people with special needs, in particular, individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), but the possibilities are endless for behavior analysts. Human Resources, animal training, sports training, school consulting, health coaches and wellness training, life coaching… the list goes on! Many of these jobs that I just noted have their own special subsect of ABA, such as Organizational Behavior Management (OBM).
What are some examples of jobs as a BCBA®?
As a BCBA, you may find yourself in a clinic working as a program manager, supervisor, or clinical director. In the school system, you could be overseeing a number of students who have been referred to ABA services. Check out our blog post on “A Day in the Life of a School Based BCBA” for more information. Additionally, you may find yourself working in the hospital setting, in a residential environment with children and adults, or maybe even working for yourself consulting across various clients and settings.
How do I find these jobs as a BCBA®?
I have found that the key to working outside of the scope of autism is knowing how to search for what you want. Oftentimes, searching for “BCBA® jobs” or even “ABA” will only yield jobs working with children with autism. Instead, try searching, “behavior management”, or even find a company that you want to work for, and ask them if you can lend your services to them. Explain your level of expertise and market yourself accordingly. Remember, behavior analysts, are ethically bound to seek guidance when operating outside of their expertise. That being said, it is important to find quality supervision that matches your interests as you are becoming a BCBA®. See post on finding quality supervision here for reference.
If there is something that you want to learn how to do, like applying the principles of ABA in an HR kind of situation, seek guidance for someone who has that experience in OBM.
The BACB has a list of jobs that behavior analysts can do on their website as a reference as well. Check it out!
Cammie Morgan, MSC, BCBA, LBA (Hawaii), IBA