Whichever ABA therapy position you set your sights on, here are some characteristics that are common to most jobs in the field of applied behavior analytics:
Interest in Psychology and Behavior: ABA therapy involves working with individuals, often children with autism or other developmental disorders, to modify behaviors and improve their quality of life. If you are genuinely interested in psychology, behavior analysis, and helping people, ABA therapy could be a great fit for you.
Patience and Empathy: ABA therapy often requires a high level of patience and empathy. You’ll be working with individuals with challenging behaviors, and it can take time to see progress. Being understanding and compassionate is essential in this field.
Communication Skills: Effective communication is crucial in ABA therapy. You’ll need to communicate with clients, their families, and often collaborate with other professionals. Strong communication skills are essential for success.
Education and Certification: Education and certification requirements vary based on the ABA therapy position you hold, and we explain this more thoroughly below. But, typically, at the entry-level, you will need to complete specific training, which we pay for at Learning ARTS. For the more senior positions, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field (e.g., psychology, special education) and may need to obtain certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) or a similar credential, which involves further education and training.
Ability to Work Independently and as a Team: ABA therapists often work independently with clients but also collaborate with other professionals, such as speech therapists, occupational therapists, and teachers. Being able to work both independently and as part of a team is important.
Physical and Emotional Resilience: ABA therapy can be physically and emotionally demanding, especially when working with clients who have challenging behaviors. You must have the resilience to handle these challenges.
Ethical Considerations: ABA therapy raises ethical considerations, particularly related to the use of behavior modification techniques. It’s essential to have a strong ethical foundation and adhere to professional standards.
Career Outlook: Consider the demand for ABA therapists in your area and whether this career aligns with your long-term career goals.