By: Maria Pantelides, MA, BCBA, LBA (CT, MA, MD, NY)
You have finished your coursework, you’ve completed all of your supervision hours and passed the BACB Exam, CONGRATULATIONS!
Behavior analysis is the science of behavior. Behavior is a product of its circumstances, particularly the event that immediately follow the behavior. (The Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®), 2019).
In the role as a behavior analyst, you study behavior and how that behavior affects motivation. Our goal as behavior analysts is to improve the lives of the individuals and those who care for those individuals. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) “is a scientific approach for discovering environmental variable that reliably influence socially significant behavior and for developing a technology of behavior change that takes practical advantage of those discoveries” (Cooper et. al, 2007).
By utilizing the principles of ABA our goal is to provide the highest quality services possible to our clients, and increase socially important behaviors. There are various environments you can work as a behavior analyst (e.g., schools, homes, clinics, hospitals); regardless of the environment you are working it is important that every client has an effective treatment that is rooted in the evidence-based literature of ABA.
Often times, as a behavior analyst you spend an extensive amount of time working with other professionals (e.g., technicians, parent/caregivers). These individuals also work with the client and implement treatment that you have created. It is your responsibility to analyze the data, and be present as a BCBA in the client’s program and ensure that you are providing an effective treatment. We are constantly communicating with parents and other team members of our clients and in your role as a behavior analyst, it is important to remember that collaboration and consistency is critical to the success of your client.
As a behavior analyst you must be able to provide services that are within your scope of practice and area of expertise. You must abide by Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s Professional Ethical Compliance Code and Guidelines for Responsible Conduct (BACB, 2014) as well as all local, state, and federal laws with regards to the provision of services.
A behavior analyst plays a huge role in an individual’s team and can help decrease the challenges faced, enhance the lives of individuals, and increase an individual’s quality of life as well as their families. The field of ABA is constantly growing and there is always new research being conducted on how to improve our client’s socially significant behavior. There is no better job or field than that!
- Applied Behavior Analysis Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder: Practice Guidelines for Healthcare Funders and Managers (2014, Behavior Analyst Certification Board Inc.(“BACB) Ver 2.0). Retrieved from http://bacb.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/ABA_Guidelines_for_ASD.pdf
- Behavior Analyst Certification Board Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts(2014,
- Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc. “BACB”). Retrieved from http://bacb.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/160321-compliance-code-english.pdf
- Cooper, J.O., Heron, T.E., & Heward W.L.,(2007). Applied behavior analysis (2nd ed.).
Columbus. OH: Merrill Prentice Hall.