Our community is a myriad of people with different needs. People are struggling with various conditions and needs, such as mental conditions and social interaction problems. These people need assistance to help manage their conditions, and this is where a behavioral analyst comes in.
Behavior analysts are professionals who work with patients to help them overcome mental and social disabilities. They work with various people in different settings, including school kids with autism and developmental disabilities. A behavior analyst uses theories and concepts they obtained from studying different behavioral patterns to treat social, behavioral and learning issues.
Behavior analysts use applied behavior techniques to work with these students. These techniques involve using positive reinforcement and task analysis to generate progress. These techniques help behavior analysts to customize individual treatments for each student. Simultaneously, they can train caregivers and families and inform school programs to facilitate these children.
How Do Behavior Analysts Approach Their Patients?
Behavior analysts approach their patients based on their specific needs. These approaches can be categorized into two types of training.
- Discrete Trial Training. Most behavior analysts follow a prevalent structure, which involves individual attention. Deviant behaviors are studied and broken down into specific or discrete components and rewarded when appropriately performed. Once the patient can learn these behaviors, an analyst helps them complete the complex behavior independently.
- Natural Environment Training. This type of training is preferable in natural environments such as the patient’s school, workplace, or home. The analyst waits for the patient to express interest and then guides them through the therapy. Through gradual reinforcement, patients begin showing desirable responses. It helps patients connect their environment to the behavior required and can apply their skills in everyday situations.
Now that you understand the work done by a behavior analyst and are inclined to pursue this career. Here’s a short guide on becoming a behavioral analyst.
How to Become a Behavioral Analyst?
These are the necessary steps that you need to fulfill to become a licensed behavioral analyst to kick start your career:
- Earn Your Bachelors. Your major doesn’t matter; you may choose to earn a bachelor’s in any field from psychology to social work and even an applied behavior analysis degree. However, the closely related your bachelor’s and master’s degree will be more opportunistic for you as you apply for jobs.
- Work to a Masters. You need to earn a master’s degree in applied behavior analysis or a master’s in education, or a degree in psychology with a major in applied behavior analysis. This graduate program provides the relevant coursework around theories and in-depth seated research in behavior analysis, providing extensive fieldwork for practical application. Apply for those master programs that have accreditation by the board and earn your certificate and license.
- Conduct Supervised Fieldwork. To earn your certification, you need to carry out fieldwork under a certified behavior analyst. Students can practice their skills and experience and obtain the required hours to apply for their certification. There are different standards of supervised hours needed, and you must find out your state requirements.
- Earn Your License. After completing the relevant fieldwork and submitting the coursework, you are eligible to apply for your exam to earn your certificate and become a licensed Analyst. You must also maintain your certification by submitting application fees for recertification, which happens every two years. Behavior analysts can also conduct and attend seminars to learn more about their field. The education doesn’t stop there. Analysts can continue attending accredited educational courses as their license and certification both need renewal after two years.
Different people make up our society, and there is nothing more humbling than benefiting others. A behavior analyst is one such job. These professionals work with people who are struggling to manage their conditions. No one likes to feel like an outcast, and behavior analyst makes it easier for them to find their place and feel like they belong.
As the world is expanding and there is rapid population growth. There is also an increased demand for behavior analysts. Everyone needs help and having the right tools and knowledge to deliver support is undoubtedly rewarding.
It is a rewarding field and should be pursued more often. The route required to become a behavior analyst is pretty straightforward. Once you earn your license and certification, you can continue working and benefiting society. So apply now and become a behavior analyst today.