Thinking about getting RBT certified? Read on to find out how long it takes.
When you decide to pursue a career as a registered behavior technician, or RBT, you must first undergo the outlined training for this position. This training does not typically take very long to complete. It is required before you can begin working as an RBT at any medical or mental health facility.
The training to become an RBT starts with undertaking 40 hours of observation and supervised training with a board certified behavior analyst, or BCBA, who actively works in the mental health profession. The BCBA will work hands-on with you to teach you what you need to know to become a competent RBT.
Your training to become an RBT must take place over the course of a minimum of five days. It must not exceed 180 days from the time you start your training.
After you complete the required 40 hours of RBT training, you must then undergo a competency exam and background check to determine if you are capable of working safely and effectively with patients. You also must sit for and pass the RBT certification exam before you can officially begin work in this profession.
You can enroll in and take RBT certification training at a variety of educational facilities. You may find training available to you online through accredited RBT training programs.
You may also undertake RBT training at a vocational college or university. Online RBT training programs continue to grow in popularity because they allow students to work at their own pace to complete their certification requirements.
RBT certification is a requirement most states implement for allowing people to work as registered behavior technicians, or RBTs. The certification process is relatively brief, lasting no longer than 180 days. It is also designed to be comprehensive enough to allow RBTs to work effectively with patients, primarily with people with autism.
RBTs work under the supervision of mental health professionals like BCBAs, who themselves have master's degrees in psychology or education. RBTs are not responsible for designing behavioral or treatment plans for patients. They are responsible for implementing the plans their supervising BCBAs design for patients under their care.
RBTs often serve as the front line of treatment for many patients undergoing services for autism and other mental health conditions. They work closely with patients and are many times the first mental health professional patients and their caretakers or parents meet when beginning a treatment program.
The certification RBTs undergo prior to working in this capacity ensures they are familiar with the terminology and skills needed to work with patients with autism and other conditions. They also undergo competency, knowledge and safety tests to ensure they pose no personal or medical risks to patients they work with.
For your initial certification as an RBT, you must pay a $50 fee to take the test and obtain the required certificate to work as an RBT. Once you pass the exam and obtain this certification, your credentials are good for one year from the date that you passed you first exam.
During that year, you can work legally as an RBT without having to take another test to keep your job. It is important to note you should keep track of any industry or certification changes that occur during the year you work in this profession. You may need to know about and implement those changes for when you renew your certification as an RBT.
As the deadline approaches to renew your certification, you will need to make arrangements to find a location where you can take the renewal test. You also will need to find out how much it costs to take the exam again. The cost to take the renewal exam typically is lower than what it cost you to take the initial exam to certify as an RBT.
Once you pass the renewal exam, you can work for another year in this profession. It is important you continue to renew your certification and keep up on the latest information, changes and trends in your job. Staying informed about new facts as they arise in your profession will ensure you can continue to renew your certification and continue to work as an RBT.
The requirements to qualify as an RBT are relatively easy for many people to meet. The primary requirement involves being at least 18 years of age. If you are at least 18 years of age, you meet the minimum age requirement to undertake training and become certified as an RBT.
You also must have a certain amount of initial education to take the training for an RBT position. You must have graduated from high school or passed the GED exam satisfactorily before you can enroll in and undertake RBT training.
If you are 18 years of age with either a high school diploma or GED, you can then choose an RBT training program, either online or in-person, to enroll in and complete the training. You must complete the 40 hours of supervised training with a mental health professional like a BCBA. You also must submit to and complete a criminal background check within 180 days of starting your training.
Your final requirement involves sitting for and passing the state certification exam. This last step will ultimately determine whether or not you can work as an RBT. Once you pass the exam and gain your certification, you can work for one years as an RBT before you have to renew your certification.
There are several precise steps you should follow to undertake and complete RBT training satisfactorily. These steps include:
Completing the 40-hour training does not officially make you an RBT. You then must create an account on the BACB portal and sign up for taking the certification exam. You also must pay the application fee for taking the test and undergo a background check.
After your application for taking the certification test is approved, you can then sign up for taking the exam at your earliest opportunity. You should then take the exam, await your results and obtain your certification as an RBT before applying for open positions in this profession. If your application for taking the test is denied for any reason, you have 30 days to appeal that denial and request your application be considered again.
Your certification is good for one year from the date you pass your first exam. You must renew your certification in one year from that date.