Applied Behavior Analyst (ABA) Certification

When entering the field of applied behavior analysis, a therapeutic approach to dealing with behavioral disorders, certification in the field may be a way to boost one’s credibility as an ABA professional. The certification board , the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB), is a nonprofit organization that is specifically dedicated to providing credentialing to aspiring behavior analysts. The BACB clearly outlines ABA certification requirements, conducts an official examination, and continually works to ensure that their standards are up to date.

Types of ABA Certification

Registered Behavior
Technician (RBT)

The RBT level of certification is typically attributed to those with a high school level of education who are looking to become “paraprofessionals” in the field of behavior analysis.

Board Certified Assistant
Behavior Analyst (BCaBA)

BCaBAs are most commonly those who hold bachelor’s degrees but have not yet earned a masters in behavior analysis. They typically do not operate independently, and work under the supervision of a BCBA or BCBA-D

Board Certified Behavior
Analyst (BCBA)

BCBA is someone who holds a masters degree in applied behavior analysis and who typically is an independent practitioner in the field. They often supervise the work of RBTs and BCaBAs.

Discover Online BCBA Programs

Board Certified Behavior
Analyst – Doctoral (BCBA-D)

BCBA-D is the highest level of certification one can receive in the field of behavior analysis and is awarded to those with doctoral training in ABA.

How to Become a BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst)

BCBA Eligibility Requirements

In order to apply to become a BCBA and sit for the exam, one of three experience options must be met by the candidate:

  1. Option 1: A combination of a masters degree, completion of acceptable graduate coursework, and supervised experience.
  2. Option 2: A combination of a masters degree, a position as a full-time faculty member in behavior analysis and supervised experience
  3. Option 3: A combination of a doctoral degree, 10 years of postdoctoral experience, and supervised experience.

Once one of these options is completed, candidates can sit for the BCBA exam and, upon achieving a passing score, can officially apply to become a BCBA.

BCBA Application Process

The application for BCBA candidates is completed online through the applicant’s previously set-up BACB account while supplemental materials, such as transcripts and experience verification forms, are mailed or emailed directly to the BACB.

A certification fee of $245 is required of all applicants, which is nonrefundable. Once an application is approved, the candidate will be able to register to take the BCBA exam which is offered by Pearson Vue.

Note: Candidates who do not pass the BCBA exam the first time around can retake the exam within two years of their initial application approval.


The BCBA exam is designed to assure that aspiring behavior analysts have a level of knowledge that is consistent with entry-level behavior analysts across the board. The BCBA exam itself is made up of 150 multiple choice questions based on a wide range of content areas. Examination content is based on the fourth edition of the BCBA/BCaBA task list. Additionally, Mobile App Daily has compiled a list of a few apps that might help potential behavior analyst professionals study for the exam.

Something that might be of interest to aspiring behavior analysts is this chart created by the BACB that depicts the BCBA exam passing rate of a number of programs across the United Sates. In searching for viable ABA master’s programs to enroll in, the exam pass rate for their students is one of the factors that might help you make a final decision

Learn more about important dates for the BCBA exam at the official BACB website!