How to Become a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT)

Registered Behavior Technician

The Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) is a paraprofessional who practices under the close, ongoing supervision of a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). The RBT is primarily responsible for the direct implementation of behavior-analytic services for individuals. The RBT does not design intervention or assessment plans. It is the responsibility of the BCBA, the RBT supervisor, to determine which tasks an RBT may perform as a function of his or her training, experience, and competence. The BCBA supervising the RBT is responsible for the work performed by the RBT on the cases they are overseeing. 

To become an RBT the first step is to take the 40-hour online video-based training course with modules designed to help you prepare to sit for the RBT Exam offered by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). The 40-hour RBT training program is based on the RBT Task List-2nd Edition and is offered independent of the BACB. The RBT training course  is 100% online, recorded videos so you learn at your own pace from any internet connected device like a computer, tablet or smartphone.

The course is taught by Vivian Attanasio, a licensed Behavior Analyst. Ms. Attanasio has been in the field of special needs for over 20. In that time, she has served many roles such as school psychologist, case manager, clinical director, and consultant. She has designed ABA classrooms utilizing B.F. Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior across several counties of New Jersey. In addition, she has published research in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis on vocal production. Ms. Attanasio served as VP of the Behavior Services Department for the Services for a NY-based not-for-profit organization which serves over 300 adults with Autism and other Developmental Disabilities. 

To become an RBT you must be 18 years of age or older and have a high school diploma or equivalent. You will also be required to pass a criminal background check at some point. All course material including slides are included and are downloadable, so there is no need to purchase additional course related material. The slides can be downloaded and printed. The Behavior Analyst Certification Board expects the 40-hour training course to be completed within 180 days. If you complete the course before 180 days, you will still have access to the training library for reference for an additional month.

This first step is to complete all the modules in 40-hour RBT training course and receive a course completion certificate. The certificate will be emailed in PDF format. If any lesson was found to be incomplete, you will receive a Progress Report showing the incomplete lesson(s). You will be able to go back, complete the coursework, then send another request for certificate. Included with the training is a free RBT Exam Prep module. Use it to practice for the Board’s exam. Next step, you will need to find a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) to do an initial Competency Assessment, also known as Supervision. There are several ways to find a BCBA if you do not already know one. All Behavior Analysts are registered with the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. Visit their website for more information Another option is to do a Google search to find a BCBA. There are many companies and organizations that provide Competency assessments on a fee-for-service basis. You will have to do your own due diligence to make sure they are registered with the BACB and authorized to provide the service.

During the assessment, the BCBA will ask you to demonstrate skills learned during the 40-hour course. The RBT technician/applicant must demonstrate competency in all tasks as determined by the BCBA to complete the assessment. Once the assessment is complete, RBT candidates must also have a criminal background check done. The check must be done no more than 180 days prior to submitting an application to the BACB.

The last step is to take and pass the RBT examination. To take the exam, you must submit a complete exam application to the BACB, including all documentation necessary to demonstrate that you have met all the steps above. The examination consists of 75 scored items and 10 unscored pilot items. You will have 90 minutes to complete the exam. The exam is administered by Pearson VUE, a national testing center, and the cost is $45 paid to Pearson VUE. If you do not pass the RBT exam you can take it again. 

Once you pass the Registered Behavior Technician exam you will be credentialed as a RBT and can work under the direction of a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst in all states and Canada. Our company, Verbal Behavior Institute, is an Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACE# OP-07-0134), registered with the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). Our teaching method is consistent with the BACB RBT Task List. The RBT Task List serves as the curriculum for the training required for all candidates for the RBT credential which ensures the highest quality of content.

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