How to Become a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT)

How to Become a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT)

A Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) is a paraprofessional who implements behavior analysis treatment plans for clients, primarily those with autism spectrum disorder or other developmental disabilities. They operate under the direct oversight of Board-Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) or Board-Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBAs).

Becoming an RBT involves meeting specific eligibility requirements, completing prescribed training, passing essential assessments, and securing certification from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for RBT certification, candidates must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Age: Be at least 18 years old.
  • Education: Possess a minimum of a high school diploma or its equivalent.
  • Background Check: Successfully pass a criminal background check.

For more detailed eligibility information, you can visit the BACB official website.

RBT Training

The initial step toward certification is to complete a 40-hour training program that is overseen by a BACB certificant (BCBA, BCaBA, or BCBA-D). This training covers a variety of essential topics as outlined in the RBT Task List:

  • Measurement and data collection
  • Assessment of client needs
  • Skill acquisition strategies
  • Behavior reduction techniques
  • Documentation and reporting procedures
  • Professional conduct and scope of practice

The training also includes at least 3 hours dedicated to ethics and professional conduct. Various organizations offer RBT training courses both in-person and online.

Here’s a helpful resource for finding RBT training programs.

Initial Competency Assessment

Following the 40-hour training, candidates must pass an Initial Competency Assessment conducted by a qualified BACB certificant. This evaluation assesses the candidate’s practical skills and knowledge derived from the training program.

Applying for RBT Certification

After completing the training and passing the competency assessment, candidates can apply for the RBT credential through the BACB’s official website. The application process involves submitting:

  • Proof of age and education
  • Certificate of completed training program
  • Completion of the initial competency assessment
  • Payment of the application fee

Here’s the link to apply for the RBT certification.

RBT Examination

The final step in the certification process is to sit for the RBT certification exam, administered by the BACB. This exam tests the candidate’s understanding of behavior analysis principles and the specific areas covered by the RBT Task List, including:

  • Measurement techniques
  • Assessment procedures
  • Skill acquisition
  • Behavior reduction strategies
  • Documentation standards
  • Professional and ethical conduct

The exam consists of 85 multiple-choice questions, and candidates must achieve a passing score as set by the BACB to gain certification.

Expert Insights

Clarence Brown, a seasoned behavior analyst and the founder of RBT Practice Tests, emphasizes the importance of thorough preparation for the RBT exam.

He states:

The RBT certification exam is a significant hurdle for many prospective behavior technicians. It’s crucial to complete your training and engage with practical, exam-focused resources to ensure success. Our practice tests are designed to mirror the exam’s format and difficulty, preparing candidates for what to expect and significantly boosting their confidence.

RBT Certification Maintenance

To maintain an active RBT certification, certificants must:

  • Adhere strictly to the RBT Ethics Code.
  • Receive ongoing supervision from a BCBA or BCaBA, the Supervisor/Requirements Coordinator.
  • Renew their certification annually.
  • Complete 8 hours of continuing education in each certification renewal period.

More details on certification maintenance can be found on the BACB website.


As an RBT, you are equipped to implement behavior analysis treatment directly plans for clients under the supervision of qualified behavior analysts. RBTs typically work in diverse settings such as schools, clinics, and homes, providing support to individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities.

This certification opens up numerous professional opportunities and is a significant first step in a career in behavioral analysis.

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