BCBA Spotlight: Why Demand is Surging for BCBA Talent

BCBA is an increasingly popular acronym in the healthcare field and the modern job landscape as a whole. But it’s more than just a string of letters.

There are few fields exploding with more demand than BCBA this decade. Just from 2010 to 2017, annual nationwide demand grew a staggering 800%

What’s behind such a dramatic increase? What does a BCBA do? What is their job outlook like in the coming years?

This blog will explore the factors contributing to the current demand, what a BCBA actually is (before we get too far ahead of ourselves), how to become one, and why now is the best time to be one: 

What Exactly is a BCBA?

Let’s start by breaking down the acronym since we’ve already referenced it six times. A Board Certified Behavior Analyst is a person with a certification in applied behavior analysis received through the Behavior Analyst Certification board. 

Got it? Great. Now, what’s applied behavior?

Per Applied Behavior Analysis Edu, the field of applied behavior analysis itself is a scientific discipline that involves behavioral assessments, an analytic interpretation of the results, and the application of behavioral modification therapy based on this analysis. 

Why the Demand?

Most popularly, applied behavior analysis (ABA) is known as the leading treatment method for autism spectrum disorder. 

With autism rates steadily increasing nationwide in recent years, and as the premier method of treatment, ABA and those with BCBA credentials naturally rose to meet the growing demand and concern around the disorder. 

But the clinical use of ABA extends far beyond autism. As one of the most recognized methods for managing behavioral health, ABA is regarded as a highly effective intervention for a multitude of disorders ranging from traumatic brain injuries to compulsive and addictive behavior. 

Because of its versatility, Board Certified Behavior Analysts can find themselves embedded in a wide variety of careers, as its efficacy as a treatment for an increasing list of conditions continues to expand. 

How Do You Become a BCBA?

While requirements for licensure vary by state (here’s a link to see what your state requires), there is still a standardized set of qualifications to be considered a qualified practitioner: 

  • Education Requirements
    • The minimum requirement is a graduate degree in ABA/psychology or education with a focus in ABA
  • Experience Requirements
    • 1,500 hours of supervised independent fieldwork or 1,000 hours at a supervised practicum or 750 hours at a supervised intensive practicum 
  • Pass BCBA Examination
    • After all education and experience requirements have been fulfilled, candidates must pass the BCBA examination, administered by Pearson VUE

Similar to other professions in the healthcare field, once the BCBA credentials are earned, practitioners are expected to earn continuing education credits and be recertified every 2 years.

Job Outlook

While the 800% growth mentioned earlier is unsustainable, the ABA therapy field’s job outlook for the coming years is incredibly healthy. The Bureau of Labor Statics reports expected growth of 33% by 2020, well above the national average for all professions. Because of its close ties to so many prevalent conditions and disorders in the U.S. and its increasing regard as a top treatment solution, ABA is only expected to continue to grow. 

Health Care Recruiters International (HCRI)

Looking for your next opportunity as a BCBA? The team of dedicated, experienced recruiters at HCRI has developed a proven track record of connecting top talent with great organizations. Connect with us today to learn more about our current openings.