How to Become a Behavior Analyst

Applied behavior analysts specialize in helping individuals with behavior problems through observation, analysis, and positive reinforcement. This is an ideal profession for empathetic people who are interested in understanding the intricacies of human behavior to help people thrive.

What Does a Behavior Analyst Do?

Behavior analysts work with clients to overcome emotional and social problems and disabilities using applied behavior analysis—a type of therapy that decreases maladaptive behaviors and replaces them with adaptive ones.

Applied behavior analysts may work with:

  • Adults and children diagnosed with autism.
  • Students struggling with behavioral problems at school.
  • Adults and children struggling with social problems.
  • Disabled adults having trouble with hygiene, domestic work, punctuality, and/or job competence.
  • People who have suffered through traumatic brain injury.
  • Elderly people having problems related to aging.

Applied behavior analysts help these people by:

  • Conducting an initial behavior assessment.
  • Determining which behaviors need intervention.
  • Assessing biological, medical, or environmental factors.
  • Utilizing positive reinforcement to improve adaptive behaviors.
  • Measuring the effects of behavioral interventions on target behaviors.
  • Evaluating progress and adjusting treatment as necessary.

It’s very challenging work, but being a behavior analyst is also a very rewarding career path, and it can be fulfilling on both a personal and professional level.

Thinking about a Career as a Behavior Analyst?

Pepperdine University offers an online Master of Applied Behavior Analysis that combines interactive course work with real-world, in-person field experiences in your community.

Behavior Analyst Requirements

To pursue a career as a behavior analyst, first, you will need to have earned a bachelor’s degree. While some behavior analysts pursued undergraduate majors in psychology, students of all educational backgrounds can generally apply. You will then need to:

  • Complete a master’s degree in behavior analysis from an accredited institution.
  • Fulfill a certain amount of supervised hours as required by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).
  • Become a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA) by taking the BCBA exam.

Keep in mind that licensing requirements vary by state. You can learn more about BACB licensing requirements in your state by visiting your state’s licensing board.

Behavior Analyst Jobs

Behavior analysts can work with children at schools, at homes helping with outpatient care, at hospitals helping with more severe cases, or at their own private practice. They can also focus their careers by choosing to work with specific clients, like children with autism or the elderly.

Become a Behavior Analyst at Pepperdine University

The online Master of Applied Behavior Analysis at Pepperdine prepares you for a rewarding career helping people tap into their full potential. As a student, you will learn about the latest theories and advancements in applied behavior analysis from esteemed faculty who are effecting real change in the field.

Prepare to Improve Lives

Pepperdine’s online Master of Applied Behavior Analysis doesn’t just prepare you to sit for the BCBA exam—it also prepares you to analyze, treat, and improve behaviors to help people thrive.