How to Become a Behavior Specialist Consultant

by Diana Wicks; Updated September 26, 2017

Behavior specialist consultants are individuals trained in the observation and analysis of behavioral difficulties in children, adults, animals and families. Behavior specialists usually work in education institutions, local communities, health centers and workplaces to assist individuals with such difficulties. An individual who desires to pursue a career as a behavior specialist consultant needs to acquire the relevant educational qualifications and certifications under the rules of her state.

Step 1

Select an accredited college or university which offers education and training on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and visit its campus or check its website. Examples of institutions include Southern New Hampshire University and Kaplan University. Enroll in a bachelor’s degree program in the institution; this is the minimum requirement for a career as a behavior specialist consultant.

Step 2

Obtain the bachelor's degree in a behavior-related course such as psychology, animal behavior, education or neuroscience. Acquire the necessary knowledge and skills in behavioral medicine and therapy, interventions, ethical and legal concerns concerning behavior and research techniques on behavior.

Step 3

Enroll in a master’s degree program, such as in special education, to increase your expertise in behavior analysis. This training is important in gaining knowledge on how to deal with children or individuals with disabilities such as autism and mental disorders.

Step 4

Visit businesses and educational or health institutions which offer internship programs to gain experience under the supervision of a trained specialist. This sharpens your knowledge and gives you training on applied behavior analysis. Additionally, it is a requirement for most job applications and individuals who desire to establish a private practice.

Step 5

Apply for the necessary certification from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) to show that you are fit to provide clients with independent consultancy service as a behavioral specialist. A Board Certified Behavior Analyst requires a master's degree. If you only have a bachelor's degree, you can become a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst. Visit the BACB website to learn about the certification process and send in your application. Sit for the examination to qualify for the certificate.

Tips

  • A doctorate in behavioral analysis is not a requirement for this career but it increases your knowledge and expertise in the field. The program takes four to five years to complete.

About the Author

Diana Wicks is a Canadian residing in Vancouver. She began writing in 2004 while still a student at Lincoln School of Journalism, in the city of London. She has worked as Chief Editor of Business Chronicle, an online magazine based in London. Wicks holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) in journalism and a Master of Business Administration from the London School of Economics.