Becoming a registered behavior technician (RBT) means completing 40 hours of training, passing a competency assessment, finalizing your training, and passing a board certification exam. 

But don’t let this task list intimidate you! Becoming an RBT and working with people with autism can be an extremely rewarding profession.

Elemy has RBTs who work with clients across the country to provide our modern approach to applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy. We asked some of our staffers to share what they wished they knew before becoming an RBT. Here’s what they told us. 

Your Job Is Critical 

RBTs don’t design treatment plans. Board-Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) perform assessments, determine what approach might work best, and set up parameters for each visit. Then RBTs implement the treatment plan through ABA therapy with the client. 

It’s easy to believe that an RBT’s job is easy. Our team has a piece of advice on this topic. 

“My advice would be to have passion, patience, and a strong understanding of what your job is. What an RBT does during the session directly impacts a client’s life,” said Daijah Montes, RBT.

“My goal is to always leave a client, and their family, better than when I first came. There will always be continued progress to be made, and some goals may not be completely accomplished, but if they have made significant milestones within the time of my services, then I have been successful in my eyes,” said Genesis Williamson, RBT.

Your Work Will Be More Fulfilling Than You Imagined

Most RBTs enter training because they love children. They expect that they’ll change lives every day. But some are surprised by how much they really love their work. 

“Becoming an RBT, to me, has meant unlocking my life’s purpose. Every day, when I wake up and go serve my client and their family, I am fulfilling my heart’s desire to give children and their families tools to improve their wellbeing,” said Williamson. “It was a real dream that has now come true for me.”

Your Team Will Support You

RBTs have extensive training before they work directly with clients. But the first few sessions in which they are working with a client can feel a little intimidating (as can any first time on a job!). 

“At first, I was a little overwhelmed with all the information I had to know. But after some hands-on practice and great help from supervisors that provided me with studying material, a group study session with other testing to get their certification, and some awesome YouTube videos, I felt more than confident,” said Montes. 

Knowing that you’re working as part of a team can give you the confidence to succeed.

“My BCBA was a vital help in quickly getting me comfortable with the data-input program, session note entries, and supervision logging. I felt that I was set up for success,” said Williamson. 

Elemy’s Treatment Model is Different

Many companies offer ABA therapy to children with autism. Families bring their children to a clinic for in-person appointments in a typical autism-treatment program. The RBTs manage multiple clients every day. Elemy uses at-home visits combined with telemedicine check-ins. 

“At most ABA companies, you see multiple clients in one day or per week. At Elemy, you work with fewer clients, sometimes even one client. It can be an adjustment at first, but over time, it is very rewarding to see every milestone and the gradual progress that a client has made,” said Alexis Aguilar, BCBA. 

“I have had to learn a new, more autonomous style of work which I am really loving. I have the flexibility to slow down and not overwork myself as some companies force RBTs to do,” said Raissa Sanchez, RBT.

Your Clients Will Change Your Life

As an RBT, you’ll meet many people with autism, and each one will be unique and special. The work you’ll do together could help that child break maladaptive behaviors and make better choices. And some of those cases will stay with you long after your work is done. 

“Each of my clients has positively impacted my personal life in one way or another. From learning how to say words in the Slavic native language, to witnessing my client embrace their newborn brother after learning how to express themselves with body language,” said Emmett Richardson, Jr., RBT. “A nerdy anime teen who just wanted to be accepted for being different. Isn’t that what we all want to be? Accepted for being different. For being unique. That’s how I view those with autism, that they are the same human being as all of us. They’re just unique as we all are in our own way.”

“Essentially, the goal as an RBT is to work yourself out of a job. When a client really begins to perform at a level where they don’t need me, I take so much pride,” Sanchez said.

You Can Get Started Now

We recently launched the Elemy Ecademy to help people like you become autism care providers. We’ll provide your coursework, give you hands-on training, and prepare you for your exams. Find out how the program works, and join us!