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A behavior analyst is a person who studies human behavior and attempts to improve it. To become a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA), you must pass the BCBA certification exam after attaining a minimum of a master's degree, performing over 225 hours of graduate level classroom hours, and accumulating supervised experience hours that meet BCBA standards. The job description of a BCBA depends on the age of the client as well as his setting and scope, but there are some typical job features.
Collection of Data
When beginning work with a new client, a BCBA must first gather information about the person. She does this through conducting interviews to learn more about the client's target behaviors. The BCBA must then perform direct and indirect assessments of client behaviors.
Creation of Strategy
After doing initial work to determine a client's needs and abilities, the BCBA must propose a strategy for behavior change. Ideally, this strategy will be based on a combination of assessment results and the BCBA's prior knowledge of effective treatment plans that have been successful on similar cases.
Implementation of Plan
The most crucial part of a BCBA's job description is being able to effectively implement the strategy plan she comes up with in the prior assessment phase. Data must be collected before and during the implementation of the plan so that results can be identified as the study continues.
Analysis and Improvement
The BCBA must evaluate the effectiveness of the implemented behavioral intervention plan. If the results are not as expected, the plan may be modified or changed to achieve desired results. A long-term maintenance plan must also be put in place after the one-on-one work between the BCBA and the client is over.