Updated: Feb 25, 2022
What is an RBT?
By technical definition, an RBT (Registered Behavior Technician) is considered a paraprofessional that has obtained a certification in behavior analysis. To become certified the path can seem a bit intimidating, however the result far supersedes that. You must be 18 or older, have a high school diploma, pass a background check, meet minimal training hour requirements, pass a competency assessment and pass an exam.
What Being an RBT Means to Me?
On paper I would be described as a “paraprofessional”, but I truly feel being an RBT is so much more. I’m not just an RBT, I am a teammate, advocate, number one supporter, and so much more. I find joy and pride in the fact that families open their homes to me and allow me to be a part of their team. That saying “it takes a village” is especially true with someone who has an ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) diagnosis. It is fulfilling knowing you are helping make things easier, not just for individuals who have an ASD diagnosis, but for their families as well. I am someone who is willing to do whatever it takes to ensure voices are heard and needs are met safely/ethically.
My Experience as an RBT
I can say hands down, my favorite thing about being an RBT is thinking back to when I first met a client and seeing how far they have come. I love watching my clients grow, progress, and become so independent! It is an honor to see them turn into such smart, wonderful young adults. It is also very funny to see how their personalities/interests have changed so much over the years as well. I am very privileged to be trusted with these families during the process. This is one job that brings me so much joy daily. Despite all that goes on in the world, I know I won’t dread going to work, because I truly love what I do. Being an RBT brings me a sense of joy and pride that I have never felt from any other job before.
The hardest part about being an RBT for me personally, is to see the clients end services. It is such a bittersweet moment. On one hand, I am beyond proud that they no longer require our services, however, my heart does ache knowing I won’t get to see that happy little smile everyday anymore. However, I take solace in the fact that I am now able to continue helping more new families! I get to continue to be a part of a new team and reach more members of the community who need services, for which I am thankful.
If you are someone who very much enjoys helping others, or even “teaching” others, then becoming an RBT may be a good fit for you. Being an RBT is a very personally fulfilling job, that never gets stagnant or too repetitive. I also do enjoy the fact that the job is so interactive and one on one, it makes things more personal. Seeing others reach milestones is so rewarding and exciting!