Behavior Technician Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a behavior technician. Feel free to use our behavior technician job description template to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a behavior technician.
Who is a Behavior Technician?
A behavior technician is an individual who works with doctors, nurses, and other health professionals to provide care to patients suffering from behavioral conditions. They assist in executing treatment plans and work closely with patients. The treatment plans are determined by analysts, doctors, psychologists, and nurses although this depends on the condition. The technician at the end of the day oversees and measures the result with a more intimate focus.
The services a behavioral technician offers often focus on mental health and help treat various conditions such as:
- Substance abuse
- Down Syndrome
- Eating Disorder
The work environment of a behavioral technician depends on the kind of patients they attend to. The work environment can be a clinic or an office, but sometimes they also offer home services to patients. The ability to be comfortable with these environments is more important than attending to the needs of the patient. Some patients are very sick and sometimes the technician has to help those patients to stand or work. They usually work 40 hours per week or more as the demand arises. They can work on weekends if they are called upon.
A behavioral technician must be very flexible to be able to adapt to the work environment. He must also be compassionate to achieve success. He must be able to communicate with families and act professionally.
Behavior Technician Job Description
Below are the behavior technician job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a behavior technician job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
The followings are the duties and responsibilities of a behavior technician:
- Providing Family Guidance
Behavioral technicians provide family guidance to families who find themselves under duress or stress and challenges. They can assist with a healthy protocol for daily living. The behavioral technician works very hard to integrate those behavioral issues into a nurturing and caring family environment. For instance, the autistic child may end up taking most of the parent’s attention, leaving little time for the parents to take care of other children. The parents of an autistic child can experience different kinds of emotional reactions. They can experience sadness and be very moody. They may also be un-hopeful and stressed about the future; a behavioral technician can assist with all these issues. The role of a behavioral technician can help the family to understand how to support each other and how to deal with a child with autism. One of the core responsibilities of a behavioral technician is to offer support for the family.
- Behavior Reduction
A behavioral technician mostly works with people who have behavior disorders or issues. These issues can make them act in a disorderly manner, the behavioral technician under the supervision of a certified behavior analyst, works very hard to reduce those behavior issues. This can be very tedious and challenging as the technician has to identify what causes that unwanted or bizarre behavior in the patient. Once the technician can identify the cause of the unwanted behavior; he works with the patient to find solutions for eliminating the behavior or reducing it.
There are strategic steps, the behavioral technician must put in place to ascertain the cause of the unwanted behavior in the patient. The first step is to observe the individual environment whether it is a home or a school setting. The next step is to comprehend what is maintaining the negative behavior. After all these observations, the behavior technician will replace the negative outcome of the individual with the positive one. The negative behavior of the individual will change gradually as he realizes what he needs to do to get what he wants, and more positive behavior will begin to emanate from the individual.
- Reporting and Documentation
The behavior technician works with a board-certified behavior analyst, it is very essential to report and document all happenings. These records are very paramount because they can help to ascertain which areas of treatment that are very effective and those areas that are not effective. These records will help behavior technicians to be able to identify the right treatment they will give to patients. Record keeping is also very essential for behavioral technicians so that they can go back and look back on the progress they have made thus far. This field of endeavor is challenging but a record-keeping of progress will continue to motivate the behavior technician and analyst to keep working harder.
- Traveling to individual homes and facilities when necessary
For instance, a behavioral technician and analyst may visit a patient’s home to administer tests to gauge speech and the motor functions of the body of the patient. Depending on the result of the test, the technician may administer regular treatment plans which strengthen muscles involved in speech or make sounds to ascertain further needs of the patient. The technician records the data from all the weeks he administered treatment and reports back to the analyst. The analyst and the technician also give the family regular updates about the treatment of the patient.
- Administering medications to patients
- Assisting families to help clients achieve the milestone
- Conducting behavioral or other psychiatric assessment
- Working with patients or clients to develop their physical and emotional skills
- Providing direct care to clients in one on one group therapy setting to implement skill acquisition directed by the supervisor
- Maintaining strict confidentiality
- Attending training to acquire further knowledge
- Assisting patients with daily living skill
- A bachelor’s degree or associate’s degree in behavioral health or a related field
- Additional certification may be required
- Must be physically and mentally fit and able to lift and carry patients
- Good written and verbal communication skills
- Strong interpersonal skills
- May need to work shifts
- Analytical and creative skills
- Ability to work with a team
- Clinical Intelligence
- Compassionate towards patients
- Computer and technological skills to log data and perform other administrative tasks
- Problem-solving skills
- Relationship management
- Commitment to ongoing training requirements
- Ability to keep patient information confidential
- Paying attention to detail
A behavioral technician needs soft and hard skills to become successful in his or her career and they are:
- Organization: a behavior technician offers treatment plans to patients and keeps a record of all the data of the weekly treatment. He or she has to be very organized to perform his duties effectively. He has to be very organized in managing patients and taking care of them especially when he is dealing with patients with abnormal behavior.
- Flexibility: a behavior technician must be very flexible when dealing with patients especially patients that have autism. He or she must be able to adapt to the working environment because he or will see patients with all kinds f negative behavior. He must be able to interact with patients and get to understand their condition, this flexible attitude will help him to become a successful behavior technician. The flexibility of the job allows a new entry behavioral technician to explore the potential career path while attending to other responsibilities.
- Patience: patience is very important in this field because of the responsibilities of the technician. Patients may exhibit abnormal behavior and it may be very difficult to reduce some patients’ behavior. You must have a patient spirit in order not to give up on anyone with a critical condition. Be very ready to offer support, love, and care to patients at all times.
- Compassion: a behavior technician must be very compassionate towards patients; he or she must help patients or a family he is working on when the need arises. The behavioral technicians may have to work with my patients when the need arises. The technician should display compassion, empathy, and discretion in his work. He may be required sometimes to help a patient to stand, work, or move a patient in a wheelchair.
- Communication Skill: a behavior technician must possess communication skills both written and verbal to be able to communicate with colleagues, clients, doctors, nurses, and behavioral analysts. Communication is key, especially when dealing with patients; you must be able to identify a patient’s nature to know the best way to communicate with him or her. You may use a harsh tone for some patients and a light tone for others depending on the condition of the patient.
- Teamwork: behavior technicians don’t work alone; they work with doctors, nurses, analysts, ts, and health professionals to administer care to patients suffering from behavior conditions. A behavior technician must be able to work closely with these health professionals to administer treatment plans to patients. He or she must also be able to define his role and perform it excellently.
How to Become a Behavioral Technician
To become a behavior technician, you need to follow the steps stipulated below:
- Acquire a Bachelor’s degree
To become a behavior technician, you need to acquire a bachelor’s degree in behavioral health or associate psychology. This usually takes four years to complete and during the degree, you will be asked to do your internship in a hospital. This will give you a firsthand opportunity to explore this field and help you harness the requisite skills that will help you to be successful in the job scene.
- Enroll for a Master’s Degree
After your undergraduate degree, you can enroll for a master’s degree in clinical psychology or a related field. This will expose you more to the field of human behavior and how to deal with it. A master’s degree usually takes 18 months to complete and you will be highly sought after by employers if you have a master’s degree qualification and licenses
As a behavior technician, acquiring certification is very essential to make you more qualified. Many employers require that behavior technicians have professional certifications before they employ them. You can earn certifications such as; Advanced Behavior Analysis (ADA), Board-certified Behavior Analyst (BCBBA), and Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCABA). All these certifications are for behavior analysts a behavior technician can acquire them to know more about behavioral health.
In addition, to get a state license to practice legally, must behavior technicians are referred to as Registered Behavior Technicians (RBT), and ensure that you get yourself registered according to the stipulated laws of your state. Employers mostly require a new technician to complete a competency assessment (Observation) as well as RBT exams.
- Enroll for internship
You can enroll for voluntary state internships in a hospital or health facility. This will expose you to the happenings in your field. During the internship, you will get to work closely with doctors, nurses, and behavior analysts to be able to administer treatment plans to patients. This internship will also expose you to how to love and care for patients and also show empathy to them. During the job training, you will also learn how to take care of a family behavioral condition.
You can also use this as an opportunity to get a mentor in your field, go close to a behavior analyst and ask him or her to be your career mentor so that you can get the necessary experience because most employers don’t want to employ a novice.
In addition, during your internship, lookout for records of previous treatments administered to patients. This will help you to know the kind of treatment you will administer to a patient.
- Draft your resume
Draft your resume and apply for open positions; include your skills, qualification, experience, and other details that you feel is relevant. Look out for open positions that are available in your locality. You can use online sites like LinkedIn to look for job placement.
Where Can a Behavior Technician Work?
A behavior technician mostly works in the health sector. They can work with patients in hospitals, mental health facilities, schools, health facilities, and patients’ homes.
Behavior Technician Salary Scale
- In the United States, the salary of a behavior technician is $73,330 annually. The salary varies based on the level of experience of the technician. A more experienced technician will earn more than new-entry behavioral technicians.
- In Nigeria, a person working as a behavior technician earns 396,000NGN per month. Salaries from 92,500NGN (lowest) to 320,000NGN (highest). The salary varies based on the geographical location and experience of the technician.