Becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) in Indiana opens doors to a rewarding career working with individuals who have behavioral challenges, such as those with autism spectrum disorders. BCBAs use applied behavior analysis (ABA) to assess behavior, and design and implement interventions. If you’re passionate about making a positive impact and are considering this career path in Indiana, here’s a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the process.

child and therapist

What is a BCBA?

A Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) is a graduate-level certification for professionals in the field of behavior analysis. BCBAs are experts in understanding and applying the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to assess, develop, and implement behavioral interventions. These interventions are designed to address a wide range of behavioral challenges and to improve social, communication, and learning outcomes, particularly for individuals with autism spectrum disorders and other developmental conditions. The BCBA credential is internationally recognized, signifying a high standard of expertise and adherence to ethical guidelines in the field of behavior analysis.

How Does ABA Therapy Help Children with Autism?

ABA therapy stands as a highly effective intervention for children with autism, focusing on improving specific behaviors such as social skills, communication, reading, and adaptive learning skills like fine motor dexterity, hygiene, grooming, domestic capabilities, and punctuality. By employing a system of understanding and modifying behavior, ABA therapy essentially assists children in learning how to learn. It uses positive reinforcement techniques that encourage children to repeat desirable behaviors and reduce unwanted ones. Over time, ABA therapy can significantly contribute to enhancing overall quality of life and independence for children with autism by targeting the unique challenges they face and fostering skills for better adaptation and interaction with their surroundings.

Where do BCBAs Work?

Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) work in a variety of settings, based on their interests, specialties, and the demand for their services. They are commonly employed in educational settings, including both public and private schools, where they develop and implement strategies to assist students with learning and behavioral challenges. BCBAs are also found in healthcare, particularly in mental health facilities, hospitals, and clinics, where they work with patients experiencing a wide range of behavioral issues. Additionally, many BCBAs work in private practice, consulting for families or organizations, and providing direct services to individuals. Community centers, rehabilitation centers special education programs, and research institutions are other environments where BCBAs can apply their skills, contributing to the well-being of individuals and advancements in the field of behavior analysis.

Step 1: Understand the Role

Before embarking on the journey to become a BCBA, it’s crucial to understand what the role entails. BCBAs work in various settings, including schools, clinics, and private practice, providing assessment, behavior intervention plans, and supervision to Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs). They collaborate with families, educators, and other professionals to reduce challenging behaviors and support individuals in achieving their personal goals.

little girl

Step 2: Obtain the Necessary Education

To become a BCBA, you must first complete a graduate degree (master’s or doctoral) in psychology, education, or behavior analysis from an accredited institution. The doctoral program should include coursework in areas such as ethics, behavioral assessment, and intervention strategies. As of now, ensure your program is accredited by the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI).

Step 3: Complete Supervised Fieldwork

After completing your educational requirements, you must engage in supervised fieldwork. This involves practical experience under the supervision of a BCBA. The Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) requires a specific number of hours of supervised fieldwork. For instance, if you opt for concentrated supervised fieldwork, you’ll need to complete 1,500 hours. It’s essential to check the BACB website for the most current requirements and options.

Step 4: Pass the BCBA Examination

Upon completing your education and supervised fieldwork, the next step is to pass the BCBA certification examination administered by the BACB. The exam covers topics such as ethical considerations, behavior-analysis concepts, and techniques of applied behavioral science. Preparing thoroughly by reviewing the task list provided by the BACB and utilizing study materials can increase your chances of passing.

Step 5: Apply for Licensure in Indiana

Once you’ve passed the BCBA examination, you’re eligible to apply for licensure in Indiana. The Indiana Behavioral Health and Human Services Licensing Board oversees the licensing of BCBAs. You’ll need to submit your application, provide proof of your certification, and pay the required fee. Additionally, Indiana may have specific requirements or documentation needed, so it’s essential to verify the details with the state board.

Step 6: Maintain Your Certification and License

To maintain your BCBA certification, you must complete continuing education units (CEUs) and adhere to the BACB’s ethics requirements. Similarly, to keep your Indiana license active, you’ll need to comply with the state’s renewal requirements, which typically involve CEUs and a renewal fee. Staying informed about any changes in licensure, special education, or certification requirements is crucial.



The path to becoming a BCBA in Indiana is demanding but incredibly rewarding. It offers the opportunity to make a significant difference in the lives of individuals with behavioral needs. By following these steps and staying committed to continuous learning and ethical practice, you can build a fulfilling career as a BCBA in Indiana.

Remember, the journey to becoming a BCBA involves dedication, hard work, and a passion for helping others. With the right preparation and mindset, you can achieve your goal and contribute positively to the field of behavior analysis.

Embarking on this career path is not just about obtaining a title; it’s about making a real difference. Best of luck on your journey to becoming a BCBA in Indiana!

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