Legitimate RBT trainings are offered online and in cities across the country. Prices for the required 40-hour training vary significantly. While entirely free RBT trainings are hard to come by, low-cost options are frequently available.
If you already work in a behavior analysis setting, start by speaking with your employer about any in-house or company-sponsored training programs. Many online training companies offer affordable programs for individuals and groups. Sometimes, these offerings may be available at further discounted rates for specific organizations.
Self-paced online programs are typically less expensive than courses provided through universities. There are pros and cons to the various methods of delivery, but it is possible to find legitimate and affordable RBT training near you.
Completion of a 40-hour training program is one of the requirements for becoming a registered behavior technician (RBT). The training helps ensure that all RBTs are competent and skilled professionals who are qualified to employ best practices when working with clients.
The Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) establishes the requirements for RBT training programs. The basic requirements for the training are as follows:
- The total training time must be at least 40 hours.
- The training must be completed in a maximum of 180 days and a minimum of five days.
- A BACB-certified behavior analyst (BCaBA, BCBA, or BCBA-D) must be responsible for overseeing the training.
- Training content must include all tasks in the RBT Task List, at least three hours on the RBT Ethics Code, and at least one hour on supervision.
RBT trainings can be delivered in person or online. They can be delivered as a single course or broken down into smaller units that add up to the 40-hour training time. All content should be designed using behavior-analytic techniques, such as programmed instruction and behavior skills training.
Upon completion of the training program, the lead trainer must give each student who successfully completed the training an RBT 40-Hour Training Form. This form is required as part of the RBT application.
Options for Obtaining RBT Training
The BACB does not provide training programs for any of its credentials. All training programs are offered independent of the BACB, though they must meet BACB requirements in order to qualify students to sit for their exams.
The BACB suggests exploring the following options for obtaining RBT training:
- Your current employer: Since many people interested in obtaining RBT certification already work in a behavior-analysis setting, the best place to begin your search for free RBT training is with your employer. Many employers encourage professional development and may already have an in-house BACB-approved RBT training program available.
- University coursework: If you are inclined to complete a bachelor’s degree, many ABA programs include the required RBT coursework within their bachelor’s programs. Additionally, many universities offer certificate-only programs that provide only the courses you need to satisfy the RBT training requirement.
- A training company: To meet the increase in demand for behavior analysts throughout the county, professional training companies have developed coursework to meet the certification requirements established by the BACB. Both in-person and online courses are frequently offered by training companies.
Free or Low-Cost RBT Training Near You
The prices on RBT trainings vary depending on where you are getting the training. From your own employer, the training is likely to be free or highly discounted, while university coursework is often on the pricier side.
Community organizations are a great resource for free trainings. Here is a selection of free or low-cost RBT courses offered by community organizations:
- Autism Partnership Foundation: A free 40-hour online training course is offered for anyone who would like to learn more about behavior analysis. It is based on the BACB RBT Task List (2nd ed.) and meets the training requirements for anyone hoping to sit for the RBT exam.
- Child Enrichment Center: The Child Enrichment Center offers an online 40-hour training course for $109, with further discounts available. You can also try the first lesson for free before purchasing the course.
- New Way Day Services: This 40-hour online RBT training consists of video modules with a short quiz at the end of each section. The standard price for the course is $600 per person, though employees are offered significant discounts on the training. You can apply online to become an employee of New Way Day Services.
- Project Optimal: This self-paced online program is offered for $395 and meets all RBT training requirements as well as the requirements for an ABA technician credential.
Here is a selection of training companies that offer low-cost online RBT training:
- Verbal Behavior Institute: An online RBT training course is offered for $99 per individual. Group discounts are available for employers who wish to offer the training to multiple users at once.
- RBT Online Training: Created by a BCBA and school psychologist, this 40-hour course meets BACB training requirements. Course prices start at $64 per individual or $39 each for a group of 10. Additional competency exam packages are also available.
- Behavior University: Three RBT training packets are available through Behavior University. The essentials packet, priced at $69 per user offers just the 40-hour training course. The premium packet, priced at $99 per user, offers the course plus additional study tools and RBT exam prep. For organizations and supervisors, the supervisor packet teaches advanced supervision tools to help with the training and certification of RBT candidates and costs $129.
- The COR Behavioral Group: This training prepares students to earn their RBT certificate. Currently offered as an in-person or live webinar series, the program costs $250. A self-learning video series option, with a separate price, will be offered soon.
Here are some universities that offer standalone RBT trainings:
- The University of Kansas: An online RBT certification prep course is offered through a self-paced curriculum. The individual price is $149. Group rates are also available.
- The University of North Florida: This 40-hour online training costs $325 per individual and includes instructor-led RBT test preparation.
- The University of Oklahoma: For $345, students can complete this 48-hour RBT online training. The competency assessment and RBT supervision are also included in this eight-week RBT class.
Avoiding Potential Scams
The best way to avoid potential scam programs is by verifying the credentials of any program you are interested in registering for. The program must be accredited by the BACB in order to meet eligibility requirements for RBT certification. Be wary of programs that are not certified by the BACB or not led by certified BCBAs.
While you can find low-cost or discounted RBT training programs, it’s unlikely that you’ll find a completely free RBT training course unless it is offered as a perk by your workplace. If a program advertises itself as free, dig into the details. There could potentially be hidden fees or other associated costs.
Selecting a Program
When researching the price of RBT training programs, look closely at what features are included in each program. Many of the less expensive programs meet BACB training requirements but do not offer any services beyond that.
RBT training programs that you have to pay slightly more for often include additional features, such as:
- Competency assessments.
- Study tools for the RBT exam.
- Background checks.
- Supervision and training.
While the above features are not required to be in your training program, you will need them eventually to be approved to sit for the RBT exam. Whether you purchase them as part of a training program or separately, they will be additional costs toward your RBT certification.
You’ll also likely pay more for an in-person program than an online-only offering. Both options can work well, depending on individual needs. Take some time to assess which environment you generally learn in better.
Some people thrive in a self-paced environment, where they can complete the coursework at their own speed. Others have trouble focusing in an online-only environment and need the additional motivation that often comes from classroom-style schooling.
Elemy has launched Ecademy: a fully-paid, 3-month, training-and-certification program for registered behavior technicians (RBTs).
RBT 40-Hour Training Packet: Requirements. Behavior Analyst Certification Board.
Registered Behavior Technician Handbook. (May 2020). Behavior Analyst Certification Board.
RBT Task List (2nd Edition). Behavior Analyst Certification Board.
Registered Behavior Technician. Autism Partnership Foundation.
Registered Behavior Technician (RBT). Child Enrichment Center.
Registered Behavior Technician Training Program. New Way Day Services.
EDNU9071: Behavior Technician – Level One – Project Optimal. Project Optimal.
Online RBT Training – Task List 2nd Edition. Verbal Behavior Institute.
40 Hour RBT Online Training. Behavior Webinars.
RBT 2.0 Training. Behavior University.
RBT Training. The Cor Behavioral Group.
RBT Training: Online Certification Prep Course. The University of Kansas, Professional & Continuing Education.
Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) Online. University of North Florida, Division of Continuing Education.
Become a Registered Behavior Technician. The University of Oklahoma, Extended Campus.
Online vs. Traditional Education: What You Need to Know. Rasmussen College.
Classroom vs. Online Education: Which One Is Better for You? Purdue University.