So you just became a BCBA
So you just got your results from the BACB and you.... PASSED!! It might feel like the last 5 years of your life have been leading up to this moment. Now that you've finally reached the goal that you set yourself long before graduate school and supervision, what do you do? You might have already decided to immediately apply for a new BCBA job or put in for a promotion at your current company. Those things are up to you. Here is what Coffee + Cooper recommends you do:
1. Celebrate!! You've been waiting an eternity for these results. You've studied your butt off, your hands are numb from writing SAFMEDS and your eyes are bleary from online modules. You dealt with a less-than-perfect supervisor and have more than one battle scar from direct service. Take a night or two and let go of it all to simply celebrate all that you've accomplished. You'll continue to have difficult supervisors, tough clients, and important readings to do ... but you don't have to start right away. Take a trip to the beach, go out for a night with your friends, get a massage, whatever you consider celebrating!
2. Tighten up your resume. Time to add your credentials to the top of your resume. Make sure everyone that so much as glances at your resume knows what you've accomplished. If you haven't updated your graduate school information, you'll want to do that as well.
3. Apply for licensure. This is going to vary from state to state, but you want to start gathering required documents and filling out the application. Some states may require additional supervision hours, but currently, most just require an application with a lot of documents. You'll probably need to re-submit your experience hours along with your graduate school transcript and letters of recommendations at a minimum. Many companies are starting to require licensure and so you'll want to knock this out as quickly as possible.
4. Become a member of ABAI. Association for Behavior Analysis International is an essential organization for you to join. You'll receive a subscription to The Behavior Analyst as well as a discount to their annual conference. You'll also receive a discount on personal liability insurance...
5. Sign up for personal liability insurance. Unless you're covered by your company's plan, you'll want to purchase insurance for yourself in the event of a lawsuit or investigation. While we never want these issues to arise, we want to be prepared for them. One popular personal liability insurance company is CPH.
6. Register for the ABAI Convention. Held annually, this is a wonderful place to network with other BCBAs, meet professors from your online classes (Yes, Jose Martinez Diaz will be there!) and attend workshops led by prominent members of the field. This will also be a great opportunity for you to accumulate those CEUs you'll need to maintain now that you're a BCBA. This year the convention is being held in Denver, CO from May 25-29.
7. Read up on OBM. Now that you're a BCBA, you're most likely going to be supervising others. You may surprised by how much your knowledge of ABA will help you provide effective supervision. In order to get a good handle on how to use your principles to manage supervisees, you should check out Organization Behavior Management research. Aubrey Daniels is a great place to start!