Job Search Tips

The BACB released exam results on the 21st of March. Did you take the big exam in February? How did you do?! Now that you’ve passed, your email inbox will likely be flooded with job opportunities and companies looking to hire wonderful, talented, newly minted BCBA’s such as yourself.

When I passed my exam, I was promoted in my company to a BCBA instantly. Someday, M and I will have to share our stories of what we were doing when we found out we passed. I’ll never forget it! A little over a year later, my professional goals had changed and it was time to find a new company that I could grow with. Ideally, you should be working somewhere you see yourself working for years and will be able to make your professional goals. Here’s a few tips for looking for the perfect fit for you.

Determine what type of a company you’re looking for.

Sit down and make a list of what type of a job you want. What setting are you looking for? In-home, clinic, school? Do you want to work with early intervention kiddos, teenagers, or adults? Maybe you want to work with a population other than kids with autism. Take a moment to really think about what it is that you want.

Do your research.

See if there are any companies that fit what you’re looking for. ABA International Job Board is a great resource for job postings. Another good resource is your states ABA organization. ORABA (Oregon Association for Behavior Analysts) has a job board on their website. Occasionally, a member will make an announcement their company is looking for someone. Once you’ve found a company, look them up on Glassdoor and Indeed for employee reviews. It’s important to also know your worth. I like to look at job postings to see what is a common range for BCBAs in an area. Usually if I type in BCBA or behavior analyst into a website for salary ranges, the salaries reported are skewed to include RBT or BCaBA salaries. Many companies are also offering sign-on bonuses, relocation assistance, and/or a bonus structure based upon billables. It can be easy to see these shiny perks and not look at the company objectively. Your job satisfaction is worth way more than the perks.

Practice interviewing with a fellow BCBA and brush up on some general ABA terminology you don’t have in your day-to-day clinical toolbox.

Before my last interview, I went over practice questions with a friend to get used to answering questions. He was tough and did a good job pretending to be an interviewer. My actual interview was way more laid back and comfortable, but I felt prepared! During the interview, I was required to provide an informal presentation as I would when leading a training. I called M to practice giving my presentation and to get feedback from her.

Aside from the normal questions you would ask in any job interview (i.e., time off, salary, benefits), M and I have a few things we each like to ask during interviews:

  • How many billables are expected and what is typical for this position?
  • Do you offer parent groups or social groups?
  • How is data collected? Is it an electronic system or on paper?
  • What does training look like for RBTs?
  • How many miles is typical for this position to be driving during a day?
  • What opportunities are available for professional development?

I hope this is helpful! What do you look for when searching for a new BCBA position? Are there any questions that you always be sure to ask?

  • K