How Do I Get A Behavioral Health Technician (BHT) Certification In Arizona

Are you interested in a career working with those with special needs? 

Are you one of those with a selfless drive to make a positive impact on the lives of others?

Then, a career as a Behavioral Health Technician may be the perfect call. 

In Arizona, there are a few Treatment Centers that provide a Behavioral Health Technician Certification Programs.

There are a series of trainings you can go through which are done by volunteers and are taught by counselors whose aim is to teach you about things.

One way to get started down that path is to become a Registered Behavioral Health Technician (RBHT).

How Do I Get A Behavioral Health Technician (BHT) Certification in Arizona

A Certified behavioral health technician is a psychiatric technician who assists a psychiatrist specializing in treating patients with behavioral disorders. 

These include alcohol addiction, drug abuse, eating disorders, gambling addiction and obsessive-compulsive disorder, among others. 

Behavioral Health Technicians support the work of psychiatrists by monitoring patients and recording their physical and emotional symptoms. 

When working in residential living facilities, they may also assist with daily activities and administer prescription medications.

Behavioral Health Technician Job Description

As great as this career in the medical field sounds, you might eager to know what really a behavioral Health Technician does.

So let’s look into the job descriptions of a Behavioral Health Technicians as follows:

As a behavioral Health Technician or a Behavioral Health Specialist, it is their responsibility to oversee the overall maintenance of the therapeutic environment in the psychiatric unit and to ensure the safety of patients and staff.

They assist with the treatment of patients who have various behavioral problems, such as substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, mental instability, and physical and emotional abuse. 

These professionals often work in hospitals, shelters, and mental health facilities.

They report directly to registered nurses or other supervisors which are strictly under moderate supervision.

Behavioral Health Technician Job Responsibilities in Arizona

Below are the major responsibilities of a Behavioral Health Technician in Arizona:

  • A behavioral health technician is expected to understand and implement individual treatment plans, record patient behavior, and provide a safe, supportive environment for the patients. 
  • Technicians may provide and record patient medications and assist in daily activities, whether therapeutic or recreational. 
  • They also record information about patients including vital signs, weight, and demeanor.
  • Attends and participates in group therapy, in-service education, and staff meetings.

Their job also includes mediating or restricting any violent behavior. 

Some of the most important skills required for this field include interpersonal and observational skills, along with physical stamina.

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Training And Educational Requirements

Education

Educational requirements for behavioral health technicians typically involve a post-secondary certificate, though associate’s degrees of psychology or its equivalent.

Degree programs undertaken by those in this field generally involve psychiatry or mental health technology, exploring topics such as biology, counseling, and psychology. 

Students can also often find internships while at university to help gain experience. 

Many commonly have prior experience in the nursing field, such as a nursing assistant or licensed practical nurse.

All degree ranges will receive extensive on-the-job training. 

This could include workshops, lectures, and working with patients while under the close supervision of an experienced professional in the field.

Certifications

Certification is voluntary but preferred by some employers.

Nevertheless, the most prominent organization offering certification in this field is the American Association of Psychiatric Technicians. 

There are four levels of certification that can be obtained based on education and experience, and all levels require the successful completion of an exam and/or an essay test. 

Level 1 

A level 1 certification entails completion of only a high school-level education.

Level 2 

While a level 2 certification requires completion of 30 semester credit hours and one year of professional experience.

There are a number of educational routes that one can take to become a behavioral health technician, though most of these professionals hold a certificate or an associate’s degree.

Those interested in this career field may also need to secure certification, depending on the employer and state where they work.

How Do I Get A Behavioral Health Technician (BHT) Certification In Arizona

With a Behavioral Health Technician certification, you will be taking a huge step forward in your career in the behavioral health industry. 

Below are the necessary steps that you need to follow in order to get a Behavioral Health Technician Certification in Arizona.

Step 1

  • Establishing Your Eligibility

Start the processing when you are 18 or older. 

You cannot begin training when you are still a teenager. 

You must be at least 18 before you start the training or application process.

Step 2

  • Graduate With A High School Diploma Or An Equivalent Diploma

A college education is not necessary for this certification. 

You only need a high school diploma or an equivalent diploma, such as a GED. 

You must provide a copy of your diploma or certificate when you apply for certification.

High school psychology courses may help you prepare for the work you may do as an RBT.

Step 3

  • Pass A Criminal Background Check

Within 180 days of your application, the board will perform a background check on you. 

Your application may be rejected if you have certain felonies or misdemeanors.

It is up to the board to determine if a criminal conviction will disqualify you or not. 

Generally, the board will not certify anyone with a felony within the last 3 years.

Step 4

  • Undergoing Training By Signing Up For A 40-Hour Training Course. 

Most courses are online. 

This course will teach you how to pass both the assessment and the exam for RBT certification. 

You must complete your training within 180 days of starting it.

You can find online courses through many universities, community colleges, technology institutes, and other online education platforms.

You may find in-person training at some universities, community colleges, or from a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst

Step 5

  • Study The BACB Task List. 

Your training will teach you how to go through the BACB task list, which is a list of steps and practices that you must use when working with clients. 

You will be tested on this task list during your assessment and exam.

Step 6

  • Take A 3-hour Ethics Course. 

As part of your 40-hour training, you will need to attend an ethics course. 

This course will guide you through the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code of the BACB. 

You will have to answer questions about the code during the exam

Step 7

  • Find A Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) To Do Your Assessment.

 In some cases, your instructors can act as your assessor or refer you to a BCBA who will oversee your assessment. 

In other situations, you may have to find and contact your own assessor.

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Step 8

  • Complete The Assessment After You Have Completed The Course. 

Your assessor will give you a series of tasks to do with a live patient. 

They will evaluate how well you can perform the task list while working with the patient.

Step 9

  • Applying For Certification By Creating An Account Through The BACB’s Online Portal.

You will need to provide your email and create a password to set up an account

Step 10

  • Scan And Upload Your Certificate With Your Assessment Results. 

You need 3 documents to prove that you are eligible for certification: 

  • Your certificate of completion of training,
  • Your completed assessment form, and
  • Your high school diploma or equivalent.

Step 11

  • Name Your Responsible Certificant. 

Your responsible certificant is usually your instructor or the person who did your assessment. 

Enter their name and information on the application. 

They will fill out a form to confirm that you passed the course and assessment.

As you progress in your career, your responsible certificant may change. 

Your responsible certificant will be the BCBA who is supervising you as you work.

How Much Does A Behavioral Health Technician Make In Arizona? 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), behavioral health technicians, also called psychiatric technicians, median annual salary in Arizona is $36,200 as of October 27, 2022, but the range typically falls between $32,500 and $41,000. 

Salary ranges can vary widely depending on the city and many other important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession.

The job growth for these technicians is expected to be much faster than average, with a projected increase of 13% from 2019 to 2029.

FAQs

1. What Happens After I Complete The 40 hour RBT course?

The next step is to identify a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) who would be willing to do an initial Competency Assessment. 

There is a cost for this assessment.

2. How Can Becoming A Registered Behavioral Technician help my career?

The RBT training covers a variety of topics that are necessary for an individual to pursue a career as a Behavior Technician, working directly with individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders or other developmental disabilities. 

An RBT does not work independently but practices under the close, ongoing supervision of a BCBA, BCaBA, or FL-CBA. 

3. How Many Of The 40 Hours Are Live Instruction?

None of these hours are live instruction. All 40 hours of this training are conducted online. 

Additional live training must be provided by your supervising BCBA during the Competency Assessment.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a rewarding role that helps others overcome deep struggles and achieve great strides in their mental, emotional, and behavioral skills.

Then a career as an behavioral health technician would be the perfect fit. 

Though many paths within the field of applied behavior analysis may call to you even more perhaps even earning your full-fledged Behavioral Health Technician certification.

By exploring the many behavioral analysis careers open to you, you can turn your spark of passion into a meaningful, lifelong endeavor.

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