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5 Characteristics of a Successful Registered Behavioral Technician

Top Traits You Will Need in ABA

  • Compassion/Empathy
  • Patience and Ability to Listen
  • Adaptability
  • Calm Under Pressure
  • Dedication and Perseverance

If you are considering a career as a registered behavioral technician working with clients on the autism spectrum or with other developmental or behavioral problems, it is important to understand some of the characteristics that make someone a success in the field of behavioral technology. Registered behavioral technicians are trained to understand and implement the treatment programs designed by their supervising Board Certified Behavior Analyst, as well as observing clients and collecting data from those programs, and keeping a professional relationship with the clients and communities being served. A registered behavior technician can be anyone, such as a parent or other caretaker, a teacher, or other specialists who have completed the 40-hour training course and passed the competency exam.

See Also: What is it like to work in an autism clinic?

This challenging and rewarding field requires a special type of dedicated person. 5 characteristics of a successful registered behavioral technician include:


Working with people on the autism spectrum requires the ability to remain neutral in the face of what can be emotionally charged circumstances. However, it is also important to be able to balance that neutrality with care for the individuals involved in the behavioral therapy being applied. Without the ability to understand the challenges and frustrations the clients face, it is difficult to teach and guide their progress in a warm, compassionate, as well as professional, manner. The human touch can make all the difference in whether a client improves their quality of life.

Patience and Ability to Listen

A registered behavior technician must be able to maintain a two-way relationship with their clients. That means being able to listen and observe patiently to understand the client’s needs and their response to different parts of the therapy. A successful behavior technician must be able to allow the client and their family to move at their own pace and be able to adjust the therapy accordingly based on what they observe and record. It requires the ability to fully involve oneself in the activity at hand, as well as be highly detail-oriented and watchful in order to notice subtle nuances in the situation.


No matter how carefully and professionally designed a treatment program might be, human beings are always unpredictable. The most detailed plans can go to waste in a moment with no warning whatsoever. A skilled registered behavioral technician must be able to recognize changes in the client’s behavioral response quickly and have the ability to adjust accordingly. A successful technician must be able to adapt to different environments, client behaviors, and other dynamics in order to best serve client needs.

Calm Under Pressure

Applied Behavioral Technology may be a science, but it is, as its name states, applied to human beings. Client behavior can be challenging, as can family relationships, the therapeutic environment, and many other factors. Caregivers may be upset, angry, or frustrated. Clients may throw tantrums or otherwise act out, and a registered behavioral technologist must be able to remain calm and objective under even the most trying circumstances. One of the most important qualities someone seeking a career in this are must pose is the ability to remain calm and observant under whatever stressful situation they face.

Dedication and Perseverance

In order to be successful and satisfied in a long-term career as a registered behavioral technician, a prospective student must have a curiosity about and deep dedication toward the populations they serve. To thrive in what can be a stressful, challenging environment, being eager and willing to invest the time and effort required to make clients’ lives better is the best impetus. Caring about the work you do and the people you do it with make the challenging times more than worthwhile. Being devoted to improving the lives of clients and their families is the greatest reward of all for those who are well-suited for this career.

The field of behavioral analysis and applied technology is growing quickly and registered behavioral technicians are one of the top professionals who report to Forbes that they feel as though their job makes the world a better place. If you possess the 5 characteristics of successful registered behavioral technicians, this may be one of the best career choices for you.

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