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​Behavior Specialist

Pennsylvania Licensure Requirements


Master's Degree


No Examination Requirement


1 Year of Experience


2 Hours of Continuing Education


75.00 Initial Fee


75.00 Renewal Fee

An individual who designs, implements or evaluates a behavior modification intervention component of a treatment plan, including those based on applied behavioral analysis, to produce socially significant improvements in human behavior or to prevent loss of attained skill or function, through skill acquisition and the reduction of problematic behavior.

Degree Requirement: 

Master's Degree
An applicant must hold a Master's or higher degree from a Board-approved, accredited college or university , including a major course of study in at least one of the following: (1) School, clinical, developmental or counseling psychology. (2) Special education. (3) Social work. (4) Speech therapy. (5) Occupational therapy. (6) Professional counseling. (7) Behavioral analysis.(8) Nursing. (9) Another related field.

Examination Requirement: 

No Examination Required
No examination requirement for licensure.

Experience: 

1 Year
An applicant for licensure as a behavior specialist shall have at least 1 year of experience involving functional behavior assessments of individuals under 21 years of age, including the development and implementation of behavioral supports or treatment plans. 1,000 hours of in-person clinical experience with individuals with behavioral challenges or at least 1,000 hours of experience in a related field with individuals with autism spectrum disorders.


Additionally, applicants must complete 90 hours of evidence-based coursework as listed: 
  • 3 hours of professional ethics 
  • 16 hours of assessment coursework or training 
  • 8 hours of crisis intervention 
  • 5 hours of family collaboration 
  • 18 hours of autism-specific coursework/training 
  • 16 hours of instructional strategies and best practices 
  • 8 hours of co-morbidity and medications 
  • 16 hours of addressing specific skill deficits training

Continuing Education: 

2 Hours   
2 hours of Board-approved continuing education in child abuse recognition and reporting requirements must be completed for renewal or reactivation of a license.

Initial Licensing Fee: 

$75.00

Licensure Renewal Fee: 

$75.00
Biennial renewal of license.

Licensure by Act 41:

Act 41 allows for portability of out-of-state professional licensees coming to work in Pennsylvania. Act 41 does this by granting all boards and commissions within the Commonwealth the authority to endorse licensees from other states, territories or jurisdictions (with substantially equivalent licensing requirements) who are active, in good standing and without discipline against their license or criminal conviction.