Behavioral Therapy Educational Training in Arizona
Most people know that the field of behavioral therapy is a constantly growing and very lucrative one. This is especially true in the state of Arizona, where behavioral therapists are in high demand and where the field is expected to grow steadily up until 2018 and likely beyond that as well. As such, there is no better time than the present to enter into work as a behavioral therapist, but it’s important to note that this does take a high degree of educational training. Those who are willing to commit themselves to a strenuous educational path will find success in the field.
The first step to determining your educational path to becoming a behavioral therapist is to look at your current level of education. If you have only a high school diploma or its equivalent, then you’re going to have to start from scratch and work your way up. You can do this by choosing to first obtain an associate’s or two year degree and then transferring your credits to an accredited bachelor’s degree program or by completing your bachelor’s degree in one fell swoop. Either way, you will not be even close to done with school once you have your bachelor’s degree in hand.
After a bachelor’s degree is obtained, it’s time to go out and get a master’s degree in a related area. Master’s degree programs typically take about two years to complete and are generally the lowest level of education a person can have to become a behavioral therapist. Those with bachelor’s degrees are capable of assisting other therapists but not of working as therapists themselves. If you already have a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field, be aware that you don’t necessarily have to start over. There are many master’s degree programs out there that are willing and happy to accept students with diverse educational backgrounds.
While it is possible to find work as a behavioral therapist with only a master’s degree in the state of Arizona, those who want to ensure success and a higher salary will want to go for a PhD. Doctoral level programs can be completed in around five years, sometimes less, and pave the way to a long and fruitful career. Just as those who have unrelated bachelor’s degrees don’t have to start back at the beginning, there are programs that will accept those with unrelated master’s degrees. It just takes a bit more work to find the right one when this is the case.
Depending upon the exact area and capacity in which you wish to work, you may also be required to obtain official certification. This will require a set number of internship/experiential learning hours and the passing of an examination. Again, check the requirements for the exact job description you wish to have, as this will vary from person to person. No matter what you choose to do however, you’ll want to complete some type of internship in order to gain experience and connections in the field.