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Career Spotlight: Advancing Your Career as a CBHT

The Certified Behavioral Health Technician or CBHT designation is more than a certification to make a few extra dollars in the treatment industry. Rather, it is a tangible manifestation of a person’s willingness and desire to improve themselves and to offer better care.

What Do Behavioral Health Techs Do?

Despite being considered an entry-level job in the addiction field, CBHTs play a vital role in the proper functioning of the treatment center. Not only are they responsible for getting clients to and from their scheduled appointments efficiently and safely, but they interact with clients on a regular basis. This means that the CBHT can have a profound effect on a client’s recovery. Proper treatment does not just revolve around the one-on-one therapeutic process. There are experiences that also make a big difference in helping the addict communicate more effectively and making them feel safer and more comfortable in both the process and the facility. Conversely, poor experiences with the behavioral health tech team can set the therapeutic process back.

Moving Forward as a CBHT

Many behavioral techs love their jobs and want to grow within the industry. However, even a senior behavioral tech has a salary ceiling and there are limited positions available for tech supervisors or senior leadership. However, ambitious behavioral techs can parlay their experience and knowledge into more advanced certifications. BHTs will have learned about addiction and addiction treatment during their certification course, but on the job experience is invaluable. This practical experience can be, in turn, applied to the clinical side of addiction treatment and many BHTs opt to take the next step as a Certified Recovery Support Specialist, working with the clinical staff to support them and the addict throughout the therapeutic process. Many even step up to a counselor level certification such as the Certified Addiction Counselor or CAC. During this time, jobs may also open up in administration and BHT’s may find themselves drawn to an admissions position or even utilization review.

Promoting CBHTs at the Facility

With the number of behavioral health technicians that facilities often need, it is easy to overlook their training and background in favor of getting a position filled. However, ensuring that only the very best behavioral techs are on the job can move the therapeutic process along more quickly and effectively and keep employees and clients happier and more engaged in treatment. Offering greater responsibility in the form of a step up to the clinical side allow facilities to promote from within, keep the very best talent at their organization and reduce both turnover and new employee training cost.

With both the BHT and the treatment facility aligned in understanding the value of moving forward and upward within the field of addiction, the possibilities are endless. As a BHT, speak to your human resources director about the possibility for career enhancement and how a certification may play a part in that.

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