School aides and behavior technicians are both vital members of any school team who help support students and the smooth operation of a well-rounded educational facility. While the roles differ in their main duties and how they help students, they also share similarities that allow both roles to play an important part in helping students achieve educational goals.

In general, behavior technicians have a more specialized role than school aides, meaning they work with students who have more significant behavioral challenges, and they use more specialized interventions. In this blog, we are breaking down the differences between these two school jobs, and how Maxim Staffing can help professionals transition from a school aide to a behavior technician.

School Aides

School aides play an important role in supporting the learning and well-being of students. They provide much-needed assistance to teachers and help to create a positive learning environment for all students, including those who are experiencing behavioral challenges. Here is a breakdown of the duties of a school aide and their requirements for experience, training, and supervision:

Experience: The experience required for school aides can vary depending on an educational facility, but in general it is preferred they have related experience like working with children and assisting with child development.

Certification/Training: School aides are typically not required to have specific certification or training prior to working for a school.


  • Assist students in the classroom setting or in mild-to-moderate special education environments
  • Follow IEP and BIP objectives with support of teachers or board certified behavior analysts
  • Provide support with mild to moderate behavioral challenges
  • Assist with clerical duties like making stimuli, prep materials, or helping clean and organize
  • Support students during the full school day including at recess and lunch
  • Assist students during daily living and social skills activities
  • Implement basic reinforcement systems like token boards or class charts
  • Facilitate teacher directed learning activities
  • Collect anecdotal, tally, and duration data

Behavior Technicians

Behavior technicians are also tasked with supporting the well-being of students, but unlike school aides, they focus on helping those with more significant behavioral challenges succeed in school. They use applied behavior analysis (ABA) principles to help students learn new skills, manage their emotions, and develop positive behaviors. Below are the duties of a behavior technician and what experience, training, and supervision they require:

Experience: Much like school aides, the experience requirements for behavior technicians can vary depending for each educational facility, but it is generally preferred that they have two or more years of school, para-education, or ABA experience.

Certification/Training: The certification and training requirements differ for a behavior technician because of the duties they have to perform. In the case of Maxim Staffing’s behavior technicians, they are required to complete our Behavior Technician Orientation Training and Crisis Prevention Training.


  • Assist students in all educational settings including severe special education environments
  • Analyze IEP and BIP objectives and work with teachers or board certified behavior analysts to implement strategies and goals
  • Manage and de-escalate situations where students are faced with mild, moderate, or severe behavioral challenges
  • Assist with clerical duties like making stimuli or prep materials
  • Support students during the full school day including at recess and lunch
  • Facilitate daily living and social skills activities while also embedding functional learning throughout the day
  • Create and implement various types of reinforcement systems
  • Facilitate teacher directed learning activities and implement ABA teaching strategies
  • Collect ABC, frequency, duration task analysis, and time sampling data to analyze and adjust prevention and intervention strategies
  • Work with Picture Exchange Communication Systems (PECS) and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device systems
  • Assist higher acuity students that need medical support without performing medical tasks

How Maxim Staffing Can Help School Aides Transition to Behavior Technician Roles

While their roles share similarities, making the switch from a school aide to a behavior technician may seem daunting for some. That’s where Maxim Staffing can step in to help in markets where these professionals have the ability to make the transition. To become a behavior technician, school based professionals are required to complete Maxim’s Behavior Technician Orientation Training and Crisis Prevention Training which is conducted by a board certified behavior analyst. The trainings help ensure Maxim Staffing’s behavior technicians are prepared and capable of managing and deescalating students with more challenging behavior in severe Special Education environments such as with students on a Behavior Intervention Plan, in an Early Intervention program, requiring one on one support, or in a self-contained classroom.

Contact Maxim Staffing to learn more about how we can help school aides transition to behavior technician roles.