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Rehabilitation Counselor

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What is a Rehabilitation Counselor?

Job Description: Counsel individuals to maximize the independence and employability of persons coping with personal, social, and vocational difficulties that result from birth defects, illness, disease, accidents, or the stress of daily life. Coordinate activities for residents of care and treatment facilities. Assess client needs and design and implement rehabilitation programs that may include personal and vocational counseling, training, and job placement.

A Day in the Life of a Rehabilitation Counselor

  • Collaborate with clients’ families to implement rehabilitation plans, such as behavioral, residential, social, or employment goals.
  • Monitor and record clients’ progress to ensure that goals and objectives are met.
  • Confer with physicians, psychologists, occupational therapists, and other professionals to develop and implement client rehabilitation programs.
  • Manage budgets and direct case service allocations, authorizing expenditures and payments.
  • Collaborate with community agencies to establish facilities and programs for persons with disabilities.
  • Confer with clients to discuss their options and goals so that rehabilitation programs and plans for accessing needed services can be developed.

What Every Rehabilitation Counselor Should Know

Rehabilitation Counselors state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.

  • Career Specialist
  • Qualified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor
  • Rehabilitation Liaison (Rehab Liaison)
  • Vocational Evaluator
  • Coordinator of Rehabilitation Services

Rehabilitation Counselor Job Outlook

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 119,300 jobs in the United States for Rehabilitation Counselor. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 12.7% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 15,100 new jobs for Rehabilitation Counselor by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 14,500 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Rehabilitation Counselors in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Rehabilitation Counselor are Arizona, Virginia, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in Minnesota, Wyoming, or Maine. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does a Rehabilitation Counselor Make?

Rehabilitation Counselors make between $22,990 and $63,820 a year.

Salary Ranges for Rehabilitation Counselors

Rehabilitation Counselors who work in New Jersey, Rhode Island, or Alaska, make the highest salaries.

How much do Rehabilitation Counselors make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $43,080
Alaska $60,900
Arizona $33,870
Arkansas $35,460
California $37,250
Colorado $52,620
Connecticut $44,540
Delaware $34,820
District of Columbia $49,400
Florida $37,790
Georgia $40,560
Hawaii $43,340
Idaho $41,310
Illinois $40,260
Indiana $40,930
Iowa $36,310
Kansas $32,280
Kentucky $37,200
Louisiana $44,650
Maine $50,860
Maryland $42,060
Massachusetts $45,230
Michigan $40,810
Minnesota $41,100
Mississippi $37,910
Missouri $37,190
Montana $36,880
Nebraska $38,290
Nevada $41,230
New Hampshire $45,870
New Jersey $65,350
New Mexico $38,460
New York $36,040
North Carolina $39,500
North Dakota $47,930
Ohio $39,890
Oklahoma $26,150
Oregon $44,100
Pennsylvania $39,980
Rhode Island $57,430
South Carolina $32,720
South Dakota $41,550
Tennessee $26,080
Texas $44,910
Utah $44,900
Vermont $44,070
Virginia $43,840
Washington $49,940
West Virginia $33,150
Wisconsin $31,510
Wyoming $36,870

Tools & Technologies Used by Rehabilitation Counselors

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Rehabilitation Counselors:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Email software
  • Word processing software
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Scheduling software
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • Electronic medical record EMR software
  • Global positioning system GPS software
  • Encryption software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Reader
  • Netscape Navigator
  • Budgeting software
  • Voice recognition software
  • Test interpretation software
  • Chart Links

Becoming a Rehabilitation Counselor

What education or degrees do I need to become a Rehabilitation Counselor?

Rehabilitation Counselor Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become a Rehabilitation Counselor?

Rehabilitation Counselor Work Experience

Where Rehabilitation Counselors Are Employed

Rehabilitation Counselor Sectors

The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

Rehabilitation Counselor Industries

Similar Careers

Those interested in being a Rehabilitation Counselor may also be interested in:

Those who work as a Rehabilitation Counselor sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:

References:

Image Credit: Barbara E. Carver via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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