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Rehabilitation Professions Major

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Rehabilitation Professions

9,279 Master's Degrees Annually
13,537 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#24 in Popularity (Master's)
$73,860 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Rehabilitation Professions Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many rehabilitation and therapeutic professions graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Doctor’s Degree 13,537
Master’s Degree 9,279
Graduate Certificate 308

What Rehabilitation Professions Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to rehabilitation and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Rehabilitation Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.

Skills for Rehabilitation Majors

A major in rehabilitation prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

  • 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.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Abilities for Rehabilitation Majors

A major in rehabilitation will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

What Can You Do With a Rehabilitation Professions Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with rehabilitation:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Art Therapists 6.8% $47,860
Biochemical Engineers 6.4% $96,980
Exercise Physiologists 13.2% $49,270
Health Specialties Professors 25.9% $97,370
Life Scientists 9.0% $78,190
Low Vision Therapists, Orientation and Mobility Specialists, and Vision Rehabilitation Therapists 23.8% $84,270
Music Therapists 6.8% $47,860
Occupational Therapists 23.8% $84,270
Orthotists and Prosthetists 21.8% $69,120
Physical Therapists 28.0% $87,930
Recreational Therapists 6.8% $47,860
Rehabilitation Counselors 12.7% $35,630
Therapists 19.9% $50,980

Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Professions?

9,279 Master's Degrees Annually
87% Percent Women
23% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
Rehabilitation and Therapeutic Professions runs middle of the road when it comes to popularity, ranking #24 out of all the graduate majors we track. In 2019, about 9,279 graduates completed their master’s degree in this field. This major is dominated by women with about 87% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of rehabilitation majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Rehabilitation Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 534
Black or African American 562
Hispanic or Latino 789
White 6,308
International Students 257
Other Races/Ethnicities 829

Geographic Diversity

Rehabilitation appeals to people across the globe. About 2.8% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • India
  • Canada
  • Saudi Arabia
  • China
  • South Korea

How Much Do Rehabilitation Professions Majors Make?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

According to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education, students who graduated with a master’s degree in rehabilitation have a median salary of $61,650 during the early years of their career. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $48,025 (25th percentile) and $65,850 (75th percentile).


We don’t know for sure if all of these people took jobs related to rehabilitation so take that into consideration.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $50,640 to $89,150 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to rehabilitation. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Rehabilitation Professions Major  ( 50640 to 89150 )
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )

Some careers associated with rehabilitation require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

Find out what the typical degree level is for rehabilitation careers below.

Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 1.1%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 3.5%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 1.3%
Some College Courses 1.0%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 2.9%
Bachelor’s Degree 36.4%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 7.7%
Master’s Degree 34.0%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 2.9%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 1.4%
Doctoral Degree 7.0%
Post-Doctoral Training 1.2%

Online Rehabilitation Professions Programs

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 567 schools offered some type of rehabilitation and therapeutic professions program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 28 2
Certificate (1-2 years) 17 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 3 0
Associate’s Degree 67 6
Bachelor’s Degree 60 16
Post-Baccalaureate 28 2
Master’s Degree 384 47
Post-Master’s 40 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 106 11
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 285 33
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 14 1

Is a Degree in Rehabilitation Professions Worth It?

The median salary for a rehabilitation grad is $73,860 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 85% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $679,200 after 20 years!


You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to rehabilitation.

Major Number of Grads
Nursing 305,309
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services 99,641
Practical Nursing & Nursing Assistants 93,192
Allied Health Professions 86,697
Health & Medical Administrative Services 82,868
Public Health 36,569
Mental & Social Health Services 27,743
Dental Support Services 26,183
Health Sciences & Services 25,948
Communication Sciences 21,606
Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences 19,767
Medicine 19,720
Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science 19,354
Health/Medical Prep Programs 11,279
Other Health Professions 8,168
Osteopathic Medicine 6,700
Dentistry 6,403
Dietetics & Clinical Nutrition Services 5,877
Alternative Medicine & Systems 3,576
Veterinary Medicine 3,297
Health Aids/Attendants/Orderlies 3,251
Chiropractic 2,608
Optometry 1,747
Advanced Dentistry & Oral Sciences 1,685
Medical Illustration & Informatics 1,624
Ophthalmic & Optometric Support Services 1,044
Medical Science 809
Veterinary Biomedical & Clinical Services 782
Bioethics/Medical Ethics 597
Podiatry 579
Movement & Mind-Body Therapies 444
Alternative Medical Support Services 191
Energy & Biologically Based Therapies 73


More about our data sources and methodologies.

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