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Rehabilitation Counselor

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All About Rehabilitation Counselors

Career 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.

List of Rehabilitation Counselor Job Duties

  • Arrange for physical, mental, academic, vocational, and other evaluations to obtain information for assessing clients’ needs and developing rehabilitation plans.
  • Prepare and maintain records and case files, including documentation such as clients’ personal and eligibility information, services provided, narratives of client contacts, or relevant correspondence.
  • Collaborate with clients’ families to implement rehabilitation plans, such as behavioral, residential, social, or employment goals.
  • Develop rehabilitation plans that fit clients’ aptitudes, education levels, physical abilities, and career goals.
  • Develop diagnostic procedures to determine clients’ needs.
  • Confer with physicians, psychologists, occupational therapists, and other professionals to develop and implement client rehabilitation programs.

What Every Rehabilitation Counselor Should Know

These are the skills Rehabilitation Counselors say are the most useful in their careers:

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.

Other Rehabilitation Counselor Job Titles

  • Vocational Services Specialist
  • Rehabilitation Counselor for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • Counselor
  • Disability Counselor
  • Program Specialist

Job Demand for Rehabilitation Counselors

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. The BLS estimates 14,500 yearly job openings in this field.

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.

Do Rehabilitation Counselors Make A Lot Of Money?

The average yearly salary of a Rehabilitation Counselor ranges between $22,990 and $63,820.

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 each U.S. state?

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

What Tools & Technology do Rehabilitation Counselors Use?

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

Individuals working as a Rehabilitation Counselor have obtained the following education levels:

Rehabilitation Counselor Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become a Rehabilitation Counselor?

Rehabilitation Counselor Work Experience

Who Employs Rehabilitation Counselors?

Rehabilitation Counselor Sectors

Rehabilitation Counselors work in the following industries:

Rehabilitation Counselor Industries

Similar Careers

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

Are you already one of the many Rehabilitation Counselor in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:


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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