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Rehabilitation Counselors

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What is a Rehabilitation Counselor?

Job Description & Duties 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.

Life As a Rehabilitation Counselor

  • Monitor and record clients’ progress to ensure that goals and objectives are met.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with community referral sources, such as schools or community groups.
  • Collaborate with community agencies to establish facilities and programs for persons with disabilities.
  • Participate in job development and placement programs, contacting prospective employers, placing clients in jobs, and evaluating the success of placements.
  • Maintain close contact with clients during job training and placements to resolve problems and evaluate placement adequacy.
  • Develop rehabilitation plans that fit clients’ aptitudes, education levels, physical abilities, and career goals.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Rehabilitation Counselor?

Below is a list of the skills most Rehabilitation Counselors say are important on the job.

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.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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

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

Types of Rehabilitation Counselor Jobs

  • Vocational Services Specialist
  • Employment Advisor
  • Work Counselor
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist
  • Program Coordinator

Job Outlook for Rehabilitation Counselors

In the United States, there were 119,300 jobs for Rehabilitation Counselors in 2016.

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 12.7% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 15,100 new jobs for Rehabilitation Counselors by 2026. There will be an estimated 14,500 positions for Rehabilitation Counselor per year.

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

The states with the most job growth for Rehabilitation Counselors are New York, California, and Texas.

Watch out if you plan on working in Minnesota, Wyoming, or Alaska. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Rehabilitation Counselor Salary

The salary for Rehabilitation Counselors ranges between about $22,990 and $63,820 a year. The median salary is $35,630.

Salary Ranges for Rehabilitation Counselors

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for jobs of this type in different U.S. states.

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

New Jersey

$65,350

Alaska

$60,900

Rhode Island

$57,430

Colorado

$52,620

Maine

$50,860

Washington

$49,940

District of Columbia

$49,400

North Dakota

$47,930

New Hampshire

$45,870

Massachusetts

$45,230

Texas

$44,910

Utah

$44,900

Louisiana

$44,650

Connecticut

$44,540

Oregon

$44,100

Vermont

$44,070

Virginia

$43,840

Hawaii

$43,340

Alabama

$43,080

Maryland

$42,060

South Dakota

$41,550

Idaho

$41,310

Nevada

$41,230

Minnesota

$41,100

Indiana

$40,930

Michigan

$40,810

Georgia

$40,560

Illinois

$40,260

Pennsylvania

$39,980

Ohio

$39,890

North Carolina

$39,500

New Mexico

$38,460

Nebraska

$38,290

Mississippi

$37,910

Florida

$37,790

California

$37,250

Kentucky

$37,200

Missouri

$37,190

Montana

$36,880

Wyoming

$36,870

Iowa

$36,310

New York

$36,040

Arkansas

$35,460

Delaware

$34,820

Arizona

$33,870

West Virginia

$33,150

South Carolina

$32,720

Kansas

$32,280

Wisconsin

$31,510

Oklahoma

$26,150

Tennessee

$26,080

What Tools & Technology do Rehabilitation Counselors Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Rehabilitation Counselors may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Excel

How do I Become a Rehabilitation Counselor?

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

Rehabilitation Counselor Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Rehabilitation Counselor Work Experience

Who Employs Rehabilitation Counselors?

Rehabilitation Counselor Sectors

You May Also Be Interested In…

Those thinking about becoming Rehabilitation Counselors might also be interested in the following careers:

  • Adult Basic and Secondary Education and Literacy Teachers and Instructors
  • Kindergarten Teachers, Except Special Education

Career changers with experience as a Rehabilitation Counselor sometimes find work in one of the following fields:

  • Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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