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Rehabilitation Professions Major

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Rehabilitation Professions

4,615 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
9,366 Master's Degrees Annually
#81 in Popularity
$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 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Doctor’s Degree 12,935
Master’s Degree 9,380
Bachelor’s Degree 4,621
Associate’s Degree 535
Graduate Certificate 279
Basic Certificate 225
Undergraduate Certificate 93

What Rehabilitation Professions Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, rehabilitation majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Rehabilitation Majors

Rehabilitation majors often go into careers in which the following 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

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to rehabilitation:

  • 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

As a rehabilitation major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

  • 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
Medical Appliance Technicians 13.3% $39,190
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 Bachelor’s Degree in Rehabilitation Professions?

4,621 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
84% Percent Women
29% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 4,615 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in rehabilitation and therapeutic professions in 2018, making it rank #81 in popularity. The major attracts more women than men. About 84% of the recent graduates in this field are 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 Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 157
Black or African American 485
Hispanic or Latino 576
White 3,113
International Students 47
Other Races/Ethnicities 243

Geographic Diversity

Rehabilitation appeals to people across the globe. About 1.0% 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?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in rehabilitation and therapeutic professions made a median starting salary of $29,950 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $27,800 (25th percentile) and $33,975 (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 you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

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

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to rehabilitation have obtained the following education levels.

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 2017-2018 academic year, 549 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 1
Certificate (1-2 years) 16 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 2 0
Associate’s Degree 67 5
Bachelor’s Degree 52 8
Post-Baccalaureate 28 1
Master’s Degree 398 40
Post-Master’s 37 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 101 10
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 267 31
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 18 2

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 293,633
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services 104,465
Practical Nursing & Nursing Assistants 90,916
Health & Medical Administrative Services 87,058
Allied Health Professions 86,125
Public Health 34,089
Dental Support Services 27,155
Mental & Social Health Services 26,783
Health Sciences & Services 24,436
Communication Sciences 21,520
Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences 19,962
Medicine 19,418
Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science 19,295
Somatic Bodywork & Therapeutic Services 15,451
Health/Medical Prep Programs 11,807
Other Health Professions 8,426
Dentistry 6,518
Osteopathic Medicine 6,392
Dietetics & Clinical Nutrition Services 6,056
Health Aids/Attendants/Orderlies 3,875
Alternative Medicine & Systems 3,481
Veterinary Medicine 3,175
Chiropractic 2,503
Advanced Dentistry & Oral Sciences 1,714
Optometry 1,674
Medical Illustration & Informatics 1,608
Ophthalmic & Optometric Support Services 1,089
Veterinary Biomedical & Clinical Services 804
Medical Science 738
Podiatry 543
Bioethics/Medical Ethics 535
Movement & Mind-Body Therapies 373
Alternative Medical Support Services 244
Energy & Biologically Based Therapies 73


More about our data sources and methodologies.

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