Rehabilitation counselors help people with disabilities cope with personal, vocational and social problems that are associated with their disability. They assist individuals that have physical and emotional disabilities. Rehabilitation counselors make arrangements for medical care, job placement and vocational training. They prepare and implement individual rehabilitation programs for their clients. A rehabilitation counselor may coordinate the activities for individuals living in care and treatment facilities.
Some sample job titles are vocational rehabilitation counselor, human services care specialist, rehabilitation specialist, vocational services specialist, vocational counselor, employment instructional associate and work counselor.
- Interview clients and evaluate their situation, problems and capabilities to determine the appropriate services
- Refer clients to community resources
- Help clients cope with their problems
- Prepare reports and maintain case history records
- Observe and record their clients' progress to make sure that objectives are met
- Consult with clients and discuss their objectives and option in order to develop rehabilitation programs and plans for accessing appropriate services
- Prepare rehabilitation plans that fit clients' education level, aptitude, career objectives and physical abilities
- Develop and maintain relationships with community referral sources such as community groups and schools
They typically work 40 hours per week. A rehabilitation counselor should have a strong desire to help others. Good interpersonal and communication skills are important for the occupation.
Education, Certification, and Licensing
Some employers prefer candidates that have a bachelor's degree in rehabilitation services, psychology, counseling or related subjects. However, many employers require candidates to have a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling, counseling psychology or counseling and guidance.
The Council on Rehabilitation Education accredits graduate programs. A number of employers require rehabilitation counselors be certified. Standards have been set by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification.
Most states require rehabilitation counselors pass a written examination and work for a specific number of supervised hours in order to acquire the licensing necessary to work independently in the field. Some states require rehabilitation counselors obtain certification in addition to licensure. Certification is provided by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification.
- American Counseling Association
- The American Rehabilitation Counseling Association
- National Rehabilitation Counseling Association
The top employers are state government agencies, local government agencies and colleges.
Schools for Rehabilitation Counselors are listed in the Browse Schools Section.