Rehabilitation Counselors picture    Rehabilitation Counselors image

Rehabilitation Counselors

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

Job Characteristics

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.

Employment Outlook

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.


Major Employers

The top employers are state government agencies, local government agencies and colleges.

Schools for Rehabilitation Counselors are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for
Rehabilitation Counselors

Listed below are the 10 largest metro areas based on the total number of people employed in Rehabilitation Counselors jobs , as of 2016

Metro Area Total Employment Annual Mean Salary
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim 3,580 $35,770
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue 2,960 $45,020
Pittsburgh 2,000 $34,820
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward 1,590 $38,910
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario 1,360 $32,490
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn 1,360 $36,600
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson 1,270 $39,320
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood 960 $42,740
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington 960 $46,480
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford 920 $40,530

Compare Total Employment & Salaries for Rehabilitation Counselors

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Total employment and salary for professions similar to rehabilitation counselors

Most Popular Industries for
Rehabilitation Counselors

These industries represent at least 1% of the total number of people employed in this occupation.

Industry Total Employment Percent Annual Median Salary
Social Service 49,150 43% $28,820
Nursing And Residential Care 25,640 22% $26,550
Government 23,440 20% $43,430
Medical Office 6,310 5% $31,040
Hospital 2,930 2% $42,310
Business Management 1,320 1% $29,470
Non-profit 1,270 1% $30,280
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Results:  10
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We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Rehabilitation Counselors.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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