Rehabilitation counseling helps disabled people lead productive lives.

Scope of Work for Rehabilitation Counselors

career in rehabilitation counselingPeople with disabilities face challenges that require creative solutions. Whether a person has a physical, mental or emotional disability, rehabilitative counseling helps them achieve personal and professional goals, and lead their lives more freely.

Rehabilitation counselors work in a variety of state departments and community programs. They are also employed in the private sector in for-profit and nonprofit organizations, such as schools, colleges, residential care facilities and drug rehabilitation facilities.

As a rehabilitation counselor, you will likely work with:

  • Disabled people, either individually or in groups
  • Employers, educating them about the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Placement agencies who refer disabled people to employers

As a vocational rehabilitation counselor, you’ll likely work with:

  • Disabled people, assisting them in finding gainful employment
  • On an individual level, you will counsel people through specific job training and be available for post-employment counseling
  • Employment agencies and employers to ensure proper working conditions

Rehabilitation Counseling Degree

Although you can begin a rehabilitation counseling career with a bachelor’s degree in human services, most professional rehabilitation counselors hold master’s degrees. You can earn an MA in counseling and after your first year of post-graduate employment, become a certified and/or licensed rehabilitation counselor. Check state counseling license requirements.

Rehabilitation Counseling Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2014-15 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median national annual salary for rehabilitation counselors is $38,880. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors.

Because of effective equal rights legislation for disabled people, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2014-15 Occupational Outlook Handbook predicts a 20 percent growth in the field, which is faster than average. National long-term projections of employment growth may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.