Rehabilitation counseling helps disabled people lead productive lives.
Scope of Work for Rehabilitation Counselors
People 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’ 2016-17 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median national annual salary for rehabilitation counselors is $34,380. 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 predicts a 9 percent growth in the field, which is slightly 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.