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Careers in Rehabilitation Counseling
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’ current Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median national annual salary for rehabilitation counselors is $35,630. 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 10% growth in the field, which is faster than the national 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.