Schools in the USA
Back to Career Search     

Rehabilitation Counselor


Life is never easy for anyone. But add in a challenge like blindness, the inability to use your arms, or a brain injury, and life just got that much harder.

Many children, adolescents, and adults live with physical and mental challenges. Rehabilitation counselors assist these people to develop strategies to meet these challenges, enabling them to live independently. Rehabilitation counselors, working with members of a team which includes doctors, family members, and social service workers, assess, design, and implement programs and access services which help establish this sought-after independence. Through their work with government agencies, hospitals, group homes, school boards, and correctional facilities, these hardworking people can have a profoundly important impact on those in need. They help with housing, education, and employment issues, identifying programs and services which may be of use. Rehabilitation counselors may focus on one age group, or one specific challenge, such as working exclusively with children, or amputees.

Their work may be done one-on-one, with entire families, or in group sessions. A rehabilitation counselor may choose to use games, workshops, crafts sessions, or discussions to teach, inform, and advise their clients on life skills and emotional and physical coping techniques.

Rehabilitation counseling is not an easy job. Each facet, from working with people who have been blind since birth to assisting people who are newly paralyzed, brings its own challenges and rewards. A rehabilitation counselor must be emotionally stable, compassionate, and willing to fight for their clients. A successful counselor will be a dedicated employee who puts in long, hard hours on the job, and remembers to relax off duty.
View Schools for this Career: 
         Related Careers
arrow Addictions Counselor
arrow Bereavement Counselor
arrow Career Counselor
arrow [ view all related careers ]

Program Spotlight
Matching School Ad
Purdue University Global

Building on Purdue's mission to provide greater access to affordable, world-class education, Purdue University Globaldelivers a fully personalized online experience that's tailored to working adults.

Programs Offered:
  • MS in Psychology - Addictions
  • MS in Education - Educational Psychology
  • MS in Psychology
  • And more...



  Average Earnings  
Lowest 10% of Earners:
Median Salary:
Highest 10% of Earners:

  Interests and Skills  
Interested in a career in rehabilitation? Rehabilitation counselors should be mature, patient, sensitive and non-judgmental, as well as resourceful, emotionally stable, and flexible when it comes to hours, workplace, and client behavior. They need to have a genuine desire to help all people, and be willing to come up with creative, innovative solutions for each individual client. They need to be positive, enthusiastic , persistant and a motivating force for their clients. They should also have an interest in activism, and be articulate, as they will be speaking on behalf of marginalized people who need you to fight for their rights, freedoms, and respect.

  Typical Tasks  
  • Interview clients to learn background information
  • Actively encourage clients and their families to join programs and discussion groups
  • Assess and investigate eligibility for social benefits
  • Meet with clients regularly, giving support and discussing any difficulties or problems
  • Refer clients to other social services
  • Run various kinds of workshops and social service programs
  • Contact potential employers
  • Assist in evaluating the treatment programs by monitoring clients' behavioral changes
  • Communicate client information with other social service agencies
  • Maintain a safe emotional distance from clients
  • There is no typical day for a rehabilitation counselor. Depending on where they work, in a group home, or for a hospital or clinic, part of the day will be spent assessing clients, developing treatment plans, and writing reports about the client's progress. They will work in group sessions or independently with clients, trying to foster in the clients a positive self image and feelings of self-worth.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • A rehabilitation counselor's working conditions depend on where they work. If they work for a group home, they will work shifts, overnights, evenings, and weekends. If they work for clinics, they may only work during the day, with some evening hours being spent at meetings or seminars. They may have an office, or share one with other members of their team, which can include social workers, doctors, outreach workers, and life skills instructors. They will most likely be employed by governments, in hospitals or rehab centers and other social service initiatives.

  Long Term Career Potential  
Rehabilitation counselors may choose to go back to school, and become a licensed social worker, nurse, or physician. They can always become an employment counselor, a career counselor, or get into disability management or access support and equality with a design firm or municipal government. They may choose to teach workshops, or train to be a private counselor for families and individuals. It is also possible that a former rehabilitation counselor may become a full-time activist, fighting for the rights and freedoms of former clients.

  Educational Paths  
Unlike social workers, who usually require a bachelor's degree in social work from a university, rehabilitation counselors are generally only required to have obtained a college diploma in rehabilitation counseling. It may be beneficial to do some additional recreation training, as well as study psychology and first aid. Some rehabilitation counselors might consider working towards a bachelor's degree in social work or another field related to their interests, as with a bachelor's degree they can be eligible for certification.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

Featured Schools

Matching School Ads
Purdue University Global

Building on Purdue's mission to provide greater access to affordable, world-class education, Purdue University Globaldelivers a fully personalized online experience that's tailored to working adults.

Programs Offered:
  • MS in Psychology - Addictions
  • MS in Education - Educational Psychology
  • MS in Psychology
  • And more...

Wake Forest University
Study at Wake Forest University, a university dedicated to educating the whole person since 1834.
Programs Offered:
  • Master of Arts in Counseling - Clinical Mental Health
  • Master of Arts in Counseling - School Counseling

Reeves College
Launch your career in the areas of Healthcare, Business, and Hospitality at Reeves College.
Programs Offered:
  • Addictions and Community Services Worker

LeTourneau University - Online
Founded in 1946 by Mr. R.G. LeTourneau, LeTourneau University is private, nondenominational Christian university offering a wide array of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the College of Engineering, Business and Technology; the College of Aviation & Aeronautical Science; the College of College of Education, Arts and Sciences; and the College of Health Sciences & Professional Studies.
Programs Offered:
  • Master of Arts in Counseling with a Professional Counselor Specialization
  • Master of Arts in Counseling with a Marriage and Family Specialization
  • Master of Arts in Counseling with a Professional Counselor and Marriage and Family Specializations
  • And more...

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

The Chicago School is a not-for-profit, regionally accredited institution with more than 4285 students at campuses across the country and online.

Programs Offered:
  • M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling
  • Ed.S. School Psychology
  • Ph.D. Counselor Education and Supervision
  • And more...

Vancouver Career College
Get the skills you need to land the job you want at Vancouver Career College. We offer diploma programs in Business, Health Care, Technology and more.
Programs Offered:
  • Addictions and Community Services Worker

CDI College
Find an education partner totally committed to your success at CDI College.
Programs Offered:
  • Addictions Recovery Support for Youth and Families

Keiser University

Since 1977, Keiser University has provided quality student-centered, career-focused education. Keiser University Online offers degree programs online to prepare students for in-demand professions.

Programs Offered:
  • Master of Science in Psychology
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

Northcentral University
  • Northcentral University was founded in 1996 to provide working professionals around the world with unprecedented access to richly engaging, professionally relevant, and academically-rigorous education from a U.S. university.
Programs Offered:
  • DMFT - Mental Health Administration
  • MAMFT - LGBTQ Couple and Family Therapy
  • DMFT - Small Business Development and Entrepreneurship
  • And more...

Colorado Technical University Online

CTU Classes Are As Close As The Mobile App.
Take classes with the help of your smartphone, tablet or laptop. CTU’s online bachelor’s programs were ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News & World Report.

Programs Offered:
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology - Consumer Behavior
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology - Organizational Behavior
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology

Matching School Ads
  Universities and Colleges
Clarkson UniversityColorado School of MinesDalhousie University
Oral Roberts UniversityPenn State HarrisburgTemple University
The University of HoustonThompson Rivers UniversityUNB Saint John
University of AlabamaUniversity of ArkansasUniversity of British Columbia
University of IowaUniversity of New BrunswickUniversity of Ottawa
York University
Agriculture and Bio-resources | Allied Health and Health Sciences | Applied Business Technology | Architecture
Business Administration | Computer Science | Cosmetology and Esthetics | Culinary, Travel &Hospitality | Dance 
Engineering Technology & Applied Technology |Engineering | Film | Fine Arts and Design | Humanities and Liberal ArtsJustice and Security
| Natural and Applied Sciences | Naturopathic and Holistic MedicineNursingPublic Administration & PolicyReligious and Theological Studies
Sport Sciences and Physical Education | Teacher Education | Theatre
Articles | College News | Videos | Feedback | Career Search
Home | About Us | Contact Us | Faq | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Site Map | Cities Site Map

Copyright 2003- 2018 QuinStreet, Inc. All Rights Reserved.