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Career Profile: Rehabilitation Counselors

Counsel individuals to maximize the independence and employability of persons coping with personal, social, and vocational difficulties that result from birth defects, illness, disease, accidents, aging, or the stress of daily life. Coordinate activities for residents of care and treatment facilities. Assess client needs and design and implement rehabilitation programs that may include personal and vocational counseling, training, and job placement.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 104,500 people employed as rehabilitation counselors in the United States. The median annual salary is $37,500. Entry level employees earn approximately $25,660 per year and senior employees earn approximately $66,180 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Participate in job development and placement programs, contacting prospective employers, placing clients in jobs, and evaluating the success of placements.
  • Analyze information from interviews, educational and medical records, consultation with other professionals, and diagnostic evaluations to assess clients' abilities, needs, and eligibility for services.
  • Collaborate with clients' families to implement rehabilitation plans, such as behavioral, residential, social, or employment goals.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with community referral sources, such as schools or community groups.
  • Maintain close contact with clients during job training and placements to resolve problems and evaluate placement adequacy.
  • Arrange for on-site job coaching or assistive devices, such as specially equipped wheelchairs, to help clients adapt to work or school environments.
  • Arrange for physical, mental, academic, vocational, and other evaluations to obtain information for assessing clients' needs and developing rehabilitation plans.
  • Prepare and maintain records and case files, including documentation, such as clients' personal and eligibility information, services provided, narratives of client contacts, or relevant correspondence.
  • Confer with clients to discuss their options and goals so that rehabilitation programs and plans for accessing needed services can be developed.
  • Develop rehabilitation plans that fit clients' aptitudes, education levels, physical abilities, and career goals.
  • Locate barriers to client employment, such as inaccessible work sites, inflexible schedules, or transportation problems, and work with clients to develop strategies for overcoming these barriers.
  • Monitor and record clients' progress to ensure that goals and objectives are met.
  • Confer with physicians, psychologists, occupational therapists, and other professionals to develop and implement client rehabilitation programs.
  • Collaborate with community agencies to establish facilities and programs for persons with disabilities.
  • Manage budgets and direct case service allocations, authorizing expenditures and payments.
  • Supervise rehabilitation counselors and staff.
  • Develop diagnostic procedures to determine clients' needs.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
104,500
Annual Openings:
11,200
Increase in Openings by 2030:
10%
Annual Salary Range:
$25,660 - $66,180
Education Requirements:
Master's degree or higher