counselors help individuals deal with personal, social, and professional
problems associated with disabilities. They assist people with
disabilities resulting from accidents, birth defects, illness or diseases,
work-related injuries, and the stresses of daily life. They help these
people become more self-sufficient by helping them with societal and
personal problems, career planning, and by arranging medical care.
Rehabilitation counselors evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each
patient and design a program that fits with the individual’s abilities.
They interview friends and families, evaluate school and medical records,
and consult other medical professionals in an effort to determine more
precisely what course of action needs to be taken. These counselors try to
build bridges between the often isolated world of people with disabilities
and the community that surrounds them. The most important way they do this
is by evaluating an individual’s potential for independent living and
employment. Once they have conferred with psychologists and other medical
professionals about a patient’s capabilities, rehabilitation counselors
work with individual employers to identify and modify possible job
responsibilities. There main objective is to allow an individual with a
disability to live as independently as possible. Anyone interested in
rehabilitation counseling should be emotionally stable, sensitive to
people’s feelings, and have excellent communication skills.
Rehabilitation counselors are often employed
in state rehabilitation agencies or community rehabilitation programs.
Other areas of possible employment exist in schools and universities,
independent living centers, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers,
halfway houses, correctional facilities, and residential care facilities.
High School Preparation:
interested in a career in rehabilitation counseling should take high
school courses in biology, geometry, algebra, English, health
occupations/medical professions education, literature, psychology,
sociology, computer skills, social studies, and speech.
Although there are no formal prerequisites,
individuals interested in rehabilitation counseling should first obtain a
bachelor’s degree in rehabilitation services, psychology, sociology, or
other human services-related field. Rehabilitation counselor programs are
usually 2-4 years in length, and combine academic work as well as
field-based clinical experience. The Commission on Rehabilitation
Counselor Certification (CRCC) offers voluntary national certification,
which is obtained through passing a national examination and completing
the required clinical experience.
Students interested in becoming a
rehabilitation counselor should contact schools for information on
admission and course of study.
For educational institutions in
offering this course of study
opportunities for rehabilitation counselors are expected to be excellent
well into the future. The demand for rehabilitation counselors will
continue to rise because there are nearly 45 million people in this
country with physical, mental, and psychological disorders that prevent
them from obtaining or maintaining a job. There are currently not enough
students graduating from rehabilitation counseling programs to meet the
demand for these professionals. Another rise in employment will result
from employers who are increasingly offering rehabilitation services to
employees who are injured on the job. Employment will also increase as
many counselors retire or leave the profession for other reasons.
$22,800 - $48,000
Rehabilitation Counseling Association
PO Box 4480
Phone: (703) 361-2077
Fax: (703) 361-2489
Rehabilitation Counseling Association
5999 Stevenson Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22304
Phone: (800) 347-6647
Rehabilitation Counselor Certification
Road, Suite E