Rehabilitation Counselor

Last Updated:
April 27, 2023

Job Description Overview

A Rehabilitation Counselor job description involves working in the healthcare industry and helping patients with disabilities, injuries, or illnesses to enhance their mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Rehabilitation Counselors collaborate closely with healthcare professionals to create personalized therapy plans to help patients regain their independence and improve their quality of life.

Rehabilitation Counselors must have a deep understanding of medical terminology, therapeutic techniques, and counseling theories. They must be empathetic listeners and exercise patience, as it takes time for patients to recover. In this role, you may work in various healthcare settings, such as hospitals, long-term care facilities, or private clinics, to help patients regain their mobility, strength, and confidence to lead fulfilling lives.

To become a Rehabilitation Counselor, you will need a degree in Rehabilitation or Counseling, as well as certification from an accredited commission. If you're passionate about helping others and enjoy working in a caring environment, then pursuing a career as a Rehabilitation Counselor may be right for you.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Help people with disabilities live independently
  • Provide resources and information about employment, education, and housing
  • Create individualized plans to meet clients' goals
  • Work with healthcare professionals to coordinate care
  • Advocate for clients' rights and access to services
  • Provide emotional support and counseling
  • Monitor progress and adjust plans as needed
  • Help clients develop skills and strategies for daily living
  • Stay up-to-date on new technologies and resources to assist clients.

Experience and Education Requirements

To become a Rehabilitation Counselor in the Healthcare industry, you need a combination of education and experience. For starters, you'll need at least a bachelor's degree in fields such as counseling, rehabilitation, psychology, or social work. Some employers may require a master's degree as well. You should also have experience working with individuals with disabilities or medical conditions. This may include internships or volunteer work. Good communication skills, empathy, and a desire to help people are important traits. Some employers may also require certification or licensure for specific skills or regions. With the right education and experience, you can pursue a career as a Rehabilitation Counselor and help those in need.

Salary Range

Rehabilitation Counselors in the healthcare industry can expect a salary range of $35,000 to $65,000 annually in the United States, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median annual wage of rehabilitation counselors in the United States was $35,630 in May 2019. Some factors that may impact salary include education level, years of experience, location, and industry.

In Canada, the average salary for a Rehabilitation Counselor is C$50,565 per year, according to In Australia, Rehabilitation Counselors can expect an average salary of AU$66,000 per year, according to Job Outlook.

It’s important to note that these figures are just averages and may vary widely based on a variety of factors. If you’re considering a career as a Rehabilitation Counselor, it’s important to research the salary range in your specific area and industry.


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  • Job Outlook (

Career Outlook

The career outlook for Rehabilitation Counselors in the Healthcare industry is expected to grow over the next 5 years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of Rehabilitation Counselors is expected to increase by 10% from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations. This is due to the increasing demand for specialized counseling services to those with disabilities, substance abuse, and mental health issues. 

Moreover, the Aging baby boomers will require more Rehabilitation Counselors to help them with age-related disabilities and illnesses. Rehabilitation Counselors will work with clients to create treatment plans, provide counseling, and offer support to help clients achieve their goals.

Overall, there is a bright future for Rehabilitation Counselors as the demand for their services is expected to grow over the next 5 years. With a projected growth rate that is faster than the average for all occupations, it is an ideal time to pursue a career in Rehabilitation Counseling.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What does a Rehabilitation Counselor in the healthcare industry do?

A: Rehabilitation Counselors help people with disabilities or injuries to live as independently as possible by providing counseling, coordination of services, and vocational training. 

Q: What type of education and training is required to become a Rehabilitation Counselor?

A: A master's degree in rehabilitation counseling or a related field is usually required, and licensing or certification is often necessary. Some states require additional coursework or supervised clinical experience.

Q: What are the typical job duties of a Rehabilitation Counselor?

A: Rehabilitation Counselors conduct assessments, create treatment plans, provide individual and group counseling, collaborate with healthcare teams, advocate for clients, and help clients find employment or other meaningful activities.

Q: What are the work environments for Rehabilitation Counselors like?

A: Rehabilitation Counselors typically work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, government agencies, or private practice. They may also travel to clients' homes, schools, or job sites as needed.

Q: What are some challenges faced by Rehabilitation Counselors in their work?

A: Rehabilitation Counselors face challenges such as communicating with clients who have communication or cognitive impairments, managing their own emotions when working with clients who have experienced trauma, and navigating insurance and funding systems for client services.

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