How to Become a Rehabilitation Counselor

Rehabilitation Counselors are professionals that work in the health care field and specialize in helping their patients overcome the limitations that an illness, disorder or injury can create.

Through their guidance and counseling, Rehabilitation Counselors can help their patients live a more fulfilled life by enabling them to live independently and at ease with their illness, disorder or physical limitation.

Individuals who want to become a Rehabilitation Counselor may have already noticed some innate characteristics needed to succeed in this career path.

Some important characteristics to have in this profession include: compassion and empathy, patience, communication skills, interpersonal skills and listening skills.

Education Requirements to Become a Rehabilitation Counselor

Individuals who want to become a Rehabilitation Counselor will need an advanced degree as well as a certification or license in order to apply for several jobs.

In addition to these requirements, individuals must also possess some characteristics that will help them take care of patients.

Some important qualities include having compassion, patience, communication skills, interpersonal and listening skills.

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These skills can help in providing care to patients as well as working with other health care professionals.

Individuals who want to become a Rehabilitation Counselor may focus their undergraduate degree on a variety of programs.

However, to prepare for the Rehabilitation Counseling program at the Master’s level, individuals can use the gainful insight that a degree such as Psychology, Biology or a health care related field can provide.

Individuals who want to become a Rehabilitation Counselor can take a Master’s program in Rehabilitation Counseling or a closely related field to enter this profession.

During this program, individuals will gain an understanding in a variety of areas that will help them provide health care to patients.

Individuals will take a curriculum to gain insight on the medical and psychological traits of disability as well as learning a foundation of skills and techniques to provide mental health counseling.

Rehabilitation Counselor Job Description

Using their educational background and personal characteristics, Rehabilitation Counselors will work with patients with physical or mental limitations who are unable to live independently.

Rehabilitation Counselors may work with individuals or groups and may begin by evaluating a patient’s health record, abilities, education, skills and experience.

With the consultation of other health care professionals such as doctors, therapists or psychologists, a Rehabilitation Counselor will develop and implement a treatment and rehabilitation plan geared specifically to each client.

They will also work directly with a patient to discuss their limitations, if any, and help them develop a plan or strategy to determine their strengths and to readjust to their limitations, both physical and mental.

Rehabilitation Counselors will also provide individual or group counseling sessions to assist their patients in adjusting to their disability or physical or mental limitation.

These professionals will also coordinate other services such as health care or career services.

Rehabilitation Counselor Salary and Career Path

Individuals interested in a career as a Rehabilitation Counselor can expect a median annual wage of $33,880 working full time, according to figures from 2012.

Exact wages will depend on the industry an individual works in, as well as the level of experience one has.

For example, Rehabilitation Counselor’s working for state governments earn the highest wages at approximately $43,550 per year while professionals working in the social assistance field can expect the lowest wages for this profession at approximately $30,390.

The need for Rehabilitation Counselors is expected to increase by 20 percent through the year 2022.

This growth is considered a fast growth when compared to other professions and is caused by the increased demand for health care.

The aging population, veterans and those with disabilities are groups who need the expertise of a Rehabilitation Counselor.

With these groups expected to grow in the coming years, the demand for Rehabilitation Counselors is of great importance.

Rehabilitation Counselors use their educational knowledge and background to help individuals with diseases, injuries and disorders live as independent as possible.

In addition to the job security that the health profession provides, these professionals can also be assured that their skills are helping those who are not fully able to take or themselves.

Their work can help their patients feel empowered and capable of living independently.

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