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Rehabilitation Counselor: Education and Career Information

There are many individuals who need assistance in dealing with physical, psychological or emotional issues. These individuals may be living on their own or a rehabilitation center, but they need someone who can help them adjust to the issues that are going on in their lives. This is where a rehabilitation counselor comes in. They are there to provide the resources needed to keep the quality of life at a certain level. This could be a very lucrative career for someone who wants to help others in dealing with health problems and other situations that may occur as a result of being in rehab.

What does a rehabilitation counselor do?

The rehabilitation counselor wears a number of hats. They work with a variety of individuals, from children to the elderly. They assess issues and abilities, determining what needs the clients have. They are integral in providing resources, strategies and solutions. They work with agencies and other community support systems to coordinate services. They also work to find programs that will assist the core unit of the family, whether it is medical services, vocational programs, job support and education. They educate clients on how to function independently and have to maintain records and develop plans of care that include social, behavioral and emotional support. You can find them working in healthcare settings, residential facilities, private homes, correctional facilities, educational facilities and recreational facilities. You can also find them in private practices. Depending on what type of position they hold and the location of their employment, they may be available twenty-four hours a day.

How much does a rehabilitation counselor earn?

The pay for rehabilitation counselors vary based on where they work, education, experience and type of position they hold. The median annual wage in 2012 was $33,880, but they can make up to and over $100,000 per year. Working in surgical settings, the salary is usually in the $50,000 range. The projections for this position are expected to grow 20 percent through the year 2022, which is faster than the average in occupations, as the elderly population, and those with disabilities continuously need attention.

What types of skills must a rehabilitation counselor have?

There are a number of skills needed to be an effective rehabilitation counselor. There is a high attention to detail and a sincere level of compassion needed. Other skills include:

Active listening: Being able to actively listen is important in determining what the client needs and their concerns are. It’s important to be able to listen to the family’s concerns and point people within organizations you may have to work with.

Monitoring: Being able to closely monitor the status of projects, services, and the progress of clients. Being able to track paperwork and meet deadlines is key.

Critical Thinking: Being able to determine what types of services the clients need is important. You must be able to critically think about their personal situation and determine the best method of action.

Reading comprehension: Being able to read information from a number of agencies, medical records and client history is an important part of successfully carrying out your job.

Coordination: Coordinating the right services is key in making sure your clients have what they need, when they need it. Being able to work with a number of agencies and workers in the coordination process will elevate the standard of services you can provide.

Negotiation: Everything is a negotiation when working with agencies to get what you need. You will also need to negotiate with your clients in the types of services they need in comparison to the types of services they think they want. Being able to successfully negotiate these services while maintaining a level head and budget makes a significant difference in how well you succeed at your job.

Problem Solving: Being able to solve problems as you assess and coordinate services is very important.

Systems Evaluation: The current system of a particular agency may not work well for your client. Being able to thoroughly evaluate the systems that are currently in place to determine whether or not it will be a good fit for the client is crucial.

Customer Service: Since you will be dealing with so many different clients and entities, a high level of customer service is needed.

Administrative Skills: Being able to operate a computer, maintain records and a host of other administrative skills is necessary to successfully perform the duties of this job.

Internship Requirements

Each internship requirement is based on the program. Master’s and doctoral programs have internship components built into the program, which could be as little as 40 hours of supervised counseling, to over 400 hours. Students may seek outside internships that may enhance the educational training they receive.

Education Requirements

There is extensive education needed to become a rehabilitation counselor. First, a bachelor’s degree in counseling is required. Coursework includes psychology, therapy and counseling. Once this has been completed, a master’s degree in counseling is needed, which is an additional two years. During this time, the preferred area of interest is noted and courses in this specialty should be taken. After these two degrees have been obtained, a doctorate degree in counseling is needed. This will be an additional two years as well, which will be eight years total, not including residency or internships.

There is an option for rehabilitation counselors to become licensed as professional counselors through the National Counselor Examination. Certain states have their own rules for licensing, so getting the information for the state in which you reside is key. There are also voluntary certification programs through the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification, which must be renewed every five years.

The rehabilitation counselor is a growing field which can be lucrative for anyone who completes the educational requirements. If working with people and other social service agencies in coordinating services is something that interests you, this may be a career path worth pursuing.

Counseling Scholarships

American Psychological Foundation Scholarships Association of Black Psychologists Epilepsy Foundation
Elizabeth Munsterberg Koppitz Child Psychology Graduate Student Fellowship Future Counselors of America Scholarship Gallagher Koster Health Careers Scholarship
Kay Wilson Presidential Leadership Award NIH Undergraduate Scholarship NAJA Graduate Scholarship
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Psi Chi Awards and Grants Wayne F. Placek Grants

Post University

Experience an education that helps you realize your potential in a way that fits you best. Request more information about Post University today.

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  • Graduate Certificate in Alcohol & Drug Counseling
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Ashford University

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  • Associate of Arts - Early Childhood.
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Colorado Technical University Online

A degree from CTU connects you to what matters most: powerful professional network, real-world professional faculty and innovative technology. Once you earn your degree you hit the ground running.

Programs:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN completion)
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Full Sail University

Push Your Creativity To The Next Level

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  • Cloud Technologies Bachelors - Online
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South University Online

As a student at South University, Online Programs you will receive the same quality instruction, variety of learning options and level of service found at the campus locations.

Programs:

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Argosy University Online

Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges.

Programs:

  • Business Administration (BS)
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  • Liberal Arts (BA)
  • And more...

Purdue University Global

Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.

Programs:

  • BS in Business Administration
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Business Analytics

Wharton's three-month online program — Business Analytics: From Data to Insights — arms managers and leaders with the tools needed to break away from the pack.

Programs:

  • Value Investing Techniques
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  • MIT Entrepreneurship ONLINE BOOTCAMP
  • And more...

Villanova University

You can receive a top-notch education in a flexible environment. Learn more about the Villanova online learning experience and the difference that sets us apart by further exploring our online programs.

 

Rankings- Villanova University is consistently ranked among the best in the nation.

Programs:

  • Online Master of Laws in Taxation
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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:

  • International Business - D.B.A.
  • Leadership in Higher Education - EdS
  • MS Organizational Leadership - Nonprofit Management
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University of Arizona

Located in the breathtaking Sonoran desert of southern Arizona and within an international border region, The University of Arizona is consistently ranked as a top public research university, offering graduate degrees in more than one hundred fields and is widely recognized for its cutting-edge research and innovation.

Programs:

  • Master of Public Health Online

Duquesne University

Founded more than 130 years ago by the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, Duquesne has grown to become one of the nation's top Catholic universities.

Programs:

  • Online Doctor of Nursing Practice

Full Sail University - Online

Learning at Full Sail University has always centered around interaction and the exchange of ideas. Our online curriculum fully embraces this philosophy.

Programs:

  • Cloud Technologies Bachelors - Online
  • Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science (Online)
  • Entertainment Business, Master of Science (Online)
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Northeastern University - Online

Northeastern University’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business is pleased to offer a 100% online MBA.

Programs:

  • Online Master of Science in Taxation
  • Online MBA
  • Online Master of Science in Finance

Abilene Christian University

Abilene Christian University is a national leader in Christian higher education and a place where students, faculty, staff and alumni make a real difference in the world.

Programs:

  • Master of Science in Management - Marketing
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Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University

Hofstra University is a private institution whose primary mission is to provide a quality education to its students in an environment that encourages, nurtures and supports learning through the free and open exchange of ideas for the betterment of humankind.

Programs:

  • Online Master of Arts in Health Law and Policy
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Ultimate Medical Academy Online

Ultimate Medical Academy is a nonprofit healthcare career school—and students are at the heart of everything we do. That’s why we offer exclusive student services through your career training and beyond, beginning from the time you enroll online or at our campus in Clearwater, FL. We’ll also guide you toward the right program for your goals, and help you understand the affordability of your career training. So let us know you’re interested, and we’ll discuss how UMA can help you succeed.

 

Gainful employment information can be found at UltimateMedical.edu/gainful-employment and includes information on tuition, loan debt, completion, placement, and occupations.

Programs:

  • A.S. - Healthcare Information Technology
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Argosy University, Online Programs

Welcome to Argosy University

Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.

Programs:

  • Business Administration (BS)
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