Rehabilitation Counselors

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About the Job

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, 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.

It is also Called

  • Work Counselor
  • Vocational Services Specialist
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Technician
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VCR)
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant
  • Vocational Placement Specialist
  • Vocational Evaluator
  • Vocational Case Manager
  • Veterans Rehabilitation Counselor
View All

What They Do

  • Collaborate with community agencies to establish facilities and programs for persons with disabilities.
  • Manage budgets and direct case service allocations, authorizing expenditures and payments.
  • Arrange for on-site job coaching or assistive devices, such as specially equipped wheelchairs, to help clients adapt to work or school environments.
  • Participate in job development and placement programs, contacting prospective employers, placing clients in jobs, and evaluating the success of placements.
  • Collaborate with clients' families to implement rehabilitation plans, such as behavioral, residential, social, or employment goals.
  • Develop diagnostic procedures to determine clients' needs.
  • 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.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with community referral sources, such as schools or community groups.
  • Analyze information from interviews, educational and medical records, consultation with other professionals, and diagnostic evaluations to assess clients' abilities, needs, and eligibility for services.
  • Arrange for physical, mental, academic, vocational, and other evaluations to obtain information for assessing clients' needs and developing rehabilitation plans.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: SI.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Social interests, but also prefer Investigative environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Relationships, but also value Achievement and Support in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).

Wages

In 2017, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $37,960 with most people making between $21,810 and $60,640

Outlook

1.23%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 7,720 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 8,670 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 95 openings due to growth and about 165 replacement openings for approximately 260 total annual openings.



Pennsylvania Department of Education