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Rehabilitation Counselor  What They Do

Just the Facts


Counsels 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. Coordinates activities for residents of care and treatment facilities. Assesses client needs and design and implement rehabilitation programs that may include personal and vocational counseling, training, and job placement.

This career is part of the Human Services cluster Counseling and Mental Health Services pathway, Family and Community Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Prepares and maintains records and case files, including documentation such as clients' personal and eligibility information, services provided, narratives of client contacts, and relevant correspondence.
  • Develops rehabilitation plans that fit clients' aptitudes, education levels, physical abilities, and career goals.
  • Monitors and records clients' progress to ensure that goals and objectives are met.
  • Confers with clients to discuss their options and goals so that rehabilitation programs and plans for accessing needed services can be developed.
  • Maintains close contact with clients during job training and placements to resolve problems and evaluate placement adequacy.
  • Confers with physicians, psychologists, occupational therapists, and other professionals to develop and implement client rehabilitation programs.
  • Arranges for physical, mental, academic, vocational, and other evaluations to obtain information for assessing clients' needs and developing rehabilitation plans.
  • Analyzes information from interviews, educational and medical records, consultation with other professionals, and diagnostic evaluations to assess clients' abilities, needs, and eligibility for services.
  • Develops and maintains relationships with community referral sources, such as schools and community groups.
  • Locates barriers to client employment, such as inaccessible work sites, inflexible schedules, and transportation problems, and works with clients to develop strategies for overcoming these barriers.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Exposed to hazardous situations involving possible injury such as cuts, bites, stings, and minor burns more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Psychotherapist -- Works with individuals, couples, families and groups to help them overcome a range of psychological and emotional issues.
  • Transition Specialist -- Helps people adapt to changes in life.
  • Developmental Training Counselor --
  • Group Counselor --
  • Veterans Rehabilitation Counselor --