Rehabilitation counseling focuses on helping individuals with disabilities in public and private rehabilitation agencies, and hospitals. They help patients with disabilities achieve their optimal social, psychological and vocational potential. Rehabilitation counselors work with people who have a variety of handicaps that may be physical, intellectual, emotional, or sociocultural. This is a growing field in the mental health profession. Job settings typically include private practices, hospitals, nursing homes, and rehabilitation clinics.
Steps Toward an MS in Rehabilitation Counseling
To become a rehabilitation counselor, requirements vary significantly by state. Successful students typically complete the following steps:
- Earn proper undergraduate degree (requirements vary by state). Common undergraduate degrees include Bachelor of Science programs in education, psychology or human services.
- Earn proper graduate degree (requirements vary by state) from an accredited institution like Capella, Kaplan, Liberty, or Walden University. Typically includes completing a Master of Science degree in counseling with a concentration in rehabilitation counseling.
- Obtain proper licensure. Licensure requirements differ greatly by state, occupational specialty, and work setting.
- Consider certification options. Some counselors elect to be certified by the National Board for Certified Counselors, which grants a general practice credential of National Certified Counselor.
Professionals in the field should also consider membership with the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association (ARCA). The offers various levels of membership, including student membership. Benefits include subscription to a quarterly bulletin and newsletter, access to liability insurance, attendance to ARCA sponsored activities and workshops, and networking opportunities and scholarly competitions for students.
My Degree and What It’s Worth
By earning a degree in in this field, you’ll be prepared you to support patients with a wide variety of disabilities and needs. A rehabilitation Counselor is typically responsible for the following job duties:
- Provide individual and group counseling to help patients adjust to their disability.
- Arrange for patients to obtain services, such as medical care or career training.
- Offer case management support and guidance.
- Focus on how patients adjust to illnesses and treatments and view their quality of life.
- Evaluate clients’ abilities, interests, experience, skills, health, and education.
Annual salary varies within the profession based on specific type of job, location, and experience. For more on your earning potential as a rehabilitation counselor, please visit our salary outlook for counselors page.
Online MS in Rehabilitation Counseling Degree Programs
- Grand Canyon University: MS in Addiction Counseling
- Liberty University: MS in Addictions and Recovery
Closely Related Programs
The following degrees are closely related to a master’s degree program in rehabilitation counseling, often allowing you to pursue a career in this field or others: