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Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Become a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor

Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Resources...

Vocational Rehabilitation involves counseling disabled workers about employment. Vocational rehabilitation clients may have physical, developmental, emotional, or cognitive disabilities. They may be recovering from an injury, or from an onset of disease. A vocational rehabilitation counselorís job is to assist them either obtain employment, or keep their job and perform at the best of their abilities.

Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Job Duties and Salary

A counselorís work involves assessment, diagnosis and treatment planning, case management, career counseling, and advocacy. They must work together with their clientís doctors, occupational therapists, and psychologists. Then they help their clients set goals, provide career counseling, and make referrals They may refer them to other resources or agencies as well, if necessary. They also work together with businesses to improve the performance of their clients.

Rehabilitation counselors usually work for state and federal rehabilitation agencies, but can also work in private practices, insurance companies, correctional facilities, independent living facilities, universities, or drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for someone working in rehabilitation services was $30,600 in 2009, and the profession is expected to grow at a rate of 19%, which is much faster than most occupations.

Vocational Rehab Counselor Certification

The Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) provides a nationally recognized certification. Certification is voluntary but is a wise step toward this career, as it demonstrates that your skills meet national standards for this profession, and that you are committed to the CRCCís code of ethics. Certification requires passing the exam, and renewing certification every five years be re-examination or by completing 100 hours of continuing education in that five-year time period.

Rehabilitation Counselor Education and Training

Education for this job is important. In order to be certified, you will need a masterís degree in rehabilitation counseling from a program accredited by the Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE). If you have earned a masterís in rehabilitation counseling from a non-accredited program, you have the option to complete a counseling internship and accrue twelve months of employment experience, or to complete two years of employment experience, as an alternative. This work experience must be approved by the CRC. Coursework will cover human growth and development, group work, counseling techniques, assessment, program evaluation, and professional ethics, among other topics. If you do not have a masters, you should still earn a bachelorís degree in psychology, sociology, rehabilitation services, or another human services concentration.

This could be a very empowering job. If you believe in the right of people with disabilities to lead independent, fulfilling lives, fully integrated with society, consider this career option. Check the National Rehabilitation Counseling Association for career information and look into the necessary degree programs. The healthcare sector continues to offer stable, consistent work, despite dipping economies, and this focus is a unique alternative to traditional healthcare careers.

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