Rehabilitation Counselors


Employment Prospects


Approximately 120,200 rehabilitation counselors are employed in the United States. Rehabilitation counselors work in a variety of settings. The majority of rehabilitation counselors work for state agencies; some also work for local and federal agencies. Employment opportunities are available in rehabilitation centers, mental health agencies, prisons, developmental disability agencies, sheltered workshops, training institutions, and schools (colleges and elementary and secondary schools).

Starting Out

School career services offices are the best places for the new graduate to begin the career search. In addition, the National Rehabilitation Counseling Association and the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association (a division of the American Counseling Association) are sources for employment information. The new counselor may also apply directly to agencies for available positions. Vocational rehabilitation agencies employ nearly 36,000 rehabilitation counselors. The Department of Veterans Affairs employs rehabilitation counselors to assist with the rehabilitation of disabled veterans. Many rehabilitation counselors are employed by private for-profit or nonprofit rehabilitation programs and facilities. Others are employed in industry, schools, hospitals, and other settings, while others are self-employed.

Advancement Prospects

The rehabilitation counselor usually receives regular salary increases after gaining experience in the job. He or she may move from relatively easy cases to increasingly challenging ones. Counselors may advance into such positions as administrator or supervisor after several years of counseling experience. It is also possible to find related counseling and teaching positions, which may represent advancement in other fields.

Tips for Entry

Visit to read Careers in Vocational Rehabilitation.

To learn more the field, read:

  • Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin (
  • Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling (
  • Journal of Rehabilitation (

Use social media to stay up to date on industry developments and learn about job openings. Many professional associations are embracing social media to stay in touch with members and others who are interested in rehabilitation counseling. For example, the National Rehabilitation Association has a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.