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Become A Rehabilitation Counselor

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Working As A Rehabilitation Counselor

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Getting Information
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $31,242

    Average Salary

What Does A Rehabilitation Counselor Do

Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors advise people who suffer from alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders, or other behavioral problems. They provide treatment and support to help the client recover from addiction or modify problem behaviors.

Duties

Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors typically do the following:

  • Evaluate clients’ mental and physical health, addiction, or problem behavior and assess their readiness for treatment
  • Help clients develop treatment goals and plans
  • Review and recommend treatment options with clients and their families
  • Help clients develop skills and behaviors necessary to recover from their addiction or modify their behavior
  • Work with clients to identify behaviors or situations that interfere with their recovery
  • Teach families about addiction or behavior disorders and help them develop strategies to cope with those problems
  • Refer clients to other resources and services, such as job placement services and support groups
  • Conduct outreach programs to help people identify the signs of addiction and other destructive behavior, as well as steps to take to avoid such behavior

Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors, also called addiction counselors, work with clients individually and in group sessions. Many incorporate the principles of 12-step programs, such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) to guide their practice. They teach clients how to cope with stress and life’s problems in ways that help them recover. Furthermore, they help clients rebuild professional relationships and, if necessary, reestablish their career. They also help clients improve their personal relationships and find ways to discuss their addiction or other problems with family and friends.

Some addiction counselors work in facilities that employ many types of healthcare and mental health professionals. Addiction counselors may work with psychiatrists, social workers, physicians, and registered nurses to develop treatment plans and coordinate care for patients.

Some counselors work with clients who have been ordered by a judge to receive treatment for addiction. Others work with specific populations, such as teenagers, veterans, or people with disabilities. Some specialize in crisis intervention; these counselors step in when someone is endangering his or her own life or the lives of others. Other counselors specialize in noncrisis interventions, which encourage a person with addictions or other issues to get help. Noncrisis interventions often are performed at the request of friends and family.

Some substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors work in private practice, where they work alone or with a group of counselors or other professionals. These counselors manage their practice as a business. This includes working with clients and insurance companies to receive payment for their services. In addition, they market their practice to bring in new clients.

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How To Become A Rehabilitation Counselor

Most positions require a bachelor’s degree. However, depending on the employer, educational requirements can vary from a high school diploma and certification to a master’s degree.

Education

Most positions require a bachelor’s degree. However, depending on the employer, educational requirements can vary from a high school diploma and certification to a master’s degree. Workers with more education are able to provide more services to their clients, such as private one-on-one counseling sessions, and they require less supervision than those with less education. Those interested should research their state’s educational requirements.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors in private practice must be licensed. Licensing requirements vary by state, but all states require a master’s degree and 2,000 to 4,000 hours of supervised clinical experience. In addition, counselors must pass a state-issued exam and complete continuing education every year. Contact information for your state's regulating board can be found through the National Board for Certified Counselors.

The licensure or certification criteria for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors outside of private practice vary from state to state. For example, not all states require a specific degree, but many require applicants to pass an exam. Contact information for your state’s licensing board can be found through the Addiction Technology Transfer Center Network.

Important Qualities

Compassion. Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors often work with people who are dealing with stressful and difficult situations, so they must be compassionate and empathize with their clients.

Interpersonal skills. Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors must be able to work with different types of people. They spend most of their time working directly with clients or other professionals and must be able to develop and nurture good relationships.

Listening skills. Good listening skills are essential for substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors. They need to give their full attention to a client to be able to understand that client’s problems and values.

Patience. Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors must be able to remain calm when working with all types of clients, including those who may be distressed or angry.

Speaking skills. Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors need to be able to effectively communicate with clients. They must express ideas and information in a way that their clients easily understand.

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Rehabilitation Counselor jobs

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Rehabilitation Counselor Career Paths

Rehabilitation Counselor
Substance Abuse Counselor Program Director Clinical Director
Administrative Director, Behavioral Health Services
11 Yearsyrs
Counselor Case Manager
Career Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Counselor Instructor
Case Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Clinician Clinical Social Worker
Clinical Care Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Therapist
Clinical Director
9 Yearsyrs
Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Therapist Clinical Supervisor
Clinical Program Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Service Director Nursing Director
Clinical Services Director
11 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Program Director
Director Of Residential Services
7 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Social Worker
Director Of Social Services
6 Yearsyrs
Program Director Facilitator Social Worker
Director Of Social Work
7 Yearsyrs
Clinician Nurse Practitioner Nurse Manager
Emergency Services Director
8 Yearsyrs
Mental Health Counselor Social Worker Career Manager
Health Care Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Substance Abuse Counselor Clinical Director
Health Director
9 Yearsyrs
Mental Health Counselor Registered Nurse Occupational Health Nurse
Health Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Social Worker Program Manager Senior Project Manager
Project Director
8 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Behavioral Specialist Residential Manager
Resident Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Program Director Specialist Direct Support Professional
Residential Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Therapist Program Manager
Service Program Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Therapist Family Counselor Social Worker
Social Services Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Social Worker Medical Social Worker
Social Work Case Manager
6 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
School Counselor 3.0 years
Career Counselor 2.9 years
Juvenile Counselor 2.8 years
Teacher Counselor 2.5 years
Primary Counselor 2.4 years
Family Counselor 2.3 years
Outreach Counselor 2.3 years
Resource Counselor 2.2 years
Group Counselor 2.1 years
Counselor 2.0 years
Program Counselor 1.9 years
Relief Counselor 1.8 years
Youth Counselor 1.8 years
Unit Counselor 1.8 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 14.6%
Case Manager 10.8%
Counselor 6.9%
Teacher 4.1%
Volunteer 3.8%
Therapist 3.2%
Instructor 2.8%
Top Employers After
Case Manager 11.7%
Counselor 8.4%
Therapist 6.9%
Internship 6.0%
Clinician 4.2%
Teacher 3.3%
Consultant 3.2%
Director 3.1%

Rehabilitation Counselor Demographics

Gender

Female

66.3%

Male

31.2%

Unknown

2.5%
Ethnicity

White

82.4%

Hispanic or Latino

9.1%

Asian

6.0%

Unknown

1.6%

Black or African American

0.8%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

57.1%

French

11.4%

Portuguese

2.9%

Mandarin

2.9%

German

2.9%

Braille

2.9%

Arabic

2.9%

Chinese

1.4%

Romanian

1.4%

Yoruba

1.4%

Persian

1.4%

Dakota

1.4%

Carrier

1.4%

Hindi

1.4%

Hmong

1.4%

Urdu

1.4%

Thai

1.4%

Navajo

1.4%

Italian

1.4%
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Rehabilitation Counselor Education

Schools

Wilmington University

10.9%

Capella University

8.8%

Walden University

7.0%

University of Phoenix

5.6%

Liberty University

5.3%

Hofstra University

5.3%

Coppin State University

4.9%

Virginia Commonwealth University

4.6%

Temple University

4.6%

University of Maryland - Baltimore

4.6%

West Virginia University

4.6%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

4.2%

University of Maryland - Eastern Shore

4.2%

University of Kentucky

4.2%

Central Washington University

4.2%

New York University

3.9%

University of Maryland - Baltimore County

3.5%

Towson University

3.5%

East Carolina University

3.2%

State University of New York Buffalo

3.2%
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Majors

Rehabilitation Science

19.3%

Psychology

14.2%

School Counseling

9.8%

Social Work

9.2%

Criminal Justice

7.0%

Counseling Psychology

7.0%

Mental Health Counseling

5.8%

Human Services

4.8%

Business

4.4%

Education

3.4%

Sociology

2.3%

Clinical Psychology

2.1%

Health Care Administration

1.6%

Nursing

1.5%

Special Education

1.4%

Management

1.3%

Family Therapy

1.3%

Public Health

1.2%

Public Administration

1.2%

Social Sciences

1.2%
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Degrees

Masters

50.2%

Bachelors

23.4%

Other

12.7%

Doctorate

6.2%

Associate

3.8%

Certificate

3.2%

Diploma

0.3%

License

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Rehabilitation Counselor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Rehabilitation Counselor Evergreen Medical Clinic, PC New York, NY Sep 14, 2016 $80,000
Rehabilitation Counselor Restore Rehab Services, LLC Houston, TX Sep 10, 2015 $70,000
Rehabilitation Counselor Northshore Home Health Care, Inc. Schaumburg, IL Dec 01, 2013 $68,744
Rehabilitation Counselor Northshore Home Health Care, Inc. Schaumburg, IL Jan 12, 2016 $68,744
Rehabilitation Counselor Northshore Home Health Care, Inc. Schaumburg, IL Aug 03, 2015 $68,744
Rehabilitation Counselors Interpreting and Consulting Services, Inc. Benicia, CA Aug 30, 2013 $55,245
Rehabilitation Counselor First Class Physical Therapy, P.C. Great Neck, NY Sep 08, 2014 $54,808
Rehabilitation Counselor Palladia Inc. New York, NY Jan 30, 2015 $53,135
Rehabilitation Counselors R A S Health Care LLC Cherry Hill, NJ Aug 01, 2013 $50,088
Rehabilitation Counselors R A S Health Care LLC Cherry Hill, NJ Aug 01, 2014 $50,088
Rehabilitation Counselors Vesta, Inc. Lexington Park, MD May 07, 2013 $49,000
Rehabilitation Counselor First Class Physical Therapy, P.C. New York, NY Sep 08, 2014 $46,030
Rehabilitation Counselors Community Connections, Inc. Washington, DC Jan 28, 2014 $45,473
Rehabilitation Counselors Boston Higashi School Inc. Randolph, MA Jan 16, 2014 $45,000
Rehabilitation Counselor (Assitant Program Manager The Devereux Foundation Rutland, MA Sep 27, 2013 $37,357 -
$50,774
Rehabilitation Counselor (Primary Instructional Coordinator) The Devereux Foundation-Kanner Center Downingtown, PA Mar 22, 2016 $37,044
Rehabilitation Counselors Boston Higashi School Inc. Randolph, MA Aug 26, 2013 $37,000
Rehabilitation Counselors Boston Higashi School Inc. Randolph, MA Jan 16, 2014 $36,816
Therapist/Rehabilitation Counselor Salisbury Behavioral Health, Inc. Glenside, PA Jun 30, 2016 $36,600
Rehabilitation Counselor II (Case Manager) The Devereux Foundation Rutland, MA Jul 30, 2013 $36,542 -
$78,084
Rehabilitation Counselors Boston Higashi School Inc. Randolph, MA Jan 16, 2014 $36,192
Rehabilitation Counselor II (Case Manager) The Devereux Foundation Rutland, MA Jan 08, 2016 $31,242 -
$34,680
Rehabilitation Counselor San Diego Second Chance Program San Diego, CA Sep 09, 2016 $31,200
Rehabilitation Counselors Devereux Foundation Downingtown, PA Jan 07, 2014 $30,826
Rehabilitation Counselor Martins' Achievement Place, Inc. Orangevale, CA May 03, 2013 $30,262
Rehabilitation Counselor (Case Manager) The Devereux Foundation Tampa, FL May 06, 2014 $30,160 -
$33,500
Rehabilitation Counselor (Case Manager) The Devereux Foundation Tampa, FL Jun 05, 2014 $30,160 -
$33,500
Rehabilitation Counselor Devereux Foundation Berwyn, PA Jul 19, 2016 $30,000
Rehabilitation Counselor Devereux Foundation Berwyn, PA Sep 06, 2016 $30,000

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Top Skills for A Rehabilitation Counselor

TreatmentPlansCrisisInterventionMentalHealthCounselorsPersistentMentalIllnessFacilityRehabilitationPlansSubstanceAbuseVocationalRehabilitationServicesJobPlacementIndependentLivingSkillsDailyLivingSkillsDevelopmentalDisabilitiesLifeSkillsCommunityResourcesDailyActivitiesSuperviseGroupTherapySessionsServicePlansSocialSkills

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Top Rehabilitation Counselor Skills

  1. Treatment Plans
  2. Crisis Intervention
  3. Mental Health
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed individualized treatment plans, daily documentation of progress,
  • Major duties included service plan implementation, client advocacy and crisis intervention.
  • Developed weekly lesson plans selecting age appropriate topics for social and mental health development.
  • Located housing for inmates being housed either from another facility or within the institution Case Manager, Rehabilitation Counselors
  • Provided rehabilitation services to adults struggling with severe and persistent mental illness and living in the community.

Top Rehabilitation Counselor Employers

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Rehabilitation Counselor Videos

Rehabilitation Counselors - Career Profile

The Art of Rehabilitation Counseling by CRCC

Rehabilitation Counselor

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