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Become A Rehabilitation Specialist

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Working As A Rehabilitation Specialist

  • Getting Information
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Stressful

  • $38,004

    Average Salary

What Does A Rehabilitation Specialist Do

Social and human service assistants provide client services, including support for families, in a wide variety of fields, such as psychology, rehabilitation, and social work. They assist other workers, such as social workers, and they help clients find benefits or community services.

Duties

Social and human service assistants typically do the following:

  • Help determine what type of aid their clients need
  • Work with clients and other professionals, such as social workers, to develop a treatment plan
  • Help clients find assistance with daily activities, such as eating and bathing
  • Research services, such as food stamps and Medicaid, that are available to their clients in their communities
  • Coordinate services provided to clients
  • Help clients complete paperwork to apply for assistance programs
  • Transport clients—for example, by driving them to appointments or to services within their community
  • Check in with clients to ensure that services are provided appropriately

Social and human service assistants have many job titles, including case work aide, clinical social work aide, family service assistant, social work assistant, addictions counselor assistant, and human service worker.

Social and human service assistants help clients to identify and obtain benefits and services. In addition to initially connecting clients with benefits or services, social and human service assistants may follow up with clients to ensure that they are receiving the intended services and that the services are meeting their needs. They work under the direction of social workers, psychologists, or other social and human service workers.

With children and families, social and human service assistants ensure that the children live in safe homes. They help parents get the resources, such as food stamps or childcare, they need to care for their children.

With the elderly, these workers help clients stay in their own homes and live under their own care whenever possible. Social and human service assistants may coordinate meal deliveries or find personal care aides to help with the clients’ day-to-day needs, such as running errands and bathing. In some cases, human service workers help look for residential care facilities, such as nursing homes.

For people with disabilities, social and human service assistants help find rehabilitation services that aid their clients. They may work with employers to make a job more accessible to people with disabilities. Some workers find personal care services to help clients with daily living activities, such as bathing and making meals.

For people with addictions, human service assistants find rehabilitation centers that meet their clients’ needs. They also may find support groups for people who are dependent on alcohol, drugs, gambling, or other substances or behaviors.

With veterans, assistants help people who have been discharged from the military adjust to civilian life. They help with practical needs, such as locating housing and finding ways to apply skills gained in the military to civilian jobs. They may also help their clients navigate the overwhelming number of services available to veterans.

For people with mental illnesses, social and human service assistants help clients find the appropriate resources to help them cope with their illness. They find self-help and support groups to provide their clients with an assistance network. In addition, they may find personal care services or group housing to help those with more severe mental illnesses care for themselves.

With immigrants, workers help clients adjust to living in a new country. They help the clients locate jobs and housing. They also may help them find programs that teach English, or they may find legal assistance to help immigrants get various administrative paperwork in order.

With former prison inmates, human service assistants find job training or placement programs to help clients reenter society. Human service assistants help former inmates find housing and connect with programs that help them start a new life for themselves.

With homeless people, assistants help clients meet their basic needs. They find temporary or permanent housing for their clients and locate places, such as soup kitchens, that provide meals. Human service assistants also may help homeless people find resources to address other problems they may have, such as joblessness.

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How To Become A Rehabilitation Specialist

Requirements for social and human service assistants vary, although they typically have at least a high school diploma and must complete a brief period of on-the-job training. Some employers prefer to hire workers who have additional education or experience.

Education

Although a high school diploma is typically required, some employers prefer to hire workers who have relevant work experience or education beyond high school. A certificate or an associate’s degree in a subject such as human services, gerontology (working with older adults), or social or behavioral science is common for workers entering this occupation.

Human service degree programs train students to observe and interview patients, carry out treatment plans, and handle people who are undergoing a crisis. Many programs include fieldwork to give students hands-on experience.

The level of education that social and human service assistants have completed often determines the responsibilities they are given. Those with a high school diploma are likely to do lower level work, such as helping clients fill out paperwork. Assistants with some college education may coordinate program activities or manage a group home.

Although postsecondary education is important, some employers may prefer or allow for applicants who have related work experience. In some cases, candidates may substitute such experience in place of postsecondary education. 

Training

Many social and human service assistants, particularly those without any postsecondary education, undergo a period of on-the-job training. Because such workers often are dealing with multiple clients from a wide variety of backgrounds, on-the-job training in case management helps prepare them to respond appropriately to the different needs and situations of their clients.

Advancement

For social and human service assistants, additional education is almost always necessary for advancement. In general, advancement to case management or social work jobs requires a bachelor’s or master’s degree in human services, counseling, rehabilitation, social work, or a related field.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Social and human service assistants talk with clients about the challenges in their lives and assist them in getting help. These workers must be able to listen to their clients and to communicate the clients’ needs to organizations that can help them.

Compassion. Social and human service assistants often work with people who are in stressful and difficult situations. To develop strong relationships, they must have compassion and empathy for their clients.

Interpersonal skills. Social and human service assistants must make their clients feel comfortable discussing sensitive issues. Assistants also need to build relationships with other service providers to become familiar with all of the resources that are available in their communities.

Organizational skills. Social and human service assistants often must complete lots of paperwork and work with many different clients. They must be organized in order to ensure that the paperwork is filed properly and that clients are getting the help they need.

Problem-solving skills. Social and human service assistants help clients find solutions to their problems. They must be able to listen carefully to their clients’ needs and offer practical solutions.

Time-management skills. Social and human service assistants often work with many clients. They must manage their time effectively to ensure that their clients are getting the attention they need.

Some employers require a criminal background check. In some settings, workers need a valid driver’s license.

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Rehabilitation Specialist jobs

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Average Length of Employment
Living Specialist 2.3 years
Program Counselor 1.9 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 14.0%
Case Manager 10.5%
Cashier 5.8%
Counselor 4.4%
Teacher 4.1%
Volunteer 3.7%
Top Employers After
Case Manager 15.7%
Internship 7.8%
Therapist 6.3%
Counselor 5.2%
Specialist 3.6%
Teacher 3.3%
Manager 2.9%

Rehabilitation Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

66.9%

Male

31.1%

Unknown

2.0%
Ethnicity

White

81.2%

Hispanic or Latino

9.8%

Asian

6.7%

Unknown

1.6%

Black or African American

0.8%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

67.2%

French

8.2%

Portuguese

4.1%

German

4.1%

Vietnamese

1.6%

Braille

1.6%

Japanese

1.6%

Thai

1.6%

Blackfoot

0.8%

Somali

0.8%

Swedish

0.8%

Igbo

0.8%

Greek

0.8%

Yoruba

0.8%

Gurung

0.8%

Tagalog

0.8%

Cantonese

0.8%

Mandarin

0.8%

Arabic

0.8%

Korean

0.8%
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Rehabilitation Specialist Education

Schools

Boise State University

14.9%

Idaho State University

9.9%

University of Phoenix

9.7%

Walden University

7.0%

University of Idaho

6.3%

Capella University

5.2%

Marshall University

5.0%

Grand Canyon University

5.0%

Liberty University

4.3%

University of Nevada - Las Vegas

3.8%

University of Missouri - Columbia

3.6%

Brigham Young University - Idaho

3.4%

University of Central Oklahoma

2.9%

Northwest Nazarene University

2.9%

Northeastern State University

2.7%

Florida State University

2.7%

Howard University

2.7%

Southern New Hampshire University

2.7%

University of Oklahoma

2.7%

Eastern Washington University

2.5%
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Majors

Psychology

21.5%

Social Work

15.1%

Business

6.0%

Criminal Justice

5.4%

Mental Health Counseling

5.0%

Human Services

4.7%

School Counseling

4.4%

Counseling Psychology

4.4%

Nursing

4.3%

Sociology

3.9%

Kinesiology

3.7%

Rehabilitation Science

3.7%

Education

3.1%

Clinical Psychology

3.1%

Health Care Administration

2.6%

Medical Assisting Services

2.0%

Human Resources Management

1.9%

Special Education

1.9%

General Studies

1.8%

Human Development

1.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

37.2%

Masters

34.9%

Other

14.7%

Associate

6.0%

Certificate

3.7%

Doctorate

2.7%

Diploma

0.7%

License

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

Real Rehabilitation Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Rehabilitation Specialist, Dental Monica S Borris DDS PC Lakewood, CO Jan 06, 2016 $133,973
Acquisition & Rehabilitation Specialist Related Companies of California Irvine, CA Oct 16, 2010 $89,000
Rehabilitation Specialist American Manpower Resource Provider, Inc. NY Jul 29, 2013 $78,075
Rehabilitation Specialist Axis Point Alternative Solutions, Inc. NY Jul 29, 2013 $78,075
Psychosocial Rehabilitation Specialist Creoks Mental Health Services, Inc. Claremore, OK Oct 01, 2012 $70,720
Rehabilitation Specialist Top Rehab, Inc. NY Sep 17, 2013 $65,000
Rehabilitation Specialist Top Rehab, Inc. NY Sep 20, 2013 $65,000
Osteopathic Rehabilitation Specialist Wombat Global Consulting Orlando, FL Feb 15, 2016 $64,384
Foot Rehabilitation Specialist Mika Hayashi DPM, PC New York, NY Jun 23, 2014 $63,069
Rehabilitation Specialist Plattsburgh Physical Therapy & Sports Rehab, P.C. Monticello, NY Jan 15, 2014 $63,000
Rehabilitation Specialist Coalinga State Hospital Coalinga, CA May 17, 2011 $61,898
Rehabilitation Specialist Coalinga State Hospital Coalinga, CA Feb 07, 2011 $61,898
Rehabilitation Specialist Island Musculoskeletal Care, M.D., P.C. Deer Park, NY Mar 09, 2016 $60,320
Rehabilitation Specialist North Shore Medical Rehabilitation PC NY Sep 10, 2015 $45,000
Psychosocial Rehabilitation Specialist Maximus Counseling Inc. Oklahoma City, OK Oct 03, 2014 $45,000
Rehabilitation Specialist Prime Leaders Health Services, Inc. Springfield, NY Mar 09, 2016 $44,512
Rehabilitation Specialist Community Connections, Inc. Washington, DC Jun 11, 2014 $43,290
Rehabilitation Specialist Community Connections, Inc. Washington, DC Dec 18, 2014 $43,146
Rehabilitation Specialist Global Health Services, LLC NY Sep 28, 2012 $41,740
Rehabilitation Specialist Plattsburgh Physical Therapy & Sports Rehab, P.C. Monticello, NY Oct 01, 2011 $41,740
Rehabilitation Specialist Medical Dynamic Systems, Inc. Scarsdale, NY Oct 01, 2015 $41,600
Home Rehabilitation Specialist Northeast Denver Housing Center Inc. Denver, CO May 16, 2013 $38,463
Psychosocial Rehabilitation Specialist Mental Wellness Centers, Inc. Idaho Falls, ID Sep 18, 2013 $38,004
Psychosocial Rehabilitation Specialist Mental Wellness Centers, Inc. Idaho Falls, ID Sep 18, 2016 $38,004
Rehabilitation Specialist Community Connections, Inc. Washington, DC May 01, 2010 $38,000
Rehabilitation Specialist Catskill Medical Care Middletown, NY Sep 30, 2014 $37,566
Rehabilitation Specialist Manhattan Allied Network Corporation Scarsdale, NY Oct 01, 2012 $37,440
Rehabilitation Specialist Bay Cove Human Services, Inc. Plainville, MA Oct 01, 2012 $36,126
Rehabilitation Specialist Bay Cove Human Services, Inc. Plainville, MA Oct 03, 2012 $36,000

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Top Skills for A Rehabilitation Specialist

TreatmentPlansMentalHealthIssuesBehavioralIssuesCrisisInterventionSevereMentalIllnessDailyLivingSkillsPhysicalTherapyPsychosocialSocialSkillsLifeSkillsIndependentLivingSkillsCommunityResourcesSubstanceAbuseServicePlansMedicaidRehabilitationProgramSkillsTrainingRehabilitationServicesCommunicationSkillsRehabilitationPlans

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Top Rehabilitation Specialist Skills

  1. Treatment Plans
  2. Mental Health Issues
  3. Behavioral Issues
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Communicate with or instruct caregivers or family members on patient therapeutic activities or treatment plans.
  • Directed client groups on women's issues, mental health issues, arts and crafts, and led community groups.
  • Provided 1 on 1 support for a dually diagnosed female consumer with high risk psychiatric and behavioral issues.
  • Coordinated crisis intervention related services with other agencies in the community.
  • Provided life skills and case management services to clients with diagnosis of severe mental illness and/or substance abuse.

Top Rehabilitation Specialist Employers

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