Individuals seeking employment as rehabilitation practitioners should complete a four-year university training program that usually results in a bachelor's degree in rehabilitation or a special emphasis in rehabilitation resulting in a B.S. or B.A. degree. Frequently, students enter an undergraduate rehabilitation training program with the intention of eventually obtaining a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling, psychology or related areas.
Presently, there are approximately 50 undergraduate rehabilitation programs in colleges in the United States. In some instances, these programs offer student stipend support plus the payment of student fees and tuition.
At the present time there are no certification requirements for the bachelor's degree level rehabilitation practitioner.
Employed graduates assist persons with disabilities in achieving the greatest physical, mental, social, educational and vocational potential of which they are capable. Duties might include coordinating the diagnosis and evaluation of the handicapping condition, interviewing, individual planning, arranging various rehabilitation services, assisting persons in selecting a vocational goal, providing personal and social adjustment services and job placement activities and providing follow-up services to individuals after other services are completed.
Rehabilitation practitioners may work in public and private rehabilitation agencies (including state vocational rehabilitation agencies), community rehabilitation programs, mental health and mental retardation units, evaluation and treatment centers, correctional institutions and agencies (including probation departments), voluntary organizations, client assistance programs, centers for independent living, or private industry (including personnel departments of corporations and insurance companies).
Common job titles for this position include rehabilitation specialist, rehabilitation technician, case manager, vocational caseworker, rehabilitation aide or technician, vocational evaluation technician, alcohol and drug counselor, personal adjustment trainer, work adjustment trainer, job placement specialist, or employee assistance counselor.
Starting salaries typically range from $18,000 to $25,000 per year.
Additional Information Source
National Council on Rehabilitation Education (NCRE)
Department of Special Education Utah State University
Logan, UT 84322-2865