Minimum requirements for individuals seeking employment as a vocational evaluator or work adjustment specialistis a bachelor's degree in Rehabilitation or closely related field with extensive approved work experience and specialized training. Individuals with master's degrees in their respective specialty areas are preferred for work in either position.
Graduates of vocational evaluation specialization programs may apply to the Commission on Certification of Work Adjustment and Vocational Evaluation Specialists (CCWAVES) for national certification as a certified vocational evaluator (CVE). The CVE is awarded to individuals having competence in the essential performance areas as demonstrated by education, training and professional experience, as well as a national certification examination administered by CCWAVES. CCWAVES also administers certification for certified work adjustment (CWA). Currently, testing for CWA has been suspended pending update of the examination. Professionals possessing CWA credentials are allowed to maintain their certification. While most States do not have licensure or other specific credentials for vocational evaluators or work adjustment specialists, they may rely on the CVE and CWA as a standard for professional qualifications. The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) requires the CVE when certifying programs in vocational evaluation.
Vocational evaluation is a comprehensive process of vocational exploration and assessment designed to assist individuals in identifying their vocational options. The vocational evaluator must have an understanding of a variety of physical and mental disabilities and above average communication skills. Evaluators are responsible for selecting, administering and interpreting a wide assortment of evaluation instruments including psychometric tests, commercial work sample systems, and situational assessments. They are frequently required to modify standard instruments or to develop new instruments in order to effectively respond to local labor markets or accommodate individual needs. Work specialists provide services focusing on the development and implementation of systematic, individualized treatment/training programs for persons with disabilities. Adjustment Specialists must possess skills in behavior change techniques, individual and group counseling, instructional techniques, job development, job placement, and community integration.
Vocational evaluators and work adjustment specialists may be employed in any setting that concentrates on the integration of persons with disabilities into the community workplace. Employment settings may include: state vocational rehabilitation agencies; private non-profit rehabilitation agencies or facilities; independent living centers; psychiatric and addiction treatment centers; head injury treatment centers; hospitals; public schools; mental health and retardation programs; correctional facilities; and university-based programs.
Starting salaries for CVEs typically range from $23,000 to $30,000 per year and starting salaries for CWA's range from $20,000 to $25,000 per year. Individuals with bachelor's degrees in these areas may expect a starting salary between $15,000 and $20,000 per year.
Additional Information Source
Vocational Evaluation and Work Adjustment Association
202 East Cheyenne Mountain Blvd., Suite N
Colorado Springs, CO 80906