MS in Rehabilitation Counseling

The Profession of Rehabilitation Counseling

Additional Information

Rehabilitation counseling is a systematic process which assists persons with physical, mental, developmental, cognitive, and emotional disabilities to achieve their personal, career, and independent living goals in the most integrated setting possible through the application of the counseling process.

The counseling process involves communication, goal setting, and beneficial growth or change through self-advocacy, psychological, vocational, social, and behavioral interventions.  The specific techniques and modalities utilized within this rehabilitation counseling process may include, but are not limited to:

  • Assessment and appraisal
  • Diagnosis and treatment planning
  • Career (vocational) counseling
  • Individual and group counseling treatment interventions focused on facilitating adjustments to the medical and psychosocial impact of disability
  • Case management, referral, and service coordination
  • Program evaluation and research
  • Interventions to remove environmental, employment, and attitudinal barriers
  • Consultation services among multiple parties and regulatory systems
  • Job analysis, job development, and placement services, including assistance with employment and job accommodations
  • The provision of consultation about, and access to, rehabilitation technology

The official statement of the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC, 1994, pp. 1-2), as cited in Tarvydas & Hartley (2018),

As graduates from the Master of Science degree in Counseling, Option in Rehabilitation Counseling, one may find work in a variety of settings:

  • Assisted and Independent Living Facility
  • Community College or University
  • Community Rehabilitation Center
  • Correctional/Detention Center or Prison
  • Disability Management/Insurance Company
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Forensic Rehabilitation Setting
  • Hospital: Traditional, psychiatric, or Rehabilitation
  • Non-Profit Rehabilitation Agency (Easter Seals, Goodwill, Jewish Vocational Services, United Cerebral Palsy)
  • Private Practice
  • Secondary School
  • Senior Citizen Center
  • Skilled Nursing Facility
  • Social and Human Services Office
  • Unemployment/Employment Services Office
  • Veterans Affairs Department
  • Workforce Development Center
  • Youth Guidance Organization

Graduates may hold a variety of positions:

  • Career/Vocational Counselor
  • Case Manager
  • Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC)
  • College Career Planning Counselor
  • Instructor
  • Coordinator for Student Disability Services
  • Employment Officer
  • Grant Administrator
  • Life Care Planner
  • Long-term Disability Specialist
  • Mental Health/Clinical Counselor (Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, LPCC)
  • Rehabilitation Agency Director
  • Researcher
  • Residence Counselor
  • State Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (Qualified Rehabilitation Professional, QRP)
  • State Vocational Rehabilitation Team Leader
  • Substance Use/Addictions Counselor
  • Testing Specialist/Vocational Evaluator
  • Transition Services in Secondary Schools
  • Veterans Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor
  • Vocational Expert in Forensic Rehabilitation Counseling

Bureau of Labor Statistics 2018, Largest Employers of Rehabilitation Counselors

  • Community and vocational rehabilitation services: 30%
  • Individual and family services: 18%
  • State government, excluding education and hospitals: 13%
  • Nursing and residential care facilities: 12%
  • Self-employed workers: 8%

Job outlook for 2018-2028

10% growth which is faster than average, resulting in over 11,800 new positions


Master of Science Degree in Counseling, Option in Rehabilitation Counseling