Rehabilitation counselors work directly with patients, helping them recover from injuries and get back on their feet again. Counselors can work in various settings, including private homes and retirement homes, and where you work closely relates to the salary that you might make. You can make around $15 per hour working in this field, but you also have the chance to make much more.
Rehabilitation Counselor Job Duties
Working as a rehabilitation counselor often means that you work with a variety of different people. You might work with the elderly one day and work with children the next day. Many people working in this field choose to specialize in a specific area. Some choose to work in elementary schools or high schools, while others opt for the corrections field. You might also work in a retirement home, assisted living facility or at a hospital. You're responsible for helping patients recover from the injuries and issues that they have. Counselors often teach patients how to handle daily tasks and adjust to life after a disease or injury.
Working as a rehabilitation counselor typically requires a Masters degree in the field. These programs are only available to those who successfully complete an undergraduate degree in a similar field. You can study physiotherapy, medicine, psychology or another field of study relating to medicine. Depending on where you live and where you work, your city, state or facility might require additional certification.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary of rehabilitation counselors is $15.50 per hour or $32,350 per year. These statistics relate to a survey conducted in 2010 of those working in the field at the time, and the figures indicate that some counselors make a higher salary and others make less than the median amount. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also found that nearly 130,000 people worked in the field in 2010 and that the number of available jobs increased at a faster rate than those in other fields.
Positions relating to rehabilitation counselors include vocational counselors, substance abuse counselors and social workers. Vocational counselors work with clients and patients who need help working in their professions, while substance abuse counselors work with people suffering from drug and alcohol addictions. Social workers often handle cases of child abuse, child neglect and domestic abuse. Social workers can make anywhere from $18,000 to more than $70,000 per year, while vocational counselors can make around $39,000 to around $70,000 annually, according to Payscale. Payscale also found that where you live can affect how much you earn. Those living in Chicago and Atlanta often make less than counselors living in New York City.
When individuals need help after an illness or an injury, they turn to a counselor. Working as a rehabilitation counselor puts you in contact with patients every day, and you might feel satisfied helping others on their road to recovery. The median salary for these counselors is around $32,000 every year, but your income depends on where you live, your employer and your position. Other similar jobs in the field pay slightly more or less.