How to Become Rehabilitation Counselor

Rehabilitation is one of the most important medical practices, which focuses on giving the necessary medical treatment for restoring the mental and physical function. All the rehabilitation counselors are trained professionals that help people deal with their issues and help in improving their conditions, which leads to a meaningful life. If you want to learn how to become rehabilitation counselor, then this article will help you.

If you want to guide people to leading a normal and productive life, then rehabilitation counseling is the right profession for you. Here are some simple steps on how to become a rehabilitation counselor.

Things Required:

  • Degree (master’s)
  • Liability of insurance
  • Certification


  • For becoming a rehab counselor, you will have to obtain a bachelor’s degree in psychology, sociology or in any other social and behavioral science. If you want admissions in graduate rehabilitation program then you will not need any specific undergraduate program. However, you will have to score above a 3.0 grade point average or higher scores in the graduate record examination. You will also need two to three recommendation letters from your teachers.  
  • Always look for volunteer opportunities at local or community levels. No matter where you apply for the rehabilitation graduate program, all these experiences will help you in gaining a little extra weight in your application. All these volunteer experiences will show you the kind of work you will be doing as a counselor and will also help you in deciding whether you really want to become a counselor or not.
  • Try to attend a graduate school with an institute, which is accredited with the Counsel on Rehabilitation Education (CORE). If you are not able to get a degree form the accredited school, then you must work with a certified rehabilitation counselor even before you take the certification test.
  • Complete your master’s degree and this degree should be duly accredited with CORE. A master’s degree will be completed within two years and this will include clinical training through practicum and internship. Remember that if you want to assume supervisory levels then you will need a doctorate degree. For this, you will have to become an educator in the same field or get involved in a research.
  • Earn your certification, this will be voluntary and it will signify that you are competent and able to qualify as a rehab counselor. If you want to earn certification, you will have to take an exam, which is conducted by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification. Once you pass this exam and prove that you are done with all the necessary educational programs, you will be designated as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. 
  • After this, you will have to start looking for work and remember that rehab counselors are needed in various settings. Therefore, for the post of a rehab counselor you will find jobs in various organizations and environments. For instance, you can work with the hospital, employment agencies, alcohol or drug rehabs and correctional facilities. If you want, you can run your own private practice as well.
  • Develop all the required skills and characteristic traits. Always remember that rehab counseling will involve a lot of listening. Therefore, you will have to make sure that you are a skilled listener, which means that you listen and use your eyes for understanding the person. Apart from this, you need to have outstanding verbal skills for enabling you to communicate with your clients in a clear way. You will have to be empathetic, patient and understanding. There will be discussions about sensitive issues during your counseling sessions and for this, you need to understand the importance of confidentiality and secrecy.

Tips and Warnings:

  • If you are planning to open a private practice, make sure that you get the liability insurance for your business. Some of the employers will need you to buy the insurance yourself, but others will provide you with the insurance.
  • Prepare yourself to work in the evenings if you have decided to open your own practice. Most of your clients will be working or will be attending school, so evening and weekends will be the most convenient time for them.

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