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How Do I Become a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor?

Whitney Leigh White
Whitney Leigh White

When choosing to become a vocational rehabilitation counselor, you will be taking on a large amount of responsibilities. These types of counselors provide vocational counseling, also known as career counseling, to individuals with disabilities. By conducting assessments, vocational rehab counselors can identify what types of jobs best fit their disabled clients. In order to become a vocational rehabilitation counselor, you should understand career counseling duties, obtain necessary education, pass a certification examination, as well as possess certain personality traits and skills.

In order to effectively provide disabled individuals with vocational counseling, a rehab counselor must complete a large range of tasks and duties. Many assessments usually have to be performed, as well as identifying clients’ past work history and experiences. The most important duty that you must perform is working together with clients in a way that helps them to cope with their disability while looking for and obtaining employment. Since each client’s disability and situation is unique, a vocational counselor has to stay up-to-date on how to effectively work with each type of client.

Woman posing
Woman posing

Most employers mandate that a master’s degree is obtained in rehabilitation counseling in order for you to become a vocational rehabilitation counselor. By studying for this type of degree, you can gain the necessary knowledge it takes to understand different types of disabilities and how to work with disabled clients. The minimum amount of education a person can obtain to become a vocational rehab counselor is a bachelor’s degree.

Even after earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree, you still must pass a certification exam in order to become a vocational rehabilitation counselor. In the United States, after passing a certification exam, you are then awarded a license that legally allows you to perform the duties of a vocational rehab counselor. Since different organizations within different locations provide certification exams, it is important for you to identify exactly where you can take this type of exam.

There are many different types of personality traits and skills a person should possess in order to become a vocational rehabilitation counselor. You must be patient and able to effectively assess your client’s skills, as well as have superb communication skills. In addition to these traits, it also helps to have good teaching skills since you will be instructing clients how to deal with their disability while looking for and obtaining a job.

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