How Can I Become A Rehabilitation Counselor?

Rehabilitation CounselorIf you have ever given thought to what processes are required in order to become a rehabilitation counselor, you should know that there are a variety of requirements that you must fulfill in order to work within this sector. Below you will find an outline of the requirements involved in becoming a rehabilitation counselor.

Rehabilitation Counselor – A Brief Overview

Rehabilitation counselors are individuals who help people who have disabilities lead productive and positive lives despite their condition. To accomplish this objective, the rehabilitation counselor will first determine what the client’s functional objectives are, which could include anything from returning to a job or locating adequate housing. Once the objectives are established, the rehabilitation counselor will help equip the client with the strategies and skills necessary to accomplish the objective. Additionally, rehabilitation counselors play a part in increasing public awareness regarding issues pertaining to disability while also ensuring that disabled individuals attain social justice. Rehabilitation counselors work with a wide range of individuals who have disabilities, some of which include:

  • Mental illness
  • Mobility impairment
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Substance abuse
  • Chronic disease
  • Addiction
  • Chronic disease
  • Language
  • Communication disorders
  • Sensory impairment (deafness, blindness)

Becoming A Rehabilitation Counselor

There are several requirements involved in becoming a rehabilitation counselor. Reading the outline that appears below can help you gain a basic understanding of the process.


In order to become a certified rehabilitation counselor, individuals must first obtain a master’s degree in the field of rehabilitation counseling. Additionally, one could obtain a degree in a field closely related to rehabilitation counseling such as disability studies or behavioral health. Generally, a master’s program will require two to three years of education above and beyond bachelor’s level work and will cover counseling strategies, career development, treatment planning, and assessment. Every counseling program that is accredited will incorporate supervised, extensive clinical experience.
Typically, a graduate counseling program will accept students who have obtained a bachelor’s degree within any subject area. In some cases, a school may require a prospective student to obtain a specific score on the GRE or meet some other requirements prior to admitting entry.


Generally, employers will require rehabilitation counselors to participate in continuing education programs as a form of training. These continuing education programs enable rehabilitation counselors to stay current regarding emerging trends within the field so that they can offer clients the best services available.


Rules for licensure within the field of rehabilitation counseling will differ based on location. In some states, unlicensed counselors will be permitted to work for agencies while those who want to work within a private practice will need to attain licensure. In order to attain specific information and resources regarding state licensure, you can visit the National Board for Certified Counselors. In order to become a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC), one must first conform to the guidelines of the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification. The easiest way to accomplish this goal would be to obtain a master’s degree from a program that is accredited. Next, candidates must pass a certification examination that will cover case management, career development, assessment, counseling skills, employment issues, and disability management.

Related Resource: Social Worker


If you have given consideration to becoming a rehabilitation counselor, you should know that doing so can be the beginning of a rewarding career. Now that you have a basic outline of what you must do to become a rehabilitation counselor, you can start the process of pursuing this vocational path.