Nearly all rehabilitation program settings provide on-the-job training, but you can advance further and faster in your rehabilitation career through accredited rehabilitation programs. Certification and licensing are basic requirements for rehabilitation counselors and rehabilitation nurses.
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Rehabilitation Careers: Advancement through Higher Education
- Rehabilitation aides: Rehabilitation aides work with nurses, social workers, and psychological professionals in hospitals, clinics, offices, group homes, and shelters. Responsibilities depend upon education level and work experience. A rehabilitation degree at the associate's level is desirable.
- Rehabilitation counselors: Rehabilitation counselors usually have a rehabilitation degree from an accredited rehabilitation program. Master's degrees are the standard credential for rehabilitation counselors, who help clients and their families deal with the physical and emotional effects of disabilities due to disease, illness, accidents, and birth defects.
- Rehabilitation nurses: Rehabilitation nurses are RNs, LPNs, and CNAs who specialize in rehabilitation services. A rehabilitation career in nursing requires certification from specialized rehabilitation programs plus a nursing license.
- Rehabilitation administrators: Rehabilitation administrators manage the daily operations of rehabilitation programs and services in clinics, hospitals, outpatient centers, group homes, and shelters. A bachelor or master's degree is the norm.
You must also complete field work and supervised internships to graduate from most rehabilitation degree programs.
Rehabilitation Careers: An Excellent Job Outlook
With a much faster than average job growth rate of 23%, rehabilitation professionals will enjoy excellent job prospects through 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those with rehabilitation degrees will enjoy the best wages.
In 2009, the average salary for rehabilitation counselors was $34,710. Vocational rehabilitation services workers netted an average of $31,820. And, rehabilitation aides earned $27,280, on average.
If you enjoy helping others recover from accidents, illness, or injury, consider a rehabilitation career.