Rehabilitation Services Careers Information
Those working in rehabilitation services help individuals with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities maximize their independence. Those working in rehabilitation services specialize in a variety of careers.
Rehabilitation Services Careers & Degrees
Some common specialties include the following careers:
Occupational therapists help patients improve their ability to perform everyday tasks and their work related skills. Often called OTs, they may employ techniques such as art or massage therapy, after they have evaluated interests, skill sets, and current abilities, in order to help patients reach their vocational goals.
Physical therapists help rehabilitate individuals who’ve been injured or who suffer from a chronic illness so they can live their daily lives to the fullest potential. Also know as PTs, some of their common practices include therapeutic exercise, adaptive devises, and manual therapy techniques.
Rehabilitation counselors work with individuals to deal with the effects of having a disability. They develop rehabilitation programs, and confer with physicians, psychologists, and other therapists in order to properly assess the individuals’ progress.
Rehabilitation Services Careers Path
The path you take to a career in rehabilitation services depends largely on the particular specialty. A bachelor’s degree may be acceptable for entry-level positions, but in order to practice as a licensed counselor or as a physical therapist, a master’s degree is necessary.
There are different associations governing each type of rehabilitation specialty, and requirements vary depending on the association. Most accrediting bodies require state certification in order to practice, as well as continuing education courses to ensure specialists are up-to-date on the latest advances and practices.
Rehabilitation Services Careers: Compatible Personality Traits
Patient, compassionate, accommodating. Great communication skills, and a strong desire to help others,
Rehabilitation Services Careers: Salary Expectations
The salaries of professionals working in rehabilitation services fluctuate greatly depending on specialty. Other variables include education level, experience level, geographic location, and employment type, such as non-profit vs. government or federal agency.
For example, rehabilitation counselors earned a median salary of $32,350 annually in 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Rehabilitation Services Careers: Job Outlook
According to the BLS, the careers in rehabilitation are expected to grow faster than the national average for all careers. For example, rehabilitation counselor careers are expected to grow 28% by 2020.
These faster-than-average growth rates are due in part to rapid changes in the medical industry. Mortality rates have lowered due to technological advances, and the increasingly elderly population will help drive demand for these services. Those with advanced certification, and expertise in particular areas of treatment will have the best opportunities.
Slightly Off the Footpath
Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Rehabilitation Counselors, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/rehabilitation-counselors.htm (visited February 19, 2013).