What Are the Requirements For a Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist?

Entry-level vocational rehabilitation specialist positions may only require bachelor's degrees; however, advanced positions may require a master's degree. Read on for information regarding the educational requirements you will need to enter the field of vocational rehabilitation. Schools offering Rehabilitation Sciences degrees can also be found in these popular choices.


Learn more about vocational rehabilitation positions, including job outlook, median salary, and key skills to be successful in this field.

Important Information About This Occupation

Median Salary (2014) $16.53/hour or $34,380/year
Job Outlook 2012-2022 20% - faster than average
Key Skills Compassion, communication skills, interpersonal skills, listening skills, and patience
Work Environment State and local government, schools, insurance companies, prisons, and independent-living facilities

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Employment Requirements

Because many positions for vocational rehabilitation specialists are available through state and local governments, educational and certification requirements may vary depending on the state in which you live. Requirements also may differ based on the position. Lower-level vocational rehabilitation specialists typically need bachelor's degrees in vocational rehabilitation, counseling, or a related field.

Supervisory positions may require master's degrees. If you have a degree in an unrelated area, you may need to have supplemental work experience in a disability-related field. For example, in Oklahoma, a Level II specialist must have a master's degree in a vocational rehabilitation or a master's degree in another discipline, plus one year of relevant work experience (www.okdrs.gov).


For advanced positions, you may need to qualify for national certification as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC), Certified Vocational Evaluator (CVE), or Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), depending on your specialty. According to the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification, eligibility requirements may include a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling, internship hours, work experience, and courses in specific areas (www.crccertification.com).

Career Overview

A vocational rehabilitation specialist works with physically and mentally disabled individuals and assists them with job placement, training, and adjustment. Vocational rehabilitation specialists work as part of a team of professionals, including doctors, social workers, and therapists, whose collective goal is to improve a client's quality of life. As a vocational rehabilitation specialist, you'll serve as a client's primary contact with a rehabilitation agency, and you may work with the same client for several years.

Other job duties can include providing each client with training services, managing and overseeing the training process, evaluating each client's need for educational supplementation, placing each client in a suitable position, and monitoring each client's individual progress.

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