How Much Do Rehabilitation Counselors Make

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 3 minute read

One of the 50 highest-paying master’s degrees, rehabilitation counseling shares many similarities with mental health counseling. Both rehabilitation counselors and mental health counselors make a difference by assisting people with their difficulties, including how they frame their thoughts and come up with answers to life-altering situations.

The client groups that these two types of counselors serve, the variety of professional tasks within these two sectors, and employment factors such as wage potential, job outlook, and licensure requirements distinguish these two careers.

A Patient Population That Is More Specialized

The discipline of rehabilitation counseling is simultaneously more specialized and larger than the field of mental health counseling, which may sound paradoxical. Rehabilitation counselors deal especially with individuals who have a disability, chronic sickness, or other medical condition.

Mental health counselors, on the other hand, may assist anybody with a diagnosable mental health illness or who might benefit from counseling interventions in their relationships, self-perception and self-esteem, or in response to stressful life events.

However, these distinctions are not always as clear-cut as they may appear. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a rehabilitation counselor may deal with a variety of patient groups with different sorts of impairments, including physical disabilities, developmental disabilities, mental disabilities, and emotional disabilities.

Given the diversity of prospective patient demographics and the similarity of some work duties between rehabilitation counselors and mental health counselors, there is a degree of overlap between both professions.

A patient may opt to consult a mental health counselor not just for mental and emotional problems, for instance, but also for physical limitations that have an impact on their mental health.

Counselors in mental health frequently specialize in their field of practice, and this specialty may be applicable to clients with disabilities. For instance, if the injury was the result of an accident or an attack, a trauma counselor can assist the client in coping with PTSD.

A Broader Range of Job Responsibilities

As a result, the scope of work of rehabilitation counselors and mental health counselors is the second main distinction between these two professions. Counselors in the field of rehabilitation offer similar treatment approaches to those offered by mental health professionals, but with a focus on disability and rehabilitation issues.

Other types of rehabilitation counselors, on the other hand, have distinct responsibilities.
Advocacy on behalf of the disabled and information about community resources and programs accessible to their clients may be more of a focus for a rehabilitation counselor. 

When it comes to job placement aid or vocational rehabilitation services, rehabilitation counselors are often used. A rehabilitation counselor may only give career and vocational counseling to clients in one of these employment functions.

As a mental health counselor, you’re often expected to analyze and diagnose the mental health requirements of your clients, as well as execute therapeutic counseling techniques as part of a treatment strategy.

To get help with finding a job, a mental health counselor would normally not see a client without a handicap or long-term medical problem. As a result, he or she might seek out the services of a career counselor.

Rehabilitation Counselors and Mental Health Counselors Have Different Careers

There are significant disparities between these two vocations when it comes to real labor. One of these distinctions is income potential.

The median income for the combined vocations of mental health counselor, drug addiction counselor, and behavioral disorder counselor was $46,240 in 2019, compared to $35,950 for rehabilitation counselors, according to the BLS.

These linked vocations are likewise predicted to increase at a far greater pace, 25 percent against 10 percent over a decade, while both mental health counselors and rehabilitation counselors should expect faster-than-average job growth.

The entrance level for mental health counselors is slightly higher than for rehabilitation counselors. While only rehabilitation counselors who offer counseling intervention services are normally needed to be licensed, according to the BLS, all mental health counselors in all states are typically obliged to obtain licensing.

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