Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.

Career and Education Opportunities for Rehabilitation Counselors in San Diego, California

If you want to be a rehabilitation counselor, the San Diego, California area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 10,000 people are currently employed as rehabilitation counselors in California. By 2016, this is expected to grow 13% to about 11,300 people employed. This is not quite as good as the national trend for rehabilitation counselors, which sees this job pool growing by about 18.9% over the next eight years. In general, rehabilitation counselors counsel individuals to maximize the independence and employability of persons coping with personal, social, and vocational difficulties that result from birth defects, illness, or the stress of daily life.

Rehabilitation counselors earn approximately $17 hourly or $35,500 annually on average in California. Nationally they average about $14 per hour or $30,930 annually. Rehabilitation counselors earn less than people working in the category of Counseling and Therapy generally in California and less than people in the Counseling and Therapy category nationally. Jobs in this field include: psychosocial rehabilitation counselor, homemaking rehabilitation consultant, and case manager.

The San Diego area is home to sixty schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of San Diego where you can get a degree as a rehabilitation counselor. Rehabilitation counselors usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a rehabilitation counselor if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Rehabilitation Counselor

Rehabilitation Counselor video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, rehabilitation counselors counsel individuals to maximize the independence and employability of persons coping with personal, social, and vocational difficulties that result from birth defects, illness, or the stress of daily life. They also coordinate activities for residents of care and treatment facilities.

Rehabilitation counselors monitor and record clients' progress to insure that goals and objectives are met. They also ready and maintain records and case files, including documentation such as clients' personal and eligibility data, services provided, narratives of client contacts, and relevant correspondence. Equally important, rehabilitation counselors have to participate in job development and placement programs, contacting prospective employers, placing clients in jobs, and evaluating the success of placements. They are often called upon to talk with physicians and other professionals to evolve and implement client rehabilitation programs. They are expected to maintain close contact with clients during job training and placements to deal with problems and evaluate placement adequacy. Finally, rehabilitation counselors analyze data from interviews, educational and medical records, consultation with other professionals, and diagnostic evaluations to gauge clients' abilities and eligibility for services.

Every day, rehabilitation counselors are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they understand what others are saying to them even in a noisy environment.

It is important for rehabilitation counselors to collaborate with community agencies to determine facilities and programs for persons with disabilities. They are often called upon to design and maintain relationships with community referral sources. They also direct case service allocations, authorizing expenditures and payments. Somewhat less frequently, rehabilitation counselors are also expected to maintain close contact with clients during job training and placements to deal with problems and evaluate placement adequacy.

Rehabilitation counselors sometimes are asked to locate barriers to client employment, such as inaccessible work sites and transportation problems, and work with clients to evolve strategies for overcoming these barriers. and design rehabilitation plans that fit clients' aptitudes and career goals. And finally, they sometimes have to collaborate with clients' families to execute rehabilitation plans such as behavioral and employment goals.

Like many other jobs, rehabilitation counselors must be reliable and have strong self control in the face of challenging situations.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in San Diego include:

  • Career Advisor. Counsel individuals and provide group educational and vocational guidance services.
  • Marriage and Family Therapist. Diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders, whether cognitive, or behavioral, within the context of marriage and family systems. Apply psychotherapeutic and family systems theories and techniques in the delivery of professional services to individuals, couples, and families for the purpose of treating such diagnosed nervous and mental disorders.
  • Mental Health Counselor. Counsel with emphasis on prevention. Work with individuals and groups to promote optimum mental health. May help individuals deal with addictions and substance abuse; family, parenting, and marital problems; suicide; stress management; problems with self-esteem; and issues associated with aging and mental and emotional health.
  • Substance Abuse Specialist. Counsel and advise individuals with alcohol, tobacco, or other problems, such as gambling and eating disorders. May counsel individuals, families, or groups or engage in prevention programs.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Rehabilitation Counselor Training

San Diego State University - San Diego, CA

San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Dr, San Diego, CA 92182. San Diego State University is a large university located in San Diego, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 34,889 students and an admission rate of 44%. San Diego State University has a master's degree program in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling/Counselor which graduated thirty-nine students in 2008.


Certified Disability Management Specialist: A CDMS designation communicates professional credibility.

For more information, see the Certification of Disability Management Specialists Commission website.

Certified Rehabilitation Counselor: The Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC) sets the standard for quality rehabilitation counseling services in the U.

For more information, see the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification website.

Certified Workforce Specialist: Candidates must pass all four (4) WPDP competencies exams (History of Workforce Development, Business & Jobseeker Specialist, Unemployment Insurance Specialist, and Labor Market Information Specialist).

For more information, see the International Association of Workforce Professionals website.


San Diego, California
San Diego, California photo by FlickreviewR

San Diego is situated in San Diego County, California. It has a population of over 1,279,329, which has grown by 4.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in San Diego, 141, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Diego are valued at $323,700 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, six hundred forty-one new homes were constructed in San Diego, down from seven hundred forty-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in San Diego are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 35.0% of San Diego residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.4%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in San Diego is 10.5%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of San Diego residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.7%, is less than both the national and state average. Penasquitos Nazarene Church, Peace Lutheran Church and Paul E Kidd African Methodist Episcopal Church are some of the churches located in San Diego. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

San Diego is home to the Zlac Rowing Club and the Rancho Los Penasquitos Golf Course as well as Adobe Bluffs Park and John F Kennedy Park. Shopping malls in the area include San Diego Factory Outlet Shopping Center, San Carlos Shopping Center and Montgomery Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to San Diego can choose from Best Western Posada at the Yac, Beachfront San Diego and Banana Bungalow Hostel San Diego for temporary stays in the area.