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Career and Education Opportunities for Rehabilitation Counselors in Aurora, Illinois

Rehabilitation counselors can find many career and educational opportunities in the Aurora, Illinois area. There are currently 3,900 jobs for rehabilitation counselors in Illinois and this is projected to grow 22% to 4,740 jobs by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for rehabilitation counselors are expected to grow by about 18.9%. 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.

A person working as a rehabilitation counselor can expect to earn about $15 per hour or $31,320 per year on average in Illinois and about $14 per hour or $30,930 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for rehabilitation counselors are not quite as good as in the overall category of Counseling and Therapy in Illinois, and not quite as good as the overall Counseling and Therapy category nationally. Rehabilitation counselors work in a variety of jobs, including: group home counselor, qualified mental retardation professional , and program coordinator.

There are 175 schools of higher education in the Aurora area, including one within twenty-five miles of Aurora where you can get a degree to start your career 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 Aurora include:

  • Career Advisor. Counsel individuals and provide group educational and vocational guidance services.
  • Health Education Specialist. Promote, maintain, and improve individual and community health by assisting individuals and communities to adopt healthy behaviors. Collect and analyze data to identify community needs prior to planning, implementing, and evaluating programs designed to encourage healthy lifestyles, policies and environments. May also serve as a resource to assist individuals, other professionals, or the community, and may administer fiscal resources for health education programs.
  • 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

Illinois Institute of Technology - Chicago, IL

Illinois Institute of Technology, 3300 S Federal St, Chicago, IL 60616. Illinois Institute of Technology is a medium sized school located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,404 students and an admission rate of 57%. Illinois Institute of Technology has a master's degree program in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling/Counselor which graduated fourteen 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.


Aurora, Illinois
Aurora, Illinois photo by File Upload Bot

Aurora is situated in Kane County, Illinois. It has a population of over 171,782, which has grown by 20.1% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Aurora, 103, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Aurora are valued at $143,000 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred twenty-seven new homes were constructed in Aurora, down from three hundred thirty-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Aurora are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and finance and insurance. The average travel time to work is about 29 minutes. More than 29.9% of Aurora residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.3%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Aurora is 10.9%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Aurora residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Holy Angels Roman Catholic Church, Saint Therese Roman Catholic Church and Bethany of Fox Valley United Methodist Church are all churches located in Aurora. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Aurora is home to the Watkins Hall and the Landmark Industrial Park as well as North River Street Park and O'Donnell Park. Shopping centers in the area include Yorkshire Shopping Center, Village Mart Shopping Center and Fox Valley Mall. Visitors to Aurora can choose from Comfort Suites Aurora, Galena Hotel and Comfort Inn for temporary stays in the area.