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Career and Education Opportunities for Rehabilitation Counselors in Columbia, Maryland

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for rehabilitation counselors in the Columbia, Maryland area. There are currently 3,510 jobs for rehabilitation counselors in Maryland and this is projected to grow by 29% to about 4,520 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%. Rehabilitation counselors generally 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 $12 per hour or $26,280 annually on average in Maryland and about $14 per hour or $30,930 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Rehabilitation counselors earn less than people working in the category of Counseling and Therapy generally in Maryland and less than people in the Counseling and Therapy category nationally. Jobs in this field include: homemaking rehabilitation consultant, employment instructional associate , and coordinator of rehabilitation services.

The Columbia area is home to 109 schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree as a rehabilitation counselor. Given that the most common education level for rehabilitation counselors is a high school diploma or GED, it will take only a short time to learn to be 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 Columbia 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

University of Maryland-Baltimore - Baltimore, MD

University of Maryland-Baltimore, 520 West Lombard Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-1627. University of Maryland-Baltimore is a medium sized university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 6,156 students. University of Maryland-Baltimore has a doctor's degree program in Assistive/Augmentative Technology & Rehabiliation Engineering which graduated one student in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.