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Career and Education Opportunities for Rehabilitation Counselors in Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for rehabilitation counselors. There are currently 11,080 jobs for rehabilitation counselors in Washington and this is projected to grow 21% to 13,380 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.

Rehabilitation counselors earn about $18 hourly or $39,200 annually on average in Washington and about $14 hourly or $30,930 annually on average nationally. Earnings for rehabilitation counselors are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Counseling and Therapy in Washington and not quite as good as general Counseling and Therapy category earnings nationally. Rehabilitation counselors work in a variety of jobs, including: counselor, training specialist, and psychotherapist.

The Seattle area is home to sixty-five schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Seattle 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 Seattle 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

Edmonds Community College - Lynnwood, WA

Edmonds Community College, 20000 68th Ave W, Lynnwood, WA 98036-5912. Edmonds Community College is a medium sized college located in Lynnwood, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 7,823 students. Edmonds Community College has an associate's degree program in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling/Counselor which graduated five students 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: Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington photo by Dschwen

Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.