What does a Rehab Counselor do?

Rehab counselors provide counseling and support services to clients or patients who are recovering or rehabilitating from addiction, mental health issues, or physical conditions. These services may be provided on an outpatient basis or in residence while the individual is a patient or client admitted to a care facility. Counselors may provide individual or group therapy, and may share coping strategies and mental health techniques to help the individual better manage their mental health or addiction challenges. The counselor develops a recommended treatment or therapeutic plan. They also may provide crisis or emergency care.

Rehab counselors typically have a master’s degree in counseling, social work, or a related field, and a background in counseling or similar recovery support roles. They must have in-depth expertise with counseling techniques and practices. These roles generally have licensing or certification requirements.

What responsibilities are common for Rehab Counselor jobs?
  • Conduct initial screenings and assessments of patients, perform ongoing toxicology screenings to obtain pertinent information about SUD and Co-Occurring Disorder(s).
  • Assist with the implementation and monitoring of campus and district initiatives.
  • Travel will be required to deliver services in the assigned territory.
  • Document individual case records to comply with state and federal regulations and policies.
  • Assist counselors and learn to monitor patient treatment and documentation to assure compliance with standards and continuity of care.
  • Outreach and home visits as required encouraging participation in program activities.
  • Monitor and review lessons in the learning management system.
  • Arrange for pick up of participants as needed or scheduled.
  • Listen to patient concerns and provide counseling and direction when appropriate.
  • Model expert lessons, observe classroom instruction, and follow-up with coaching sessions.
  • Lead discussions and present lectures and films for group sessions.
  • Provide crisis management and facilitate hospitalizations.
  • Provide consultative services and technical assistance to plan and implement effective program services.
  • Maintain written records and files of daily activities and travel log.
  • Effectively manage a full caseload of clients in an independent, orderly and timely manner.
  • Manage and distribute instructional resources to teachers and provide training on the use of those resources.
  • Perform case management and contributes to client care monitoring.
  • Prepare reports and information in a professional manner for case files.
What are the typical qualifications for Rehab Counselor jobs?
  • Bachelor's or Graduate's Degree in behavioral sciences or equivalent experience.
  • Comfortable conducting intakes and onboarding for clients or patients.
  • Sound time management and leadership skills.
  • Comfortable using problem solving techniques to assist clients or patients with issues.
  • Critical thinking and attention to detail.
  • Comfortable with collaboration and advocacy where applicable.
  • Comfortable conducting motivational interviews.
  • Fluency with HIPAA regulations and protocols.
  • Multilingual and possess sound professionalism skills.
Work/Life Balance
3.1 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.3 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

How much does a Rehab Counselor make?

$57,196 /yr
Total Pay

Base Pay


Additional Pay


 / yr
Most Likely Range
Possible Range
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Rehab Counselor Career Path

Learn how to become a Rehab Counselor, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Average Years of Experience

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7
Not including years spent in education and/or training
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Rehab Counselor Insights

Read what Rehab Counselor professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Southeast Health GroupSoutheast Health Group
Certified Addiction Specialist
Apr 12, 2021

“They people are fun to work with and I have enjoyed the clientle that comes in.”

New SeasonNew Season
Addictions Counselor
Oct 11, 2021

“Don't have to do your job duties if you can take verbal and mental abuse from either your direct supervisor and/or program manager.”

City YearCity Year
Intervention Specialist
May 24, 2022

“City Year connected me with a great mentor in my field that has been helping me with my career and resume.”

Cornerstone MontgomeryCornerstone Montgomery
Rehabilitation Counselor
Dec 7, 2021

“I personally had amazing support from my supervisor and appreciated the balance of advice and freedom.”

ACCEL Schools (OH)ACCEL Schools (OH)
Intervention Specialist
May 25, 2022

“I work as a contractor but feel as if I am part of the regular staff.”

Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor
Mar 30, 2022

“1. Salary and benefits are the best you will find anywhere.”

LCDC-II/Therapeutic Community Treatment Counselor
Feb 1, 2022

“It is fantastic to work with people who really need assistance coming back to society”

State of TennesseeState of Tennessee
Vocational Rehabilitation Coordinator
Jul 6, 2022

“None pay is not great”

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Rehab Counselor Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of a Rehab Counselor

The most similar professions to Rehab Counselor are:
  • Therapist
  • Outpatient Therapist
  • Mental Health Therapist
  • Behavior Therapist

Related Careers

No skills overlap
Outpatient Therapist
No skills overlap
Mental Health Therapist
No skills overlap
Behavior Therapist
No skills overlap

Rehab Counselor Jobs