Vocational Rehab Counselor

Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors (VRCs) provide and coordinate a wide range of rehabilitation counseling and case management services to Veterans with service-connected disabilities and other eligible individuals outside of the medical setting. They are primarily responsible for supporting Veterans who face challenges as a result of disabilities and have complex vocational rehabilitation needs. VRCs provide three major services to Veterans as part of their benefits– assessment, case management and assistance in attaining and maintaining suitable employment. Full professional counseling knowledge is required.

Job Duties

  • Conducts vocational evaluations and assessments
  • Develops and oversees rehabilitation plans
  • Provides counseling and case management services

Knowledge Areas

Need to have a thorough understanding of:

  • Counseling theories, skills and techniques as well as the scope of practice
  • Federal and state rehabilitation laws, rules, regulations and guidelines
  • Medical aspects of disabilities (e.g., functional abilities and limitations)
  • Common vocational assessment tests and resources (e.g., labor market research and transferable skills analysis)
  • Case management activities for an individual in a Rehabilitation Plan
  • Psychosocial factors that impact an individual with a disability
  • VA networks and systems (e.g., Benefits Delivery Network (BDN), Compensation and Pension Record Interchange (CAPRI) and Safety, Health and Return-To Employment (SHARE))
  • Possible barriers and risks to an individual’s rehabilitation (e.g., financial, learning disabilities and transportation issues)
  • Support services and resources within the community (e.g., Veteran Service Organizations, colleges or universities and mental health services)
  • Conflict resolution methodologies

Education and Licensure

  • Master's degree in Rehabilitation Counseling
  • Master's degree in a related field with 30 semester hours in rehabilitation
  • Supervised internship

Training & Developmental Experiences

Mid

Grade Range: 9-12

Developmental Experiences

  • Assist an individual in establishing realistic objectives and goals
  • Explain state and federal laws, rules, regulations and guidelines to ensure an individual understands the Vocational Rehabilitation process
  • Identify how an individual's disability affects their functioning
  • Administer and evaluate Vocational Assessment Tests (e.g., interests, aptitudes and abilities) in order to identify appropriate plan options
  • Manage a case to ensure support and services are provided to an individual in order to meet rehabilitation plan goals
  • Work with an individual to identify the psychosocial factors related to living with a disability
  • Utilize appropriate records to ensure an accurate portrayal of the Veteran's activities, condition and progress
  • Analyze psychological and physical disabilities or other handicaps in order to identify an individual's barriers related to motivations, adjustment and difficultly in employment placement
  • Access appropriate resources to assist an individual with rehabilitation goals
  • Resolve conflicts, grievances, confrontations or disagreements in situations that involve moderately complex matters and a moderate degree of conflict or pressure

Training Resources

* This is an internal Department of Veterans Affairs training opportunity provided to VA employees for continued career growth. Some courses may not be available if they are not in a person’s learning plan or catalogue.

Senior

Grade Range: 13-13

Developmental Experiences

  • Provide personal adjustment and problem solving counseling to Veterans to allow rehabilitation plans to continue on schedule
  • Explain state and federal laws, rules, regulations and guidelines to identify appropriate benefits for Veterans
  • Identify how a Veteran's disability affects their functioning
  • Administer and evaluate Vocational Assessment Tests (e.g., interests, aptitudes and abilities) in order to identify appropriate plan options
  • Manage a case to ensure support and services are provided to a Veteran in order to meet rehabilitation plan goals
  • Work with Veterans to identify the psychosocial factors related to living with a disability
  • Utilize appropriate records to ensure an accurate portrayal of the Veteran's activities, condition and progress
  • Analyze psychological and physical disabilities or other handicaps in order to identify a Veteran's barriers related to motivations, adjustment and difficultly in employment placement
  • Access appropriate resources to assist an individual with rehabilitation goals
  • Persuade external and internal stakeholders to cooperate, accept recommendations or consider other options

Training Resources

* This is an internal Department of Veterans Affairs training opportunity provided to VA employees for continued career growth. Some courses may not be available if they are not in a person’s learning plan or catalogue.

Supervisor

Grade Range: 13-13

Developmental Experiences

  • Assist employees on setting realistic goals based on their strengths and areas for growth
  • Provide a stretch assignment to an employee to leverage and improve their skills
  • Recognize and reward team efforts and individual accomplishments
  • Update stakeholders on changes that may affect them
  • Identify new internal colleagues to partner with to achieve organizational goals
  • Develop a relationship a with peer outside of the work unit
  • Facilitate a discussion where others can share their differences of opinion
  • Deploy technology resources in an efficient manner
  • Help others to plan, organize, and prioritize workloads to ensure timely high quality deliverables
  • Articulate VA’s mission externally to advocate for Veterans

Training Resources

* This is an internal Department of Veterans Affairs training opportunity provided to VA employees for continued career growth. Some courses may not be available if they are not in a person’s learning plan or catalogue.

Manager

Grade Range: 13-15

Developmental Experiences

  • Provide regular feedback to employees to enhance their leadership capabilities
  • Provide a stretch assignment to an employee to leverage and improve their skills
  • Coach team members on how to efficiently address sensitive issues and concerns
  • Collaborate with key internal and external stakeholders to ensure programs and policies are integrated with their needs
  • Collaborate with internal and external colleagues in support of VA's mission
  • Express needs, concerns or requests to senior staff in order to achieve project results
  • Mediate a simple conflict or disagreement among staff members
  • Formulate alternative technological solutions to improve organizational performance
  • Utilize a formal performance management system that provides measureable performance standards to monitor project progress
  • Articulate VA’s mission externally to advocate for Veterans

Training Resources

* This is an internal Department of Veterans Affairs training opportunity provided to VA employees for continued career growth. Some courses may not be available if they are not in a person’s learning plan or catalogue.

Professional Associations

Membership in professional organizations can be useful in maintaining an awareness of developments in the field. These organizations are examples of associations aligned with this position:

Career Fit

Work Interest

Work Interests refer to the types of work activities that interest you, such as interacting with people, thinking of new ideas, or working with your hands. The chart below shows the Work Interest Profile for this job.

Work Environment

Work Environment refers to the setting in which you like to work, such as inside or outside, in a competitive or supportive environment, or in an environment with a little or a lot of time pressure. The chart below shows the Work Environment Profile for this job.

Go to the My Career Fit Tool