Rehabilitation counselors help people with mental, physical, developmental, and/or emotional disabilities live independently. The U.S Census found that approximately one in five people live with a disability in the United States. Rehabilitation counselors work at organizations such as rehabilitation centers, physical therapy clinics, and assisted living facilities. They establish treatment plans for clients to help them build skills, find employment, and locate services to accommodate daily challenges.
Prospective rehabilitation counselors enjoy strong job prospects. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 13% job growth for these counselors between 2016 and 2026. Rehabilitation counselors in Utah need a master's degree and a license to practice. This guide outlines how to become a rehabilitation counselor in Utah, including education and experience requirements.
Counseling License and Career Requirements in UtahExplore more pathways to becoming a counselor in Utah here
Education and Experience Requirements
Rehabilitation counselors in Utah must earn the licensed vocational rehabilitation counselor (LVRC) credential after passing the national Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) exam. To qualify for the LVRC credential, candidates need a master's degree in a qualifying field. This section outlines the specific educational and experience requirements for prospective Utah rehabilitation counselors.
Education and Coursework
Rehabilitation counselors — also called vocational counselors in Utah — need at least a master's degree to practice in the state. According to the Utah Office of Administrative Rules, LVRC candidates need a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling or a related field, such as psychology, clinical psychology, educational counseling, or educational psychology.
Students pursuing a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling complete coursework that covers the medical, cognitive and psychological, and social and environmental aspects of disability. Credit requirements vary by program, but most programs require 48-60 credits. Since candidates seeking LVRC status must hold CRC certification, students generally sit for the CRC exam during the final term of their master's program.
Interested in pursuing an education in school counseling? Check out the following pages to explore available academic programs by level:
Practicum and Internship
Master's degree candidates acquire hands-on experience working with clients during a supervised practicum and internship at a relevant organization. Students typically complete a practicum on a part-time basis, while the internship should last at least 600 hours and meet state requirements and national program standards established by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP).
Schools typically work with students to identify suitable clinical sites that meet program standards, taking into consideration students' career objectives and the client populations they want to serve.
Application and Exam Requirements for Utah Rehabilitation Counselors
To qualify for licensure in Utah, candidates must pass the CRC exam administered by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC). Candidates must complete at least 75% of the coursework in a master's program accredited by CACREP before sitting for the exam. They must also submit evidence that they have completed a 600-hour supervised internship in rehabilitation counseling, including at least 240 hours of time spent delivering rehabilitation counseling services to clients with disabilities. CRCC establishes additional requirements for graduate students with a master's from a program not accredited by CACREP.
To qualify for licensure in Utah, candidates must pass the CRC exam administered by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification (CRCC)
CRCC administers the CRC exam three times a year in March, July, and October. During this exam, students must demonstrate mastery of 12 knowledge domains related to rehabilitation counseling. Candidates pay a $410 certification fee that includes the cost of the examination.
Once students pass the CRC exam, they have completed a key qualifier for the LVRC credential. They must also submit school transcripts to the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing, showing that they have earned a master's degree in rehabilitation counseling or a related field. LVRC candidates also verify that they possess at least 4,000 hours of disability-related work experience under the supervision of a vocational rehabilitation practitioner. Lastly, they must submit a copy of their CRC credential and pay a $70 fee.
In addition to the CRC exam, graduates of master's in rehabilitation counseling programs may also qualify to sit for the National Counselor Examination for Licensure and Certification and the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling Exam — both of these tests are administered by the National Board for Certified Counselors.
Out-of-state Rehabilitation Counselor Candidates
Licensed rehabilitation counselors in other states may receive Utah's LVRC credential by endorsement. To qualify, candidates need an out-of-state license in good standing that meets Utah's licensure standards. Candidates must almost demonstrate that they completed 4,000 hours of supervised disability-related work experience.
Rehabilitation Counselor License Maintenance and Renewal Requirements
Utah requires rehabilitation counselors to renew their license every two years. Utah's Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing mails a renewal notice to licensees approximately 60 days before it expires. To qualify for renewal, licensees must complete at least 40 hours of continuing education related to their practice, including four hours on ethics/law. The state charges a $47 renewal fee.
Utah requires rehabilitation counselors to renew their license every two years
Resources and Organizations for Rehabilitation Counselors in Utah
Rehabilitation counseling professionals and students can benefit from joining professional organizations. These organizations offer professional development opportunities, information about licensure and accreditation, networking opportunities, and rehabilitation resources and tools.
- American Rehabilitation Counseling Association ARCA's membership of rehabilitation counselors, educators, and students work to promote excellence in the profession. Members receive access to conferences, workshops, trainings, newsletters, online peer networking, and legislative updates.
- American Counseling Association ACA is the world's largest organization for professional counselors. Members receive access to award-winning publications; continuing education opportunities; a digital job board; and discounts on insurance, travel, and other services. ACA also offers student membership.
- Association on Higher Education and Disability AHEAD works to ensure that people with disabilities receive access to higher education. Member benefits include publications, conferences, workshops, webinars, 25 member-only communities, and a career center. The organization offers student membership.
- Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification CRCC is a nonprofit organization that promotes excellence in the field through a certification program for rehabilitation counselors. The organization's CRC credential is the highest level of credentialing one can hold in this field.
- Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs CACREP accredits master's and doctoral counseling programs in various specialties, including rehabilitation counseling. Its website provides information about licensure and educational programming.
- International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals Through IARP, rehabilitation professionals can connect with their peers through an online community. Members also receive access to on-demand courses, publications, and mentorship. IARP offers student membership.
- National Rehabilitation Counseling Association NRCA advocates for people with disabilities. Members include rehabilitation counselors, researchers, educators, and students. Members can participate in networking activities and gain access to seminars, workshops, and webinars.
- National Rehabilitation Association NRA is the oldest professional membership organization that advocates for the rights of people with disabilities. Its membership consists of counselors, educators, researchers, and students who receive access to regional chapters and networking opportunities.
- National Rehabilitation Information Center This site maintains a repository of research and information focused on people living with disabilities. NARIC disseminates articles, reports, guides, and other publications relevant to practitioners in this field.
- Utah State Office of Rehabilitation This state agency helps residents with disabilities find employment and integrate into society. It also offers economic data and information about employment services, programs and services for the blind and hearing impaired, and vocational rehabilitation services.