Average Salary: $33,880
Expected Lifetime Earnings: $1,414,000
If you're looking for a high-dollar profession with lots of prestige and a company car, you're barking up the wrong tree. First of all, rehab counselors frequently work in unglamorous, low-budget settings such as non-profit agencies and schools. Unless you belong to some sort of union that specifies your pay rate, or you're in private practice, you're going to be on the low end of the salary totem pole.
For example, rehab counselors' median annual salary was just over $32k in 2010. That means half the people are spiking the curve above that number, and the other half are eating PB&J three meals a day. Dig even further, and you'll find the lowest 10 percenters, who earned just over $20k in 2010.
You're probably wondering how to get on the higher end of that range. Well, state government-based rehab counselors made out the best, with a gross salary between $40k-$45K. Local government-employed counselors pulled in around $40k annually. Neither of these groups included hospital- or education-based counselors. Family services, vocational rehab services, and nursing facilities' salaries came in almost $10k lower per year.