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Counselor - Career Opportunities in Pennsylvania 

Tip Sheet for Applying for Counselor Position

The Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) is actively seeking talented, qualified Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors to join the agency. Are you looking for a rewarding career in the rehabilitation counseling field? Do you want a challenging job that offers a variety of responsibilities, rewarding work with clear results and the opportunity to promote career choice for people with disabilities? If you answered yes, then Pennsylvania OVR is the place for you! OVR provides services to eligible people with disabilities to secure and maintain employment and independence. As a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor with OVR you will enjoy a satisfying career, one that empowers Pennsylvanians with disabilities to achieve economic and personal independence.

Statewide VR Counselor Opportunities

OVR continually accepts applications for Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor positions (job code 44831) and Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Deaf and Hard of Hearing positions (job code 44829). OVR's ideal candidate is a positive, enthusiastic individual with excellent communication skills and strong interpersonal skills. A Master's Degree in Rehabilitation, Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) credentials or eligibility for CRC credentials is required.

Pennsylvania residency is not required to apply and there is no competitive test. All positions are filled through the State Civil Service Commission.

View Current Counselor Vacancies

All positions are in the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) within the Department of Labor and Industry. Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor positions exist throughout the state in the 21 District Offices locations of OVR, including the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (BVRS), the Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services (BBVS) and at the Hiram G. Andrews Center (HGAC) in Johnstown.

Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors in the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation Services counsel customers with a wide range of physical and/or mental disabilities which present barriers to employment. Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, counsel customers who are deaf or hard of hearing and who may use American Sign Language (ASL), other forms of sign and manual communication, or assistive technology. Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors in the Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services counsel customers with a range of visual impairments which present barriers to employment.

Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor positions in the Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services come under the provisions of the Child Protective Services Law. If you are a final candidate for one of these positions, you will have to provide reports on your background from such sources as the Pennsylvania State Police and the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare. If you are a final candidate and not a Pennsylvania resident, you must also obtain a report of Federal Criminal History Record Information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Necessary Special Requirement for Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Deaf and Hard of Hearing: Ability to communicate at the intermediate sign communication level as determined by the Sign Communication Proficiency Interview evaluation approved by the Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation.

Minimum Requirements (Both Job Titles)

(Option 1) Successful completion of the Commonwealth's Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor Intern program; OR (Option 2) a master's degree in vocational rehabilitation counseling, rehabilitation education, or rehabilitation administration; OR (Option 3) Certification as a Rehabilitation Counselor by the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification; OR (Option 4) proof of approval to sit for the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification's (CRCC) certification examination, as provided by the CRCC, and completion of a master's degree.

Salary and Benefits - Starting Salary Statewide is $47,883/year; in Norristown and Philadelphia district offices starting salary is $52,284/year.

OVR offers a competitive salary and an excellent benefit package. OVR Counselors work full time and pay is based on 37.5 hours per week. The starting salary for VR Counselor positions statewide is $47,883 per year (Pay Schedule 7 Step 1) and for VR Counselors in OVR's Philadelphia and Norristown district offices is $52,284 per year (Pay Schedule 7 Step 5). Commonwealth benefits available to new employees include medical benefits, life insurance, a retirement plan, annual, sick and personal leave, eleven paid holidays, and optional Deferred Compensation Savings plan. Permanent employees and their eligible dependents also receive supplemental health benefits after six months of employment. Supplemental health benefits include prescription drugs, dental, vision and hearing aid coverage.

Application Process


The Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor announcement #2005-660, information on how to apply for Pennsylvania Civil Service positions and further information on employment opportunities can be obtained by contacting the State Civil Service Commission at: Pennsylvania residency is not required to apply. Candidates have the option to complete the employment application online or download and complete a paper civil service application. Submit completed paper applications along with verifying documents (transcript, copy of CRC certificate) directly to State Civil Service Commission, (ATTN: Applications), P.O. Box 569, Harrisburg, PA 17108-0569.

Equal Opportunity Employer/Program

Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.


If you have questions about OVR Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor opportunities, please contact Hattie McCarter, OVR's Recruitment Specialist at: (717) 787-2521 voice or via email at