Rehabilitation worker

Rehabilitation workerYou’ll support people to live independently, often following an illness or accident, and help them access support with housing, finance, social activities and life skills such as cooking or budgeting.

Your role might include:

  • carrying out assessments within the community to identify what care and support people need
  • working with other professionals such as social workers and occupational therapists to make sure people get the right help
  • providing advice about how to use specialist equipment
  • teaching people daily life skills such as making a cup of tea, or reading braille
  • organising activities such as sports, drama and educational activities.

You could work with lots of different people including adults with learning disabilities, physical disabilities including sight or hearing loss, mental health conditions and drug or substance abuse issues.


Everyone working in social care needs English, number, digital and employability skills including team work and problem solving skills. What core skills do I need to work in social care outlines some of the skills you need and has short activities to help you think about transferable skills from your previous experiences.

There are also some specific skills needed to work in this role. These include:

  • good listening and observational skills
  • the ability to communicate with other social care professionals at all levels
  • being sensitive to the needs of the people you’re working with
  • digital skills to do online research
  • be able to work under pressure in emotional situations.

You don’t necessarily need any qualifications to become a rehabilitation worker. What’s really important is that you have the right values and behaviours to work in social care.

Your employer might ask that you have qualifications showing good English and number skills such as GCSE A-C in English and maths. It might also be helpful to have a social care qualification such as a Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care, but you can do these once you start the job. There are modules in these qualifications relating to specific areas of work such as visual impairment rehabilitation.

It might also be useful to have experience working in a similar role or with vulnerable adults. You could gain this experience through a work placement, from your personal life, through volunteering or as part of a traineeship or apprenticeship.


If you’re interested in working as a rehabilitation worker, there’s lots of advice about finding a role on the Starting your career page. You could look online or in your local newspaper to find vacancies, or you might want to contact local care providers to ask them directly.

You could also apply to do an apprenticeship as a rehabilitation worker. You can find out more about social care apprenticeships, including a link to live vacancies, on the Thinking of doing an apprenticeship page.


When you start in your role you should do an induction which includes training necessary for your role such as health and safety, first aid and moving and handling. You might also receive specific training depending on their individual care needs.

When in your role you could do a vocational qualification such as a Diploma in Health and Social Care or a continuing professional development qualification.

Your employer might pay for you to do these qualifications (they could apply for the Workforce Development Fund to help), or you could apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to pay for them yourself.

There may be opportunities to progress into senior rehabilitation roles where you’re responsible for managing a team or coordinator your service. You might also choose to go into other roles such as an advocacy worker, senior care worker, social worker or occupational therapist. Read more on the Job roles in social care page.