A rehabilitation technician is an employee who works under the guidance of a professional physical therapist in a rehabilitation setting such as a therapist's office or even a hospital. The job duties of a rehabilitation technician can vary depending on his or her education and training; entry-level workers generally perform only basic functions, such as preparing paperwork, assisting clients who need help walking or otherwise moving, and helping to maintain the equipment and rehabilitation space. Technicians who earn more advanced certificates may work directly with a physical or occupational therapist during therapy sessions.
A high school education is usually required if a candidate wants to become a rehabilitation technician, though it is sometimes possible to get this job while the candidate is still in high school. An ability to use computers is almost always required, as are basic math skills and adequate to exceptional communications skills. A basic knowledge of rehabilitation practices is usually preferred but not always necessary, as the candidate is usually afforded the opportunity to take part in job training that will more adequately prepare them to become a rehabilitation technician. A technician operating at this level will usually need to have some prior experience in a clerical capacity.
If the rehabilitation technician wants to make a career out of the position and be responsible for more complex tasks such as managing patient files and cases, interfacing with vendors and clients, and taking on management or leadership roles, he or she will need to earn a rehabilitation technician certification or take part in appropriate job training. Once such training is complete, the technician will be able to perform higher-level duties such as conducting reviews of a patient's progress and otherwise managing a patient's case.
In order to become the highest level of rehabilitation technician, the candidate will usually need to earn an associate's or bachelor's degree in rehabilitation counseling or a related field. At this level, the technician may be hired in a managerial capacity to oversee caseloads and other technicians who are managing such caseloads. He or she may work with the physical therapist in actual therapy sessions, though most of the job duties will focus on administrative work such as file management, vendor relations, file evaluations, insurance issues, and much more. The technician may also be responsible for the maintenance and inspection of equipment and facilities, ensuring equipment is in proper working order and the facility is safe for clients and patients.