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Job Development and Placement Specialists

Individuals who enjoy working closely with the business community can have a stimulating career as a Job Development and Placement Specialist. These professionals help corporations, businesses and service organizations identify individuals with disabilities who have the desired skills and qualifications for employment. At the same time, they are helping individuals with disabilities link up with the employers and secure suitable employment.

Job Development and Placement Specialists are usually called upon at the final stage of the rehabilitation process to work with vocational rehabilitation counselors and other personnel at agencies that serve people with disabilities. Their specialized skills must include researching data about industries, companies, labor market statistics, and employment trends by using the Internet and other resources. They must also translate these research findings into meaningful information that can facilitate the employment of specific individuals who are ready for job placement.

Direct, one-on-one services provided by Job Development and Placement Specialists to people with disabilities are based upon individual needs and may include instruction in searching, applying, and interviewing for a job; resume development; and post-employment follow-up. The focus of this position is often placed entirely on job development activities, which include locating employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities and facilitating their success. On any given day, Job Development and Placement Specialists may work with individual employers or groups of employers to identify job vacancies or to arrange for special accommodation needs to be met.

Job Development and Placement Specialists often provide services to employers such as teaching them about the benefits of hiring people with disabilities; performing a job analysis to determine job requirements; identifying possible accommodation needs; demonstrating accessibility technology; consulting with the personnel or human resource department about hiring practices; and working with supervisors to educate them about the accommodation needs of an individual with disabilities. They must be knowledgeable about the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.


The position of Job Development and Placement Specialist usually requires a bachelor's degree in rehabilitation or a related field. It is desirable to have experience working in the business sector or in a position that provides practical skills in job development and placement.


Presently, there are no certification or licensure requirements for Job Development and Placement Specialists.


Job Development and Placement Specialists work in public and private community rehabilitation programs and agencies, including state vocational rehabilitation agencies, community mental health programs, Projects with Industry, and other agencies and programs that provide services to individuals with disabilities.


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Find out more about Vocational Rehabilitation
(excerpts from the Careers in Vocational Rehabilitation Booklet)
Who makes a good rehabilitation professional?
Preparing for a Career in Vocational Rehabilitation
Questions about a Career in Vocational Rehabilitation

Vocational Rehabilitation Professions:
Rehabilitation Counseling
  Rehabilitation Counselors
Rehabilitation of Individuals Who Are Blind or Have Vision Impairments
  Orientation and Mobility Specialists
  Rehabilitation Teachers
Vocational Evaluation and Work Adjustment
  Vocational Evaluators
  Work Adjustment Specialists
Job Development and Placement Specialists
Rehabilitation of Individuals who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
  Deafness Rehabilitation Professionals
  Interpreters for Deaf Individuals
Undergraduate Education in the Rehabilitation Services
  Rehabilitation Practitioners
Rehabilitation Administration
Other Vocational Rehabilitation Professions
  Rehabilitation Medicine, Physiatrists, Rehabilitation Nurses

  Prosthetics & Orthotics
  Rehabilitation Technologists
  Rehabilitation Psychologist
  Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists


photo of a Job Development Specialist greeting a business woman