Outcome as a function of employment status or return to school was evaluated in severely head-injured patients. A priori we selected the most salient demographic, physiological, neuropsychological and psychosocial outcome predictors with the aim of identifying which of there variables captured at baseline or 6 months would best predict employability at 6 or 12 months. Based on the patients evaluated at 6 months, 18% of former workers had returned to gainful employment and 62% of former students had returned to school. For those not back to work or school at 6 months, 31% of the former workers and 66% of the former students had returned by 12 months. Age, length of coma, speed for both attending and motor movements, spatial integration, and intact vocabulary were all significantly related to returning to work or school. The three most potent predictors for returning to work or school were intactness of the patient's verbal intellectual power, speed of information processing and age.