What Does it Take to Be a Recreational Therapist?
Occupation Description Plan, direct, or coordinate medically-approved recreation programs for patients in hospitals, nursing homes, or other institutions. Activities include sports, trips, dramatics, social activities, and arts and crafts. May assess a patient condition and recommend appropriate recreational activity.
Life As a Recreational Therapist: What Do They Do?
- Instruct patient in activities and techniques, such as sports, dance, music, art, or relaxation techniques, designed to meet their specific physical or psychological needs.
- Confer with members of treatment team to plan and evaluate therapy programs.
- Conduct therapy sessions to improve patients’ mental and physical well-being.
- Prepare and submit reports and charts to treatment team to reflect patients’ reactions and evidence of progress or regression.
- Plan, organize, direct, and participate in treatment programs and activities to facilitate patients’ rehabilitation, help them integrate into the community, and prevent further medical problems.
- Encourage clients with special needs and circumstances to acquire new skills and get involved in health-promoting leisure activities, such as sports, games, arts and crafts, and gardening.
Recreational Therapist Required Skills
Below is a list of the skills most Recreational Therapists say are important on the job.
Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.
Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Other Recreational Therapist Job Titles
- Child Life Therapist
- Music Therapist
- Adventure Therapist
- Activity Therapist
- Recreational Therapy Technician
Job Demand for Recreational Therapists
In 2016, there was an estimated number of 19,200 jobs in the United States for Recreational Therapist. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 6.8% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,300 new jobs for Recreational Therapist by 2026. The BLS estimates 1,200 yearly job openings in this field.
The states with the most job growth for Recreational Therapist are Alaska, Colorado, and Washington. Watch out if you plan on working in Alabama, Wyoming, or Vermont. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
How Much Does a Recreational Therapist Make?
The average yearly salary of a Recreational Therapist ranges between $29,590 and $77,050.
Recreational Therapists who work in California, District of Columbia, or Nevada, make the highest salaries.
Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Recreational Therapists in different U.S. states.
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$68,430|
What Tools do Recreational Therapists Use?
Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Recreational Therapists:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Web browser software
- Data entry software
- Email software
- Patient electronic medical record EMR software
- Avid Technology Sibelius
- MakeMusic Finale
- Speech recognition software
- Musical instrument digital interface MIDI software
How do I Become a Recreational Therapist?
What education is needed to be a Recreational Therapist?
How many years of work experience do I need?
Recreational Therapists Sector
Recreational Therapists work in the following industries:
Other Jobs You May be Interested In
Those thinking about becoming a Recreational Therapist might also be interested in the following careers:
Image Credit: Barbara E. Carver via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
More about our data sources and methodologies.
|Request Info||Southern New Hampshire University You have goals. Southern New Hampshire University can help you get there. Whether you need a bachelor's degree to get into a career or want a master's degree to move up in your current career, SNHU has an online program for you. Find your degree from over 200 online programs. Learn More >|