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Recreational Therapy Major

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Recreational Therapy

842 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
41 Master's Degrees Annually
#32 in Popularity
$50,640 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Recreational Therapy Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many therapeutic recreation/recreational therapy graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 842
Associate’s Degree 121
Basic Certificate 60
Master’s Degree 41
Graduate Certificate 14
Undergraduate Certificate 1

What Recreational Therapy Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to therapeutic recreation/recreational therapy were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Therapeutic Recreation/Recreational Therapy Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in therapeutic recreation/recreational therapy should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Skills for Therapeutic Recreation/Recreational Therapy Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to therapeutic recreation/recreational therapy:

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  • 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.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Abilities for Therapeutic Recreation/Recreational Therapy Majors

As you progress with your therapeutic recreation/recreational therapy degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

What Can You Do With a Recreational Therapy Major?

People with a therapeutic recreation/recreational therapy degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Art Therapists 6.8% $47,860
Health Specialties Professors 25.9% $97,370
Music Therapists 6.8% $47,860
Recreational Therapists 6.8% $47,860

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Recreational Therapy?

842 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
90% Percent Women
24% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major is dominated by women with about 90% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of therapeutic recreation/recreational therapy majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Therapeutic Recreation/Recreational Therapy Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 15
Black or African American 97
Hispanic or Latino 65
White 626
International Students 4
Other Races/Ethnicities 35

Geographic Diversity

Therapeutic Recreation/Recreational Therapy appeals to people across the globe. About 0.5% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do Recreational Therapy Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $50,640 to $122,320 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to therapeutic recreation/recreational therapy. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Recreational Therapy Major  ( 50640 to 122320 )
0K
250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
0K
250K

Some careers associated with therapeutic recreation/recreational therapy require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for therapeutic recreation/recreational therapy careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 0.5%
Some College Courses 0.8%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 0.8%
Bachelor’s Degree 54.2%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 4.9%
Master’s Degree 26.2%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 4.9%
Doctoral Degree 4.1%
Post-Doctoral Training 3.1%

Online Recreational Therapy Programs

In 2018-2019, 57 schools offered a therapeutic recreation/recreational therapy program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 9 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 2 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 14 0
Bachelor’s Degree 2 0
Post-Baccalaureate 9 0
Master’s Degree 8 2
Post-Master’s 3 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Recreational Therapy Worth It?

The median salary for a therapeutic recreation/recreational therapy grad is $50,640 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 27% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $214,800 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to therapeutic recreation/recreational therapy.

Major Number of Grads
Physical Therapy/Therapist 12,865
Occupational Therapy/Therapist 9,142
Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling/Counselor 1,232
Rehabilitation Science 1,164
Other Rehabilitation and Therapeutic Professions 1,062
Art Therapy/Therapist 711
Music Therapy 655
Orthotist/Prosthetist 333
Kinesiotherapy/Kinesiotherapist 144
Assistive/Augmentative Technology and Rehabilitation Engineering 104
Dance Therapy/Therapist 37
Animal-Assisted Therapy 31

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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