Recreational Therapists

General Information

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.

Workplace at a Glance

What you can expect to experience while on the job

  • Responsibility
  • Exposure to job hazards
  • Physical activity
  • Decision making
  • Repetitiveness
  • Level of competition
  • Time pressure

Industry areas

  • General Medical and Surgical Hospitals
  • Nursing Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities)
  • Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals

Job Outlook

Employment of recreational therapists is projected to grow 7 percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations. As the U.S. population ages, more people will need recreational therapists to help treat age-related injuries and illnesses. Older people are more likely to experience a stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and mobility-related injuries that may benefit from recreational therapy. Therapists will also be needed to help healthy seniors remain social and active in their communities. Recreational therapy services can help the aging population to maintain their independence later in life. For example, recreational therapists can help older people prevent falls by teaching them modified yoga exercises that improve balance and strength. In addition, the number of people with chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity, is growing. Recreational therapists will be needed to help patients maintain their mobility, to teach patients about managing their conditions, and to help patients adjust recreational activities to accommodate any physical limitations. Therapists will be needed also to plan and lead programs designed to maintain overall wellness through participation in activities such as camps, day trips, and sports. Recreational therapists will increasingly be utilized in helping veterans manage service-related conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or injuries such as the loss of a limb. Recreational therapists can lead activities that help veterans to reintegrate into their communities and help them to adjust to any physical, social, or cognitive limitations.

Read More
No Information for this section

Salary

Average Salary

Salary

$47,860

State-by-state Salary

Gray states indicate no data available

$71,380
$24,610
No Information for this section

Education

Most Common Education Levels

People in this career achieve this level of education.

  • Bachelor's degree 88%
  • Master's degree 8%
  • Some college 4%
  • High school 0%
  • Doctoral degree 0%
  • Associate's degree 0%
  • Post baccalaureate 0%
  • Less than high school 0%
  • Post-doctoral training 0%
  • Post-master's certificate 0%
  • First professional degree 0%
  • Post-secondary certificate 0%

Related College Majors

Select major to see colleges that offer it

Knowledge

  • Psychology
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Education and Training
  • English Language

Skills at a Glance

Skills helpful in this career

  • Verbal skills
  • Critical thinking & problem solving
  • Equipment operation & maintenance
  • Math & science skills
  • Technology design & control
  • Leadership
No Information for this section