What is a Recreational Therapist?
Position 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.
What Do Recreational Therapists Do On a Daily Basis?
- Observe, analyze, and record patients’ participation, reactions, and progress during treatment sessions, modifying treatment programs as needed.
- 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.
- Obtain information from medical records, medical staff, family members and the patients themselves to assess patients’ capabilities, needs and interests.
- Confer with members of treatment team to plan and evaluate therapy programs.
- Develop discharge plans for patients.
Recreational Therapist Required Skills
When polled, Recreational Therapists say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:
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.
Related Job Titles for this Occupation:
- Rehabilitation Therapist
- Activities Director
- Certified Recreational Therapist
- Activities Therapist
- Child Life Therapist
Is There Going to be Demand for Recreational Therapists?
In the United States, there were 19,200 jobs for Recreational Therapist in 2016. 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.
Recreational Therapist Salary
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.
How much do Recreational Therapists make in each U.S. state?
|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?
Where Recreational Therapists Work
Below are examples of industries where Recreational Therapists work:
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.
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