What is 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.
What Do Recreational Therapists Do On a Daily Basis?
- Develop treatment plan to meet needs of patient, based on needs assessment, patient interests, and objectives of therapy.
- Conduct therapy sessions to improve patients' mental and physical well-being.
- Observe, analyze, and record patients' participation, reactions, and progress during treatment sessions, modifying treatment programs as needed.
- 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.
- Counsel and encourage patients to develop leisure activities.
- Instruct patient in activities and techniques, such as sports, dance, music, art, or relaxation techniques, designed to meet their specific physical or psychological needs.
What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Recreational Therapist?
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
- Activity Assistant
- Activity Director
- Drama Therapist
- Activity Coordinator
Are There Job Opportunities 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. There will be an estimated 1,200 positions for Recreational Therapist per year.
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 salary for Recreational Therapists ranges between about $29,590 and $77,050 a year.
Recreational Therapists who work in California, District of Columbia, or Nevada, make the highest salaries.
How much do Recreational Therapists make in different U.S. states?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$68,430|
Tools & Technologies Used by Recreational Therapists
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 to Become a Recreational Therapist
What kind of Recreational Therapist requirements are there?
What work experience do I need to become a Recreational Therapist?
Who Employs Recreational Therapists?
Recreational Therapists work in the following industries:
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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