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Recreational Therapy

Help improve a patient’s physical, social, and emotional well-being through recreational activities. Recreation Therapists plan, coordinate, and direct recreation-based treatment programs for people with disabilities, injuries, or other health concerns. They use a variety of modalities including arts and crafts, music, theater, dance, sports, games, and community trips. 

Degree Programs

Jobs

  • Activities director
  • Therapeutic recreation specialist
  • Activity assistant
  • Certified therapeutic recreation specialist (CTRS)
  • Rehabilitation therapist
  • Recreational therapist
  • Activity coordinator
  • Recreation therapist

Work Settings 

  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Nursing homes
  • Government parks and recreation departments

Career Outlook & Pay

Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for Recreational Therapists are expected to grow at an average rate: 7% in the next 10 years, national.

Median annual wage

  • CA: $68,630
  • US: $47,680

Interests, Skills & Values  

Service orientation

Recreational therapists want to share their passion for recreation and leisure activities with other people. They want to help people feel better by participating in these activities.

Compassion

Recreational therapists should be gentle, kind, and empathetic when working with patients. They often work with patients who are in emotional and/or physical pain.  

Critical-thinking skills

Recreational therapists should be able to quickly adapt activities to meet the individual needs of the patients. 

Leadership skills

Recreational therapists motivate patients to participate in recreational activities.

Active listening

Recreational therapists listen carefully to a patient’s concerns before deciding on a therapeutic method. 

Patience

Recreational therapists work with a variety of people, including people who require extra time and attention to learn an activity. 

Communication skills

Recreational therapists need to give clear instructions during activities.

Physical stamina

Recreational therapists are often on their feet and should be able to demonstrate activities. 

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