Recreational Therapist

Recreational therapists who are sometimes called “therapeutic recreation specialists” provide treatment in the form of recreational activities for people with illnesses and disabilities. Recreational activities are tailored to the abilities of individuals with whom recreational therapists work. Therapies can entail dance arts and crafts sports or games. The goal of any recreational activity program is to help individuals to realize their physical as well as their cognitive and emotional capabilities to the greatest extent possible. Some people need to build up physical capabilities because of disease or accidents while others need help developing social skills or the ability to function independently in the community. Recreational therapists work in rehabilitation clinics hospitals nursing homes assisted living facilities or adult day care centers. However some work in parks and recreation centers or in schools helping special needs students. The website www.healthcaresalaryonline.com says that recreational therapists usually have bachelor’s degrees in recreational therapy or a related field. However individuals with work experience andor an associate’s degree in subjects such as art drama or music therapy may be hired in paraprofessional positions or as activity directors in nursing homes. Although most states do not have a licensure requirement for recreational therapists employers often prefer to hire individuals that have National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification which can be earned by completing a bachelor’s degree passing a written certification exam and serving 480 hours in a supervised internship. According to the website www.mayo.edu annual salaries for recreational therapists range from approximately $17000 to $44000 but median annual earnings depend on where recreational therapists are employed. Those working in hospitals earn a median salary of approximately $32500 and those employed by nursing facilities earn a median salary of approximately $23500.

Education Required: Bachelor's Degree
Avg Salary: $30500
High Salary: $44000
Low Salary: $17000
Tasks: Provides recreation therapy to individuals with disabilities or illnesses.
Uses leisure activities to improve clients
Helps clients develop specific skills using creative and fun exercises.
Takes patients on outings or fieldtrips.
Also Called: Therapeutic Recreation Specialists
Rehabilitation Therapist
Physical Therapist
Occupational Therapist
Additional Resources: http://www.healthcaresalaryonline.com/recreational-therapist-job-description.html
http://www.bestjobdescriptions.com/health-care/recreational-therapist-job-description
http://www.mayo.edu/mshs/rec-career.html