All About Recreational Therapists
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.
List of Recreational Therapist Job Duties
- Instruct patient in activities and techniques, such as sports, dance, music, art, or relaxation techniques, designed to meet their specific physical or psychological needs.
- 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.
- Observe, analyze, and record patients' participation, reactions, and progress during treatment sessions, modifying treatment programs as needed.
- Prepare and submit reports and charts to treatment team to reflect patients' reactions and evidence of progress or regression.
- Conduct therapy sessions to improve patients' mental and physical well-being.
What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Recreational Therapist?
Recreational Therapists state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.
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.
Types of Recreational Therapist
- Child Life Therapist
- Dance Therapist
- General Activities Therapist
- Activities Therapist
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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 1,200 job openings in this field each 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.
Recreational Therapist Salary
Recreational Therapists make between $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 each U.S. state?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$68,430|
What Tools & Technology do Recreational Therapists Use?
Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Recreational Therapists may use on a daily basis:
- 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 or degrees do I need to become a Recreational Therapist?
How Long Does it Take to Become a Recreational Therapist?
Who Employs Recreational Therapists?
Recreational Therapists work in the following industries:
You May Also 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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