Recreational Therapists: Salary, Job Description, How To Be One and More

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Recreational Therapists jobs information
pros and cons of being a Recreational Therapist

Recreational Therapists

Other names for this job might include Activities Director, Activity Assistant, Activity Coordinator, Activity Director, Activity Therapist, Adventure Therapist, Art Therapist, Certified Recreational Therapist, Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS), Child Life Therapist


  • $47790
    Salary
  • 74%
    Job satisfaction
  • Quite Hard
    Becoming one
  • Medium
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank

B+



Recreational Therapists: Know It All In 1 Minute


In this career summary, you will find out what the job of A Recreational Therapist is about and what it is like.

After reading this, you will have a good idea on what the job is about and decide if this is the right career for you.



Job description

Recreational Therapists 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.

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Develop treatment plan to meet needs of patient, based on needs assessment, patient interests and objectives of therapy.

Read more about what does A Recreational Therapist really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.


Become one

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Salary

Average salary
$47790 per year

Hourly wage
$22.98 an hour


Recreational Therapists with little to no experience tend to make between $28020 and $35310 while the more experienced ones make over $59400 per year.

Top 5 paying statesHourlyAnnual
CA$30.76$63990
CT$27.44$57080
AZ$26.78$55710
NJ$26.18$54460
DC$25.41$52860

1 of the easiest ways to increase your salary as A Recreational Therapist is to move to a higher paying state like CA. Right now, the highest paying states for Recreational Therapists are CA, CT, AZ, NJ and DC.

However a higher pay at CA doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at CA might be 2x higher than where you are currently at now.

3 other factors that can increase your salary as A Recreational Therapist is the degree you hold, the industry you work in and lastly the company you work for (bigger companies like the Fortune 500 companies tend to pay more).

Find out how much do successful Recreational Therapists make and if their salary is high when compared to all the other careers.


Requirements

Recommended degree level
Bachelor’s Degree

We asked other Recreational Therapists what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a Bachelors degree followed by Post-bachelor certificate.

Other than that we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Therapeutic Recreation/Recreational Therapy

Another popular question from our readers is what makes A Recreational Therapist successful or would they be good in this career.

Well, we found that most successful Recreational Therapists have these 5 skillsets.

Active Listening
Speaking
Social Perceptiveness
Service Orientation
Coordination

In addition to that, 1 common characteristic among successful Recreational Therapists is they are good at Concern for Others. Here are the top 5 common characteristics.

Concern for Others
Self Control
Social Orientation
Dependability
Integrity
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

Read more about what it really takes to become A Recreational Therapist and the degree, training and education you need


Pros and Cons

Here are some reasons why you should and shouldn’t choose A Recreational Therapist as your career.

PROS
Suitable for people who likes to help and teach others
Suitable for people who values relationships between coworkers and customers and wants to work in a friendly noncompetitive environment
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
Demand for this career is growing fast
CONS
Not suitable for people who likes practical and handson work
Salary is below average
It is hard to get into this career. A considerable amount of workrelated skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.


There will be pros and cons for all jobs. The point is how much do the pros outweigh the cons to you.

A pro to you might be a con to Bob. A pro to Bob might be a con to you. We suggest reading about this career framework that can help you to find out what type of careers are right for you.



What is the job like

Job satisfaction
74%

Is this job meaningful
87%


Working hours
40 hours per week

Working schedule
Regular (Set schedule and routine)


On a normal working week Recreational Therapists work 40 hours per week.

74% of Recreational Therapists said they were satisfied with their job and 87% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Helpers and The Artists


You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others.

They also like working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.



How we can help

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Rank: A
Salary: $55260

They provide and manage health education programs that help individuals, families, and their communities maximize and maintain healthy lifestyles. Collect and analyze data to identify community needs prior to planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating programs designed to encourage healthy lifestyles, policies, and environments. May serve as a resource to assist individuals, other healthcare workers, or the community, and may administer fiscal resources for health education programs.
Rank: C
Salary: $25830

They conduct recreation activities with groups in public, private, or volunteer agencies or recreation facilities. Organize and promote activities, such as arts and crafts, sports, games, music, dramatics, social recreation, camping, and hobbies, taking into account the needs and interests of individual members.
Rank: B
Salary: $61350

They teach secondary school subjects to educationally and physically handicapped students. Includes teachers who specialize and work with audibly and visually handicapped students and those who teach basic academic and life processes skills to the mentally impaired.
Rank: D
Salary: $26560

They coordinate activities in residential facilities in secondary and college dormitories, group homes, or similar establishments. Order supplies and determine need for maintenance, repairs, and furnishings. May maintain household records and assign rooms. May assist residents with problem solving or refer them to counseling resources.
Rank: B
Salary: $56970

They teach occupational, career and technical, or vocational subjects in public or private schools at the middle, intermediate, or junior high level, which falls between elementary and senior high school as defined by applicable laws and regulations.






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Career type

Healthcare and Medical
Health Informatics, Therapeutic Services

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Learn more about Recreational Therapists

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Job Description
Salary
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Is This Right For Me

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Related to Recreational Therapists Career Information

Recreational Therapists job description, Recreational Therapists salary, Recreational Therapists information, what is the job of a Recreational Therapist like, pros and cons about Recreational Therapists, colleges and universities for Recreational Therapists, is Recreational Therapists the right career for me, Quite Hard careers to get into, careers in Healthcare and Medical

Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/healthcare/recreational-therapists.htm
https://www.atra-online.com/
http://nctrc.org/

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Recreational Therapists
Written by: Stanley Tan
Recreational Therapists 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.
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