hourly pay for Recreational Therapists
do Recreational Therapists make a lot of money

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

  • $48190
  • 74%
    Job satisfaction
  • Quite Hard
    Becoming one
  • Medium
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank


How Much Do Recreational Therapists Make In 2018

In this salary guide, you will find out how much do Recreational Therapists make.

After reading this, you will be able to make a decision if working as a Recreational Therapist will suit your financial goals (e.g: buying a home, BMW or just your target salary goal).

Average salary

Annual salary
$48190 per year

Hourly wage
$23.170 per hour

One of the most popular questions we get from our readers here at OwlGuru is how much do Recreational Therapists make per year and what is their hourly wage.

According to BLS, the average annual salary of Recreational Therapists is $48190. Their salary can also be as low as $28010 if you’re still a newbie with no experience to over $72340 if you have a ton of experience under your belt.

The typical hourly pay is $23.170 and can range from $13.470 to $34.780 which also depends if you’re a newbie or a professional.

Just like any other job, the salary of A Recreational Therapist will vary based on your education and experience level.

# = Over $100 per hour or $200,000 per year.
Salary rank

We wanted to make it easy for our readers to compare the salary of A Recreational Therapist to all the other careers out there. So we created Salary Rank.

This compares the salary of all careers and we give them a rank of A, B, C or D depending on how high or low is their average salary.

After comparing how much do Recreational Therapists make with other careers, they have a salary rank of C.

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Salary range

Highest (Top 10%)$34.780$72340
Senior (Top 25%)$28.690$59680
Middle (Mid 50%)$22.310$46410
Junior (Bottom 25%)$17.100$35570
No experience (Bottom 10%)$13.470$28010

Entry-level Recreational Therapists who starts out at $35570 can expect to make $46410 after 3-5 years of experience in the field.

The bottom 10% makes less than $13.470 per hour while the top 10% makes over $34.780 per hour.

While the median wage is $46410 per annum or $22.310 per hour.

Depending on who you work for, you might also get overtime pay.

# = Over $100 per hour or $200,000 per year.

Highest paying industries

Industry nameHourly wageAnnual salary
Federal Executive Branch31.5165540
Federal government, including the US Postal Service31.5165540
Specialty hospitals, State government owned28.759700
Federal, State, and Local Government25.0252050
Federal, State, and Local Government, excluding state and local schools and hospitals, and the US Postal Service25.0252050
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals, State government owned24.851580
Educational Services, Privately owned24.7651490
Federal, state, and local government, including government owned schools and hospitals, and the US Postal Service24.3650670
Home Health Care Services24.1950320
Employment Services23.9949910
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals)23.8149520
Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals)23.8149520
Sector 56- Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services23.7849470
Administrative and Support Services23.7849470
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals, Privately owned23.7849470
Educational Services (including private, state, and local government schools)23.5248930
Hospitals, State government owned23.4948850
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals, Local government owned23.4848830
Hospitals, Local government owned23.448670
Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals)23.3348520
Specialty hospitals, Privately owned23.2748400
Hospitals, Privately owned23.2648380
Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals, State government owned23.0547950
State government, including schools and hospitals23.0547940
Management of Companies and Enterprises23.0247880
Elementary and Secondary Schools, Privately owned22.8647560
State Government, excluding schools and hospitals22.7147250
Elementary and Secondary Schools (including private, state, and local government schools)22.6547110
Offices of Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapists, and Audiologists22.6247040
Offices of Other Health Practitioners22.5946990
Educational Services, Local government owned22.5746940
Elementary and Secondary Schools, Local government owned22.5746940
Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals)22.4746730
Local government, including schools and hospitals22.2746330
Ambulatory Health Care Services22.1846140
All industries22.1446060
Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals21.6244970
Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals, Privately owned21.5744870
Offices of Physicians21.4444600
Health Care and Social Assistance (including private, state, and local government hospitals)21.4244560
Educational Services, State government owned21.3644420
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools (including private, state, and local government schools)21.3244350
All industries, private ownership only21.1844050
Colleges, universities, and professional schools, State government owned20.7943250
Other Services (except Federal, State, and Local Government)20.542640
Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations20.542640
Outpatient Care Centers20.1141820
Nursing Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing Facilities)20.0441680
Nursing and Residential Care Facilities19.6340820
Residential Mental Health and Substance Abuse Facilities19.4540460
Other Residential Care Facilities19.0739670
Residential Intellectual and Developmental Disability, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse Facilities19.0539620
Continuing Care Retirement Communities and Assisted Living Facilities for the Elderly18.5438560
Outpatient Mental Health and Substance Abuse Centers18.4438360
Residential Intellectual and Developmental Disability Facilities18.2337920
Services for the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities17.5836560
Vocational Rehabilitation Services17.5236440
Social Assistance17.4336250
Individual and Family Services17.2435860

Not all industries pay the same for Recreational Therapists.

One of the easiest way to increase your salary is to change industries and find a higher paying one.

Highest paying states


Another simple way to boost your pay as A Recreational Therapist is to move to a higher paying state. However moving to a higher paying state like CA doesn’t mean you will make more overall. This is because the expenses at CA may be 2x higher than where you are currently living at right now.

According to the BLS, the highest paid / most successful Recreational Therapists are in the states of CA, CT, AZ, NJ and DC. The average salary in CA is $63990.

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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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