Recreational Therapists: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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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.

  • Obtain information from medical records, medical staff, family members and the patients themselves to assess patients’ capabilities, needs and interests.
  • Conduct therapy sessions to improve patients’ mental and physical well-being.
  • 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.
  • Observe, analyze, and record patients’ participation, reactions, and progress during treatment sessions, modifying treatment programs as needed.
Read more about what does a Recreational Therapist really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.



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Salary

Average salary
$50640 per year

Average hourly wage
$24 per hour


Recreational Therapists with little to no experience tend to make between $29590 and $37220 while the more experienced ones can earn over $61630 per year.

Top 5 paying statesHourlyAnnual
CA$36$75,810
DC$33$68,430
WA$29$59,860
CT$29$59,450
NV$28$58,480

One 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, DC, WA, CT and NV.

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

Three 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.


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 Bachelor’s Degree followed by a Master’s Degree.

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
Read more about how to become a Recreational Therapist and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Recreational Therapist.

PROS
Suitable for people who likes to help and teach others
Suitable for people who values relationships between co-workers and customers and wants to work in a friendly non-competitive 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 hands-on work
Salary is below average
It is hard to get into this career. A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.

What is the job like

Job satisfaction
74%

Is this job meaningful
87%


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.




Learn more about Recreational Therapists

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Related 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, careers in Healthcare and Medical

Similar careers

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

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