Also known as Therapeutic Recreation Specialists, they provide treatment services and recreation activities for individuals with disabilities or illness. Using a variety of techniques, including arts and crafts, animals, sports, games, dance and movement, drama, music, and community outings, therapists improve and maintain the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of their clients. Recreational therapists are different from recreation workers, who organize recreation activities primarily for enjoyment.
Salary Range: $28,000 – $72,340
Salary Notes: The best salaries at general medical and surgical hospitals, state government, psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals, nursing care facilities, and community care facilities for the elderly. The mean salary in Vermont is $43,050.
Where you can study:
Springfield College, Springfield, MA
Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT
University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH
University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME
Where you might work:
– Hospitals – Nursing Facilities – Senior Citizen Centers and Retirement Communities – State and Local Health Departments
Job Outlook: Employment is expected to have average growth through 2024. Job opportunities should be best for people with a bachelor’s degree in therapeutic recreation or in recreation with courses in therapeutic recreation. Opportunities should also be good for therapists who hold specialized certifications such as aquatic therapy, meditation, or crisis intervention.
Education, Licensing and Certification: A bachelor’s degree with a major or concentration in therapeutic recreation is the usual requirement for entry-level positions. Some states regulate recreation therapists, but requirements vary.
American Therapeutic Recreation Association 703-234-4140
National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification 845-639-1439
National Recreation and Park Association 800-626-6772