What do they do?

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 crafts. May assess a patient condition and recommend appropriate recreational activity.

Also known as:

Activities Coordinator, Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS), General Activities Therapist, Music Rehabilitation Therapist, Recreation Therapist, Recreational Therapist, Recreational Therapy Program Coordinator, Rehabilitation Therapist, Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, Therapeutic Specialist, Therapist

Typical Wages

Projected Growth Rate

Employment of Recreational Therapists is projected to grow 8 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as average compared to all occupations.

Projected Employment in VA

No Data Available
  • 8.9%

    Change

    Ranks #21 in job growth rate
    50

    Job Openings

    Ranks #17 in net job growth

Colleges with the most graduates that become Recreational Therapists

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Education Level

Percent of workers in this field with these degrees:

  • Doctorate or Professional Degree  (2%)
  • Master's degree  (15%)
  • Bachelor's degree  (47%)
  • Associate's degree  (9%)
  • Some college, no degree  (9%)
  • High school diploma equivalent  (15%)
  • Less than high school diploma  (4%)

Typical College Majors

Most Popular Majors that prepare Recreational Therapists

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People in this career often have these skills:

  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • 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.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Persuasion - Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.

People in this career often know a lot about:

  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures, and their history and origins.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

People in this career often have talent in:

  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

People in this career often do these activities:

  • Train patients, family members, or caregivers in techniques for managing disabilities or illnesses.
  • Treat patients using psychological therapies.
  • Develop treatment plans that use non-medical therapies.
  • Monitor patient progress or responses to treatments.
  • Record patient medical histories.
  • Gather medical information from patient histories.
  • Collect medical information from patients, family members, or other medical professionals.
  • Collaborate with healthcare professionals to plan or provide treatment.
  • Provide health and wellness advice to patients, program participants, or caregivers.
  • Encourage patients or clients to develop life skills.
  • Prepare reports summarizing patient diagnostic or care activities.
  • Inform medical professionals regarding patient conditions and care.
  • Develop medical treatment plans.

This page includes data from:

O*NET OnLine Career data: O*NET 28.2 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (“USDOL/ETA”). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Logo Occupation statistics: USDOL U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics

careeronestop logo Videos: CareerOneStop, USDOL/ETA and the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development

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