Allied Health
Recreational Therapist

Overview Preparation Resources blank graphic
Career photo
Salary: $21,273 - $42,946
small linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall line
Hourly: $10.61 - $20.07
small linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall line
Outlook: 1 Stars
small linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall line
Length of Training: 4-6 years
small linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall line
Career Explorer
small linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall line
Roadmap
small linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall linesmall line

Recreational therapists (also known as therapeutic recreation specialists) provide activities and recreational opportunities to people with disabilities and illnesses. Using a variety of techniques, including arts and crafts, animals, sports, games, dance and movement, drama, music, and community outings, therapists treat and maintain the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of their clients. The recreational therapist encourages patients to develop interests and skills to assist them in recovering from (or coping with) their illness or disability. Recreational therapists should not be confused with recreation or fitness workers who organize leisure activities primarily for enjoyment.

Areas of Specialization
Recreational therapists may specialize in serving a particular population such as children or developmentally-challenged individuals. Further specialization may require additional course work at the university-level and/or experience in working with a specific population.


Work Environment

Recreational therapists may work in hospitals, clinics, adult day care centers, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, residential facilities, schools, and community recreation departments and centers. It is expected that the trend will be for recreational therapists to move from the hospital environment to that of long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, adult day care facilities, and services for the developmentally-challenged.