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Recreational Therapy Career

Career Description

Recreational Therapy Career

Recreational therapists provide treatment services to people having disabilities or illnesses. These professionals make use of various techniques in order to improve the physical and mental abilities of patient. They also help reduce anxiety and depression and to recover motor functioning and reasoning abilities of people. Recreational therapists also work at building their client’s confidence levels and promoting a healthy self-image. Recreation therapists employ recreational activities to aid their work. These activities may include music, dance, crafts, sports and other recreational activities to rehabilitate their clients.

Occupational Outlook

Opting for a recreational therapy career can be a wise career move as job opportunities within this field are expected to grow in the near future. Once you become a recreational therapist, you can serve in nursing care facilities, general medical and surgical hospital as well as state government departments. Psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals and community care facilities for the elderly also have opportunities for recreational therapists. On an average, you can earn about $22,000 to $58,000 annually in a recreational therapy career.

Educational Requirements

If you want to become a recreational therapist, you need to earn a bachelor’s degree. With this degree you can find entry level positions within this field. With an associate’s degree you can find paraprofessional positions in recreational therapy. An associate’s program spans over 2 years and covers topics like therapeutic recreation techniques, sociology, recreation therapy program planning and recreation for special needs. Bachelor’s programs provide students with in depth knowledge in this field. You will learn about therapeutic recreation for the elderly, human anatomy and physiology, human development and therapeutic recreation for the disabled. Master’s degrees are also available and can lead to advanced placements in the field. You can earn a graduate degree in 1-2 years and learn advanced concepts in recreational therapy such as art therapy, recreation and leisure research methods, leisure management theory and practice and more.  Fieldwork and advanced research in recreation therapy are requisites of graduate study.

Online Programs

If you want to pursue a recreational therapy career but cannot manage to attend regular school, there is nothing to worry about – online programs are available in the field. These programs allow you to study through distant learning and manage classes and assignment online. This way you can continue your studies and manage your professional or personal responsibilities alongside.

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