Nature of Work
Recreation therapists work with individuals who have mental, physical or
emotional disabilities. Select activity modalities are utilized to treat or
maintain the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of consumers served.
These interventions help individuals remediate the effects of illness or
disability and achieve an optimal level of personal independence. The goals of
interventions include improving physical, cognitive, and social functioning.
therapists work as members of an interdisciplinary team. Relevant information
about the patient is gathered from client assessment medical records, medical
staff, and family members. Individual treatment plans and programs are developed
consistent with client need, abilities and interests.
For more information on recreation therapy as a career, please visit this link
provided by the Health Professions Network
Adult Day Care Centers
Alcohol and Drug Treatment Centers
Physical Rehabilitation Hospitals
Psychiatric Rehabilitation Hospitals
Skilled Care Nursing Facilities
Special Recreation Associations
Therapeutic recreation specialist, case manager, rehabilitation counselor,
activity director, outreach coordinator, leisure education coordinator,
recreation therapist, volunteer coordinator, senior care specialist
Employment of recreation therapists is expected to grow because of anticipated
expansion of long term care, physical and psychiatric rehabilitation, and
services for the disabled. Fast employment growth is expected in assisted
living, outpatient physical and psychiatric rehabilitation facilities, and
services for people with disabilities. Hospitals will provide a large number of
recreation therapy jobs, with additional jobs provided by long-term
rehabilitation and psychiatric hospitals. Healthcare facilities will provide a
growing number of jobs in hospital-based adult day care and outpatient programs
and in units offering short-term mental health and alcohol or drug abuse
services. The rapid growing number of older persons is expected to spur job
growth for activity directors in nursing homes, retirement communities, adult
day care programs and social service agencies. Continued growth is expected in
community residential facilities, park districts and day care programs for
people with disabilities.
In May 2006, median annual earnings of recreation workers who worked full time
were $20,470. The middle 50 percent earned between $16,360 and $27,050. The
lowest paid 10 percent earned less than $14,150, while the highest paid 10
percent earned $35,780 or more. However, earnings of recreation directors and
others in supervisory or managerial positions can be substantially higher.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2007.