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Summary Report for:
29-1125.00 - Recreational Therapists

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

Sample of reported job titles: Recreation Therapist, Recreational Therapist, Activity Director, Rehabilitation Therapist, Activity Assistant, Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS), Activity Coordinator, Music Therapist (Rehabilitation), Activities Director

Also see: Art Therapists, Music Therapists

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Conduct therapy sessions to improve patients' mental and physical well-being.
  • Observe, analyze, and record patients' participation, reactions, and progress during treatment sessions, modifying treatment programs as needed.
  • Plan, organize, direct and participate in treatment programs and activities to facilitate patients' rehabilitation, help them integrate into the community and prevent further medical problems.
  • Develop treatment plan to meet needs of patient, based on needs assessment, patient interests and objectives of therapy.
  • Prepare and submit reports and charts to treatment team to reflect patients' reactions and evidence of progress or regression.
  • Obtain information from medical records, medical staff, family members and the patients themselves to assess patients' capabilities, needs and interests.
  • Counsel and encourage patients to develop leisure activities.
  • Instruct patient in activities and techniques, such as sports, dance, music, art or relaxation techniques, designed to meet their specific physical or psychological needs.
  • Confer with members of treatment team to plan and evaluate therapy programs.
  • Encourage clients with special needs and circumstances to acquire new skills and get involved in health-promoting leisure activities, such as sports, games, arts and crafts, and gardening.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Canoes or kayaks — Canoes; Kayaks
Cassette players or recorders — Audio tape recorders
Patient lifts or accessories — Patient hoists
Pianos — Electronic keyboards
Wheelchairs — Motorized wheelchairs; Racing wheelchairs

Technology used in this occupation:

Electronic mail software — Email software
Medical software — Patient electronic medical record EMR software
Music or sound editing software — Avid Technology Sibelius; Hyperscore; MakeMusic Finale; Steinberg Media Technologies Cubase software
Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
Word processing software — Microsoft Word

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Knowledge

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.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
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.
Sociology and Anthropology — Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
Medicine and Dentistry — Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

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Skills

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.
Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

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Abilities

Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
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 there is a problem.
Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
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).
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).
Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

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Work Activities

Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Work Context

Face-to-Face Discussions — 92% responded “Every day.”
Contact With Others — 85% responded “Constant contact with others.”
Telephone — 62% responded “Every day.”
Work With Work Group or Team — 62% responded “Extremely important.”
Structured versus Unstructured Work — 58% responded “A lot of freedom.”
Freedom to Make Decisions — 58% responded “A lot of freedom.”
Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 67% responded “Every day.”
Time Pressure — 46% responded “Every day.”
Physical Proximity — 54% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
Electronic Mail — 58% responded “Every day.”

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
Education Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
Related Experience A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
Job Zone Examples Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, teachers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.
SVP Range (7.0 to < 8.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
88   Bachelor's degree
  Post-baccalaureate certificate Help
  Post-secondary certificate Help

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Credentials

Find Training Find Certifications Find Licenses

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Interests

Interest code: SA

Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

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Work Styles

Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

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Work Values

Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

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Related Occupations

21-1015.00 Rehabilitation Counselors
21-1091.00 Health Educators
21-1092.00 Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists
21-1093.00 Social and Human Service Assistants   Bright Outlook Bright Outlook  
25-2021.00 Elementary School Teachers, Except Special Education Bright Outlook
25-2022.00 Middle School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education Bright Outlook
25-2023.00 Career/Technical Education Teachers, Middle School
25-2054.00 Special Education Teachers, Secondary School
39-9032.00 Recreation Workers
39-9041.00 Residential Advisors

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2013) $20.76 hourly, $43,180 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 20,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Average (8% to 14%) Average (8% to 14%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 6,700
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2013 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

  • Recreational Therapists external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.

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