Skip navigation

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: Activities Director, Activity Assistant, Activity Coordinator, Activity Director, Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS), Music Therapist (Rehabilitation), Recreation Therapist, Recreational Therapist, Rehabilitation Therapist, Therapeutic Recreation Specialist

Also see: Art Therapists, Music Therapists

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed 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. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Observe, analyze, and record patients' participation, reactions, and progress during treatment sessions, modifying treatment programs as needed. See more occupations related to this task.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Develop treatment plan to meet needs of patient, based on needs assessment, patient interests and objectives of therapy. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Prepare and submit reports and charts to treatment team to reflect patients' reactions and evidence of progress or regression. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Obtain information from medical records, medical staff, family members and the patients themselves to assess patients' capabilities, needs and interests. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Counsel and encourage patients to develop leisure activities. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Instruct patient in activities and techniques, such as sports, dance, music, art or relaxation techniques, designed to meet their specific physical or psychological needs. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Confer with members of treatment team to plan and evaluate therapy programs. See more occupations related to this task.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this task.

Find occupations related to multiple tasks

back to top

Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Archery bows See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Baseball bats See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Baseballs See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Basketballs See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Bells — Handbells See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Bicycles See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Bowling equipment — Bowling balls See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Canoes or kayaks — Canoes; Kayaks See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Carving tools — Wood carving tools See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Cassette players or recorders — Audio tape recorders See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Compact disk players or recorders — Compact disk CD players See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Croquet sets See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Desktop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Digital camcorders or video cameras — Digital camcorders See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Digital cameras See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Digital voice recorders — Digital audio recorders See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Drums — Drum sets See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Extremity hydrotherapy baths or tanks — Fluidotherapy equipment See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Fishing rods — Fishing poles See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Footballs See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Golf clubs See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Guitars — Acoustic guitars See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Harmonicas See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Headpointers or mouthsticks for the physically challenged — Headpointers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Metronomes — Electronic metronomes See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Notebook computers — Laptop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Patient lifts or accessories — Patient hoists See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Pedal exercisers for rehabilitation or therapy — Exercise bicycles See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Percussion instrument accessory — Digital drumsticks See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Personal computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Pianos — Electronic keyboards See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Pool cues See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Potters wheels for hand made ceramics — Pottery wheels See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Recreational rowboats See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Recreational sailboats See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Shuffleboard — Shuffleboard equipment See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Skis — Snow skis See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Softballs See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Specialty brushes — Oil painting brushes See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Still cameras — 35 millimeter cameras See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Table tennis paddles — Ping pong paddles See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Tennis racquets — Tennis rackets See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Trapshooting equipment — Skeet shooting equipment See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Treadmill exercisers for rehabilitation or therapy — Therapeutic treadmills See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Volleyballs See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Water skis or accessories — Water skis See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Weight machines for rehabilitation or therapy — Therapeutic weight machines See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Weights or sets or accessories for rehabilitation or therapy — Free weights See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Wheelchairs — Motorized wheelchairs; Racing wheelchairs See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Data base user interface and query software — Data entry software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Electronic mail software — Email software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Internet browser software — Web browser software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Medical software — Patient electronic medical record EMR software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Music or sound editing software — Avid Technology Sibelius; Hyperscore; MakeMusic Finale; Steinberg Media Technologies Cubase software (see all 5 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word See more occupations related to this technology.

back to top

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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Sociology and Anthropology — Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.

back to top

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. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Instructing — Teaching others how to do something. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things. See more occupations related to this skill.

back to top

Abilities

  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted. See more occupations related to this ability.

back to top

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. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects. See more occupations related to this activity.

back to top

Detailed Work Activities

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

Find occupations related to multiple detailed work activities

back to top

Work Context

  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 92% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Contact With Others — 85% responded “Constant contact with others.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Telephone — 62% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 62% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 58% responded “A lot of freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 58% responded “A lot of freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 67% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Time Pressure — 46% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Physical Proximity — 54% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Electronic Mail — 58% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Disease or Infections — 46% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 50% responded “Very high responsibility.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Letters and Memos — 46% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 42% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 35% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With External Customers — 31% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 67% responded “40 hours.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations — 38% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 27% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 38% responded “Important results.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With Physically Aggressive People — 38% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 38% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Standing — 35% responded “More than half the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Public Speaking — 50% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 38% responded “Moderate responsibility.” See more occupations related to this work context.

back to top

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)

back to top

Education


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

back to top

Credentials

Find Training Find Certifications Find Licenses

back to top

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. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this interest.

back to top

Work Styles

  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.

back to top

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. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy. See more occupations related to this work value.

back to top

Related Occupations

back to top

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2014) $21.15 hourly, $44,000 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 2014 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.

back to top

Job Openings on the Web

Find Jobs Job Banks

back to top

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.

back to top