Recreational Therapist Career Guide

Looking for a different career guide?


Recreational therapists are healthcare professionals who utilize recreational activities to improve the physical, mental and emotional well-being of individuals with various health conditions. By incorporating leisure and recreational pursuits into therapeutic interventions, these specialists help clients enhance their quality of life, develop essential skills and regain independence.

Recreational therapists design and implement therapeutic programs that use activities such as


To embark on a career as a recreational therapist, a bachelor's degree in recreational therapy or a related field is typically required. Bachelor's programs in recreational therapy typically take about four years to complete and encompass coursework in therapeutic techniques, human anatomy, psychology and the principles of leisure and recreation. Graduates should ensure their program is accredited by the Commission

A stethoscope held in one hand

Related certifications

After completing a bachelor's degree, aspiring recreational therapists need to gain practical experience. Many states and employers require certification through the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC). This involves passing an exam that assesses the candidate's knowledge of therapeutic recreation principles and techniques. Some states also require licensure.

Experience in the field is crucial. Aspiring recreational therapists often complete internships


To become a successful recreational therapist, there are several key attributes one must possess. These include therapeutic expertise, creativity, communication skills, empathy, adaptability, problem-solving abilities, and collaboration. 

Therapeutic expertise is essential for developing and implementing effective interventions that cater to individual client needs. Creativity is also crucial in designing engaging activities that keep clients motivated and interested. Clear communication with clients,

Thousands of
healthcare jobs in
your pocket.


13.6k Ratings


1.5k Ratings


Recreational therapists play a critical role in helping their clients achieve their health and wellness goals. They start by assessing each client's unique needs and developing personalized treatment plans that take into account their specific circumstances. From there, they implement a range of therapeutic activities and interventions designed to help their clients make progress towards their goals.

As they work with

Salary Insights

Compare your pay with the most up-to-date job market data using our comprehensive salary calculator.
Recreational Therapist

The average salary for a Recreational Therapist is $1,779.00 per week.

Last updated on September 30, 2023. Based on active jobs on

Pros & Cons

Recreational therapists have a positive impact on their clients' lives, promoting their well-being and independence. They work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, schools, nursing homes, and community centers. In this field, there is room for creativity and innovation when designing engaging activities that promote holistic well-being by addressing physical, emotional and social needs. The job can

Recreational Therapist Jobs

View job details for Rockaway Park, NYTravel ContractRockaway Park, NYTravel Recreation/Recreational TherapistLanceSoft$1,779/wk
Posted 4 days ago
View job details for Corcoran, CALocal ContractCorcoran, CALocal Contract Recreation/Recreational TherapistLegacy Personnel, Inc$67/hr
Posted 3 days ago
View job details for Vacaville, CALocal ContractVacaville, CALocal Contract Recreation/Recreational TherapistLegacy Personnel, Inc$67/hr
Posted 3 days ago
View job details for San Luis Obispo, CALocal ContractSan Luis Obispo, CALocal Contract Recreation/Recreational TherapistLegacy Personnel, Inc$67/hr
Posted 3 days ago

Get alerts about new jobs

Be the first to know about new jobs for Recreational Therapists.

Some of the content on this page was enhanced using artificial intelligence.

Join over 1 million healthcare workers that are getting a head start with Vivian.

Join Vivian
A group of healthcare professionals.

Navigate to a different career guide