In this career, your responsibilities may include:
- Assessing patients’ needs based on a variety of factors, including patient observation, test results, medical records, and consultation with the patients themselves, their families, and their healthcare teams.
- Designing and implementing recreation-based treatment programs to support people with physical, intellectual, or emotional disabilities, or who are recovering from injury or illness.
- Taking patients’ needs and interests into account when developing treatment plans.
- Employing a variety of recreational activities to treat patients, including fine arts (music, painting, dance), movement (organized sports and games), water therapy, animal-assisted therapy, and social outings.
In your job search, you may find listings for this career under different titles. You can find some examples of these, as well as more information about this career, at Career One Stop.
Typically requires a bachelor’s degree. Obtaining a master’s degree can make you eligible for careers with greater responsibility and higher salaries in this career pathway, if you do not already have the U.S. equivalent of a master’s degree.
Some employers may require certification, and even when it is not required, certification could make employers more likely to hire you or offer you a higher salary.
You may be eligible for the Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) credential from the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC).
Activity-specific, optional certifications can also be earned from specialty organizations such as the Certification Board for Music Therapists (CBMT) or the Aquatic Therapy and Rehab Institute (ATRI).
Licensure is currently required in five states, and that number is likely to grow.