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Careers in Therapeutic Recreation

Academics / Departments & Programs / Kinesiology / Careers & Outcomes / Therapeutic Recreation

Therapeutic recreation specialists provide treatment services to improve the health status and quality of life of individuals with disabilities and illness.

A promising healthcare field

Employment among recreation therapists is expected to grow by 12 percent by 2024, faster than average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This job growth is expected to be due to a growing number of school-age children and aging adults. Employment opportunities will be best for those with bachelor’s degrees and certifications. The median annual wage of recreational therapists, reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, was $47,860 in 2018. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $29,590, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $77,050.

Learn more about becoming certified to be a therapeutic recreation specialist 

Work at

  • Acute care hospitals
  • Inpatient psychiatric hospitals
  • Partial psychiatric hospitals
  • Residential psychiatric facilities
  • Community-based treatment centers
  • Inpatient rehabilitation hospitals
  • Outpatient rehabilitation facilities
  • Intensive care units for children
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Private practices
  • At-risk youth services
  • Adult day centers
  • Municipal parks and recreation departments
  • Public or private school systems

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