Recreational Therapist, Recreational Therapy Schools, Training, Jobs, and Careers

What is a Recreational Therapist?
Recreational therapists are also known as therapeutic recreation specialists. They provide recreation activities and treatment services for people who have illnesses and disabilities. The therapeutic recreation specialist uses a number of techniques, which include arts and crafts, sports, dance and movement, music, animals, games, drama and community outings.

These therapists work on improving and maintaining the emotional, physical and mental well-being of their clients. They also help people reduce anxiety, depression and stress; help their clients recover basic reasoning abilities and motor functioning skills; help build up confidence; help their clients socialize effectively so they will be able to enjoy the independence they once had and even reduce or eliminate altogether their disability or illness.

Additionally, people with disabilities are helped by the therapist to be able to integrate into the community by being shown how to make use of community resources as well as recreational activities. Please note that recreational therapists are not the same as recreation workers. These people organize recreational activities mainly for enjoyment.

How to Become Therapeutic Recreation Specialist:
First, to become a therapist you must graduate from an accredited high school or get your GED. Then apply to a school that has therapeutic recreation specialist program. Just make sure that the college you choose has the program that you need. You will most likely need a bachelor's degree either in therapeutic recreation or you will have to major in recreation and have a concentration in therapeutic recreation.

A few people may qualify who have some combination of education, training as well as work experience that would probably be the same as to what is considered to be competent in the field. Today there are over one hundred academic programs that offer the recreation therapy program. Most colleges or universities offer a bachelor's degree and some even offer masters or doctoral degrees. You may have to take the following courses when pursuing a bachelor's degree in recreational therapy:

• Assessment
• Intervention Design
• Treatment and Program Planning
• Evaluation
• Human Anatomy
• Abnormal Psychology
• Characteristics of Disabilities and Illnesses
• Use of assistive devices as well as technology
• Physiology
• Medical and Psychiatric Terminology
• Professional Ethics
• Internship in the field of recreational therapy when pursuing a Bachelor's degree

Some states choose to regulate the recreational therapist through regulation of titles, licensure or registration. Requirements will vary from state to state so it is important that you contact your state's medical board for the latest information.

It seems that most employers nowadays prefer to hire a candidate who is a certified therapeutic recreation specialist. If you are working in a clinical setting, it is often going to require that you become certified by the "National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification".

Candidates who opt to get this certification must not only pass a written exam but must also complete a minimum of 480 hours of supervised internship. In order to receive this credential, you must already have your bachelor's degree, from an accredited college or university, in recreational therapy. In order to maintain your certification, you will have to take additional courses.

In 2008, recreational therapists held approximately 23,000 jobs. About 24 percent worked in nursing care facilities. Other recreational therapists worked in hospitals, state and local government agencies and residential care facilities.

Therapeutic Recreation Specialist Salary:
Therapeutic recreation specialists make decent income. The national average pay is $66,000 per year. Some of them make as much as $71,000 per year.

Recreational Therapy School:
If you want a school that offers recreational therapy program, we have the schools for you. The embanet website has colleges that have programs that qualifies one to become one. You have nothing to lose if you check them out. You can do so by requesting for their free no obligation information through this link.

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