Rec Therapy FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Bellow are some common questions we hear about Recreational Therapy. If you have a question about Recreational Therapy that isn’t answered below, send us a message and we will help find an answer for you!


What is a Recreational Therapist?

A Recreational Therapist is someone trained in using recreation and leisure as tools to improve a person’s level of functioning and quality of life in all 5 domains of human existence (physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual).

Where do Recreational Therapists work?

Recreational Therapists work in a variety of clinical and community-based settings which can include:

  1. Behavioral Health Hospitals
  2. Physical Rehab Hospitals
  3. Community Parks and Recreation Departments
  4. Long Term Care Facilities (Skilled Nursing, Assisted Living, and Independent Care)
  5. Correctional Facilities
  6. Schools/Universities
  7. Military Bases
  8. Adaptive Sports Camps/Facilities
  9. Outdoor Camps
  10. In-Home Health

What makes Recreational Therapy effective?

Recreational Therapists incorporate a person’s leisure and/or recreational interests into an active treatment plan for their clients. They do not provide activities strictly for enjoyment purposes, but rather use specifically chosen activities to help improve a client’s physical and cognitive functioning, teach coping skills to deal with behaviors, build a sense of purpose and esteem in client’s life, and aid them in reaching their unique goals.

What kind of degree do you need to be a Recreational Therapist?

Recreational Therapists require a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree to enter the field, however advanced degrees are available. Degree titles can include Therapeutic Recreation, Recreational Therapy, Recreation Therapy, or have an emphasis in any of those areas. (Ie: Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration with an Emphasis In Therapeutic Recreation)

How much money does a Recreational Therapist make in a year?

According to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary in the United States for a Recreational Therapist is $48,220.

Bureau Of Labor Statistics- Recreational Therapist

Where can I find a Recreational Therapy Job or Internship?

The best centralized places to find Recreational Therapist jobs and internships are on the Rec Therapy Directory Job Board, ATRA’s Career Center and

Where can I go to school to become a Recreational Therapist?

Over 80 different universities throughout the United States Of America (and some in Canada) have Recrecreational Therapy degree programs where a student can get their Bachelor’s degrees. Some of these schools also provide Master’s degree and PhD programs in Recreational Therapy.

To see a list of universities offering Recreational Therapy degree programs to find one near you, visit our Universities List page.

What are the requirements to becoming a Recreational Therapist?

Recreational Therapists must possess at minimum a degree in Recreational Therapy (or Therapeutic Recreation), complete a 560-hour internship, and pass a comprehensive exam to become a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) through the National Council For Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC). If you live in a state with a licensure requirement, then you will need to get your license through the state licensure board as well.

Job/Internship Board

Looking for a Recreational Therapist job or internship? Wanting to hire a Recreational Therapist or intern?

Check out our job board!