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Recreational Therapists

Also called: Activity Director, Recreation Therapist, Recreational Therapist, Rehabilitation Therapist

What they do:
Plan, direct, or coordinate medically-approved recreation programs for patients in hospitals, nursing homes, or other institutions. Activities include sports, trips, dramatics, social activities, and arts and crafts. May assess a patient condition and recommend appropriate recreational activity.
On the job, you would:
  • Obtain information from medical records, medical staff, family members and the patients themselves to assess patients' capabilities, needs and interests.
  • Conduct therapy sessions to improve patients' mental and physical well-being.
  • Plan, organize, direct and participate in treatment programs and activities to facilitate patients' rehabilitation, help them integrate into the community and prevent further medical problems.


Math and Science
  • psychology
  • sociology and anthropology
  • therapy and counseling
  • medicine and dentistry
  • customer service
  • management
Arts and Humanities
  • English language


Basic Skills
  • listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
  • talking to others
  • looking for ways to help people
  • understanding people's reactions
Problem Solving
  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it


  • communicate by speaking
  • listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
  • notice when problems happen
  • make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
  • do two or more things at the same time
  • pay attention to something without being distracted


People interested in this work like activities that include helping people, teaching, and talking.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Adaptability/Flexibility
  • Integrity
  • Concern for Others
  • Cooperation
  • Dependability
  • Self Control


You might use software like this on the job:

Music or sound editing software
  • Avid Technology Sibelius
  • Hyperscore
Spreadsheet software
  • Microsoft Excel Hot Technology
Medical software
  • Patient electronic medical record EMR software


Education: (rated 4 of 5)
bachelor's degree
usually needed

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Job Outlook

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See more details at O*NET OnLine about recreational therapists.