Median pay for Recreational Therapists in the United States is around $17.29 per hour. Experience level and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Recreational Therapists. There are far more female Recreational Therapists who answered the questionnaire than men, making up 80 percent. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and the larger part collect dental insurance. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.

$27,954 - $50,048
(Median)
$28K
$37K
$50K
MEDIAN: $37,389
10%
50%
90%

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$11.96 - $25.59
(Median)
$12
$17
$26
MEDIAN: $17.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$18K$36K$54K
Salary
$27,954 - $50,048  
   
Bonus
$5,250  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$26,207 - $52,624  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 97
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$13$26$39
Hourly Rate
$11.96 - $25.59  
   
Overtime
$19.87 - $37.92  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$26K$52K$78K
Bonus
$5,250  
   
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$26,207 - $52,624  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 127
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Job Description for Recreational Therapist

Recreational therapists are professionals who help patients with leisure activities to strengthen their minds, bodies and spirits. They seek to help patients adjust to living with a disease, illness, disability and/or injury. Recreational therapists employ activities such as games, sports and crafts to help improve their patients' physical and emotional well being. For example, therapists who work in a school setting may focus primarily on helping their patient integrate into into adult life; therapists employed in a hospital setting may focus on assisting patients with rehabilitation.

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Recreational Therapist Tasks

  • Instruct patients in activities and techniques designed to meet their specific physical or psychological needs.
  • Prepare and submit patients' reactions and progress reports, confer with treatment team.
  • Develop treatment plan with varied interventions based on assessment, interests and objectives of therapy.
  • Encourage patient with special needs and circumstances to acquire new skills and promote leisure activities.
  • Encourage patient with special needs and circumstances to acquire new skills and promote leisure activities.

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Pay by Experience Level for Recreational Therapist

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. Those who have worked for fewer than five years take home a median salary of $35K, and workers with five to 10 years of experience earn a higher $39K on average. Recreational Therapists claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $42K. As Recreational Therapists reach more than two decades on the job, compensation remains commensurate with experience; the average pay in this group is $47K.

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Experience Affects Recreational Therapist Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 28%

Experienced
up arrow 13%

Mid-Career
up arrow 5%

National Average
$37,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 6%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 14 votes.

Gender

Female
80 %
Male
20 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
11%
1-4 years
43%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
19%
20 years or more
8%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 83%
dental benefits
Dental: 66%
medical benefits
Vision: 59%
dental benefits
None: 15%
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