Recreational Therapist Salary

Recreational Therapists in the United States can expect to earn an average of $16.99 per hour. The pay spectrum stretches from $12.17 per hour to $24.76. Career length 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. The vast majority of Recreational Therapists (85 percent) who responded to the survey are women. Medical benefits are awarded to a large number, and the larger part earn dental coverage.

$29,480 - $51,712
(Median)
$29K
$38K
$52K
MEDIAN: $38,243
10%
50%
90%

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$12.17 - $24.76
(Median)
$12
$17
$25
MEDIAN: $16.00
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
$29,480 - $51,712  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,941  
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).
)
$27,858 - $52,682  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 136
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$12$24$36
Hourly Rate
$12.17 - $24.76  
   
Overtime
$7.31 - $34.97  
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$24K$48K$72K
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,941  
   
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).
)
$27,858 - $52,682  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 157
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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.

Recreation Therapist Job Listings

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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. The average beginner in this position makes around $35K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $39K. Recreational Therapists with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $42K. Veterans who have worked for more than two decades do tend to make the most in the end; the median pay for this group is $46K.

United States (change)

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Experience Affects Recreational Therapist Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 24%

Experienced
up arrow 13%

Mid-Career
up arrow 4%

National Average
$37,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 6%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 26 votes.

Gender

Female
85 %
Male
15 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
48%
5-9 years
15%
10-19 years
19%
20 years or more
9%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 85%
dental benefits
Dental: 64%
medical benefits
Vision: 54%
dental benefits
None: 14%
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