Recreational Therapist Salary

Average Recreational Therapists in the United States make around $16.65 per hour. Experience level is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Most Recreational Therapists like their work and job satisfaction is high. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and a majority earn dental coverage. The vast majority of Recreational Therapists (86 percent) who responded to the survey are women. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$29,373 - $55,438
(Median)
$29K
$38K
$55K
MEDIAN: $37,994
10%
50%
90%

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$12.23 - $23.13
(Median)
$12
$17
$23
MEDIAN: $16.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$19K$38K$57K
Salary
$29,373 - $55,438  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,894  
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).
)
$27,602 - $51,676  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 123
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$12$24$36
Hourly Rate
$12.23 - $23.13  
   
Overtime
$1.97 - $33.37  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$24K$48K$72K
Bonus
$0.00 - $4,894  
   
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).
)
$27,602 - $51,676  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 130
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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.


For Recreational Therapists, level of experience appears to be a somewhat less important part of the salary calculation — more experience does not correlate to noticeably higher pay. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $35K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $39K. Recreational Therapists bring in $43K after working for 10 to 20 years. People who have worked for more than 20 years report a median income of $45K, which is barely higher than the median for folks with 10 to 20 years of experience.

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Experience Affects Recreational Therapist Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 23%

Experienced
up arrow 16%

Mid-Career
up arrow 5%

National Average
$37,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 5%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 25 votes.

Gender

Female
86 %
Male
14 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
9%
1-4 years
52%
5-9 years
13%
10-19 years
19%
20 years or more
8%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 85% dental benefits Dental: 64%
vision benefits Vision: 51% employee benefits None: 15%
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