Employment is projected to grow
faster than the average. Applicants will face competition for jobs.
Employment change. Employment of
recreational therapists is expected to increase 15 percent from 2008 to 2018,
faster than the average for all occupations. Job growth will stem from the
therapy needs of the aging population. With age comes an inevitable decrease in
physical ability and, in some cases, mental ability, which can be limited or
managed with recreation therapy. In nursing care facilities—the largest industry
employing recreational therapists—employment will grow faster than the
occupation as a whole as the number of older adults continues to grow.
Employment growth in schools will result from the expansion of the school-age
population and the federally funded extension of services for disabled students.
Reimbursement for recreational therapy services will continue to affect how
and where therapeutic recreation is provided. As payers and employers try to
contain costs, recreation therapy services will shift to outpatient settings and
away from hospitals.
Job prospects. Recreational therapists
will experience competition for jobs. Lower paid recreational therapy aides may
be increasingly used in an effort to contain costs. Job opportunities should be
best for people with a bachelor's degree in therapeutic recreation and the
Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist credential. Recreational therapists
might experience more competition for jobs in certain regions of the country as
jobs in therapeutic recreation tend to cluster in more densely populated areas.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor,
Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition
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