Kind Reader, if you’re interested in helping people with disabilities or illnesses improve their physical, psychological, and emotional well-being through leisure activities, you might consider pursuing a master’s degree in recreation therapy. This program provides advanced education and practical training in using recreation activities as a form of therapy to promote healing, rehabilitation, and positive change in individuals with various health conditions. As one of the fastest-growing fields in healthcare, recreation therapy offers excellent career opportunities and a chance to make a real difference in people’s lives.
What is a Master in Recreation Therapy?
A Master in Recreation Therapy is an advanced degree program that prepares students to become experts in using recreational activities as a form of therapy. This program covers various principles and practices, such as counseling, psychology, and human anatomy, that are vital to becoming a successful Recreation Therapist. The degree program is relatively new and was introduced to address the increasing need for recreational therapy in healthcare settings.
What is Recreation Therapy?
Recreation therapy uses leisure and recreational activities as tools to promote physical, social, and emotional well-being. This therapeutic approach is geared towards people with illnesses, injuries, and other disabling conditions. Recreation therapists coordinate recreational activities and develop specialized treatment plans to help individuals recover or cope with self-limiting conditions. For example, someone might be encouraged to participate in horseback riding, music activities, art classes, and other forms of recreation to help them through psychological issues, addiction and substance abuse, or physical limitations.
Admission Requirement for Master in Recreation Therapy
Admission requirements for a Master in Recreation Therapy may vary slightly by school. However, some standard admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree in a related field from a recognized institution, a minimum GPA of 3.0, two letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and an interview.
Undergraduate Degree and Prerequisites
A bachelor’s degree in a related field is a prerequisite for admission into a master’s degree program in Recreation Therapy. However, if your undergraduate degree is not in a related field such as psychology, then you will be required to complete prerequisite courses. The prerequisite courses for a Master in Recreation Therapy Program may include courses such as Anatomy and Physiology, Introduction to Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, etc.
Why a Master in Recreation Therapy?
There are numerous reasons why a degree in recreation therapy could be the right choice for you. Here are some of the reasons why a Master in Recreation Therapy is becoming increasingly popular:
It offers an opportunity to make a difference
Recreation therapy is a rewarding career because you get to make a difference in the lives of people who need your help. As a Recreation Therapist, you will be able to impact people’s lives positively by promoting their physical and emotional well-being.
Demand for Recreation Therapists is increasing
The demand for Recreation Therapists is increasing, and the job outlook is excellent. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of Recreation Therapists is expected to grow by 8 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.
It is a Dynamic and Challenging Career
Recreation therapy offers a dynamic and challenging career that will keep you engaged and growing continually. You will be able to work with different people and face various challenges constantly, ensuring that you stay motivated.
Master in Recreation Therapy: Overview
A master’s degree in recreation therapy is a graduate-level program that provides students with the skills and knowledge needed to assess, plan, implement, and evaluate recreational programs for individuals with disabilities or illnesses. Students of the program learn how to use recreational activities, such as arts, sports, and games, to improve the physical, emotional, and psychological well-being of people with disabilities or illnesses.
Skills and Knowledge Gained in a Master’s Degree in Recreation Therapy
The master’s degree in recreation therapy program is designed to provide graduates with specific skills and knowledge that are needed for careers in the field of recreation therapy. These include:
- Assessment and evaluation skills for identifying the needs of individuals with disabilities or illnesses
- Knowledge of specific therapy modalities, such as physical or occupational therapy, to better assist clients
- Skills in planning, implementing, and evaluating recreational programs for individuals with disabilities or illnesses
- Knowledge of various disabilities and illnesses and how they impact individuals
- Ability to manage and supervise other professionals in the field
Curriculum of a Master’s Degree in Recreation Therapy
The curriculum of a master’s degree in recreation therapy typically includes both general courses and specialized courses in the field. General courses may cover topics such as research methods, counseling, and ethics. Specialized courses may cover topics such as disability studies, therapeutic recreation, and program planning and evaluation.
|This course focuses on the use of recreation and leisure activities to promote physical, social, emotional, and cognitive functioning among individuals with disabilities and illnesses.
|Program Planning and Evaluation
|This course teaches students how to develop, implement, and evaluate successful recreation programs for individuals with disabilities and illnesses.
|This course covers the social, cultural, and historical aspects of disability as well as the disability rights movement and advocacy efforts.
|This course covers the basics of conducting research in the field of recreation therapy, including qualitative and quantitative research methods and data analysis.
|Counseling and Ethics
|This course focuses on the ethical issues that arise in the field of recreation therapy, including confidentiality, informed consent, and boundary-setting.
|Master in Recreation Therapy
|Bachelor’s degree in relevant field
|Therapeutic Recreation Ethics, Techniques, and Technologies; Program Development and Evaluation in Recreational Settings; Professional Practice in Recreational Therapy; Administration and Leadership in Recreational Therapy; Advanced Research Methods in Recreational Therapy; and more
|Recreational Therapist, Activity Director, Recreation Coordinator, Community Program Director, Sports Director, Leisure Consultant, etc.
|Leadership, Communication, Clinical Assessment, Program Planning and Development, Rehabilitation, Adapted Physical Education, Community Inclusion, and more
Career Paths for Master in Recreation Therapy Graduates
Graduates of the Master in Recreation Therapy program have wide range of career paths to choose from, depending on their interests and area of specialization. Some of the popular career paths include:
Graduates can work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and other clinical settings where they apply recreational interventions to promote physical, mental, and social health in individuals with disabilities, injuries, or illnesses. They can also work in psychiatric hospitals or prisons to address the mental and emotional needs of patients or inmates.
Graduates can work in social services agencies such as local government, non-profit organizations, or community centers. They can work with underserved populations such as children, seniors, or people with low socioeconomic status to provide recreational activities that enhance their well-being and quality of life.
Graduates can work in academic setting as professors or instructors in universities or vocational schools, developing and teaching courses related to recreation therapy. They can also work in K-12 education system, providing recreational activities that complement the academic curriculum and foster students’ social and emotional learning.
Research and Administration
Graduates can work in research institutions or administrative positions in healthcare organizations, conducting studies and analyzing data to improve the practice of recreation therapy. They can also work in consulting firms or private practices, providing expert advice and services to clients in need of recreation therapy.
Graduates can start their own private practices, working as independent contractors or consultants, providing recreation therapy services to individual clients or organizations. They can specialize in areas such as sports psychology, adventure therapy, or art therapy, depending on their individual interests and skills.
Graduates can venture into entrepreneurship by starting their own recreational businesses such as parks, adventure sites, or amusement venues. They can also develop apps or other technological innovations that facilitate recreational activities for people with diverse needs or interests.
Graduates of the Master in Recreation Therapy program can explore international opportunities by working for organizations that provide recreational activities in foreign countries, or by starting their own international ventures in recreational tourism or service work. They can also work for international organizations such as the United Nations or World Health Organization, promoting recreational activities as a means of improving global health and well-being.
Career Opportunities with a Master’s degree in Recreation Therapy
If you are interested in becoming a recreation therapist, then earning a master’s degree in recreation therapy may be the best decision for you. A master’s degree in recreation therapy opens many excellent career opportunities in a range of settings. Aside from hospitals and outpatient clinics, now more than ever, recreational therapists are needed in mental health facilities, drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers, assisted living centers, and other community-based organizations.
5 Career Paths for Graduates with a Master’s Degree in Recreation Therapy
Here are five of the most common career paths for individuals who obtain a Master’s Degree in Recreation Therapy:
- Recreational Therapy Program Director
- Recreational Therapy Educator
- Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS)
- Recreational Therapy Consultant
- Rehabilitation Center Director
Salary expectations for Master’s degree in Recreation Therapy graduates
The median pay for Recreational Therapists is $50,520 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, individuals with a Master’s Degree in Recreation Therapy typically earn more than those who only hold a bachelor’s degree. Factors such as years of experience and location also affect the salary. In general, jobs in urban areas tend to pay higher than jobs in rural areas.
Career Opportunities with a Masterâ€™s Degree in Recreation Therapy
A masterâ€™s degree in recreation therapy opens up a wide range of career opportunities in various settings. Some of the most common career paths for recreation therapists with a masterâ€™s degree are:
Clinical Recreation Therapist
A clinical recreation therapist works in medical or mental health facilities and designs treatment plans for patients with physical disabilities, injuries, or illnesses. They use recreational activities, such as music therapy, art therapy, and outdoor activities, to help patients recover.
Recreational Program Manager
A recreational program manager is responsible for planning, implementing, and evaluating recreational programs for organizations, such as community centers, schools, and nursing homes. They oversee staff, budgets, and ensure that programs are designed to meet the needs of the people they serve.
Salary and Job Outlook for Recreation Therapy Graduates
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for recreational therapists was $48,220 in May 2020. The top 10 percent of therapists earned more than $78,720, while the lowest 10 percent earned less than $29,360.
The job outlook for recreational therapists is expected to grow by 7 percent from 2019 to 2029, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is higher than the average growth rate for all occupations. The demand for recreational therapists is expected to increase as the baby boomer population ages and requires more rehabilitation and therapeutic services.
> Note: The above salary information is based on data from payscale.com, which may vary depending on the employer, years of experience, and other factors.
Skills Acquired Through a Master’s Degree in Recreation Therapy
A Master’s degree in Recreation Therapy can open many career opportunities for students and enhance their skills in recreational therapy.
Advanced Clinical Knowledge and Skills
The Master’s program provides an advanced level of clinical knowledge and skill development through coursework and hands-on experience. Courses like advanced assessment, treatment planning, and intervention strategies will enable students to better serve patients with complex health conditions.
Leadership and Management Skills
Another key aspect of the Master’s program is leadership and management skills. Students will learn how to lead a team of professionals, manage budgets, and oversee project implementation. They will also be able to apply leadership and management principles to provide quality healthcare services.
Aside from clinical and management skills, the Master’s program emphasizes research and analysis, communication, and advocacy skills that are essential for professional practice. Students can acquire these skills through classroom instruction, practical experiences, and capstone projects.
|Advanced Clinical Knowledge and Skills
|Leadership and Management Skills
-Quality healthcare services
|-Research and analysis
Job Opportunities for Graduates of Master in Recreation Therapy
Graduates of the Master in Recreation Therapy program have a wide range of job opportunities. They can work in different settings, including rehabilitation centers, hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and private practice. The demand for recreation therapists is on the rise, creating employment opportunities for those who have completed the program.
Recreation therapists can specialize in specific areas such as geriatrics, pediatrics, mental health, physical disabilities, and more. For instance, those who specialize in geriatrics will work with older adults and address their specific needs such as depression, anxiety, and mobility issues. Recreation therapists who specialize in mental health will work with individuals who have mental health problems, and they will help them cope with their conditions through recreational activities.
Job Titles and Salaries
The following are job titles and salaries for graduates of the Master in Recreation Therapy program (10) :
|Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist
|$45,000 – $65,000
|$40,000 – $60,000
|$30,000 – $50,000
These salaries may vary depending on several factors, such as location, experience, and employer.
Master in Recreation Therapy FAQ
1. What is a Master in Recreation Therapy?
A Master in Recreation Therapy is a professional degree program that prepares students to become recreational therapists who help individuals with physical and mental disabilities improve their health and well-being through leisure activities and interventions.
2. What are the admission requirements for the program?
The admission requirements for a Master in Recreation Therapy program may vary depending on the school, but usually include a bachelor’s degree in a related field, a minimum GPA, letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and relevant work or volunteer experience. Some programs may also require applicants to pass a background check.
3. What kind of courses can I expect to take in the program?
Some common courses in a Master in Recreation Therapy program include human anatomy and physiology, psychological foundations of leisure behavior, assessment and intervention techniques, research methods, and ethics in healthcare. Additionally, some programs offer specialized tracks in areas such as therapeutic recreation leadership or healthcare administration.
4. How long is the program, and can I study online?
Most Master in Recreation Therapy programs take two years to complete, although some schools may offer accelerated or part-time options. Some programs also allow students to complete coursework online, although there may be some on-campus requirements for practicum or internship experiences.
5. What kind of career opportunities are available with a Master in Recreation Therapy?
Graduates of a Master in Recreation Therapy program may work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, mental health facilities, community recreation programs, and private clinics. Some specific job titles may include recreational therapist, activity director, program coordinator, or community outreach specialist.
6. What kind of licensing or certification is required to practice as a recreational therapist?
Most states require recreational therapists to be licensed or certified in order to practice. The specific requirements may vary, but usually include completion of a recognized degree program, passing a certification exam, and completing a certain number of supervised clinical hours.
7. Can I pursue a Master in Recreation Therapy if I already have a degree in a different field?
Yes, many Master in Recreation Therapy programs welcome students with diverse academic backgrounds. However, students may need to take some prerequisite courses in areas such as psychology or anatomy in order to fulfill the program requirements.
8. Is there financial aid available for the program?
Yes, many schools offer financial aid options for students pursuing a Master in Recreation Therapy, including scholarships, grants, and loans. Students can also explore external funding opportunities from professional organizations or government agencies.
9. What kind of skills do I need to be successful in the program and as a recreational therapist?
Successful students and recreational therapists typically have strong communication skills, empathy, creativity, and problem-solving abilities. They also have a passion for working with individuals with diverse backgrounds and abilities, and a desire to promote health and wellness.
10. What kind of practicum or internship experiences are included in the program?
Most Master in Recreation Therapy programs include practicum or internship experiences that allow students to gain hands-on experience working with clients in a supervised setting. These experiences may take place in a variety of settings, including hospitals, schools, or community centers, and may involve designing and implementing therapeutic programs.
11. What is the cost of tuition for the program?
The cost of tuition for a Master in Recreation Therapy program varies depending on the school and the student’s residency status. Students can expect to pay several thousand dollars per semester, and may also need to budget for additional expenses such as textbooks, supplies, and transportation.
12. What kind of support services are available for students in the program?
Most schools offer a range of support services for students in the Master in Recreation Therapy program, including academic advising, career counseling, and mental health services. Additionally, some programs may offer networking opportunities or mentorship programs with alumni or industry professionals.
13. Can I continue working while pursuing a Master in Recreation Therapy?
It is possible to continue working while pursuing a Master in Recreation Therapy, particularly if students choose a part-time or online program. However, students should be prepared to balance the demands of coursework and fieldwork with their work responsibilities, and may need to make adjustments to their work schedules.
14. What kind of research opportunities are available in the program?
Some Master in Recreation Therapy programs offer research opportunities for students, such as conducting independent studies or collaborating with faculty on research projects. These experiences can help students develop critical thinking and data analysis skills, as well as contribute to the field of recreational therapy.
15. Can I pursue a PhD in Recreation Therapy after completing the program?
Yes, some students may choose to pursue a PhD or other advanced degree in Recreation Therapy or a related field after completing a Master in Recreation Therapy program. This can lead to opportunities for advanced research, teaching, and leadership roles in the field.
16. What kind of technology or software is used in the program?
The specific technology or software used in a Master in Recreation Therapy program may vary depending on the school, but students can typically expect to use basic computer programs such as Microsoft Office as well as specialized software for data analysis or recreation planning.
17. What kind of hands-on experiences are included in the program?
Students in a Master in Recreation Therapy program can expect to have a variety of hands-on experiences, including designing and implementing therapeutic programs for clients, conducting client assessments, collaborating with interdisciplinary healthcare teams, and participating in community outreach initiatives.
18. Does the program offer any opportunities for international study or travel?
Some Master in Recreation Therapy programs may offer opportunities for international study or travel, such as participating in a study abroad program or completing a portion of the program requirements at an international site. These experiences can provide students with valuable cultural and global perspectives on healthcare and wellness.
19. What is the faculty like in the program?
The faculty in a Master in Recreation Therapy program typically have diverse backgrounds and expertise in areas such as psychology, physical therapy, and healthcare administration. Students can expect to have access to experienced instructors who are dedicated to promoting student success and advancing the field of recreational therapy.
20. What kind of networking or professional development opportunities are available to students?
Many Master in Recreation Therapy programs offer networking opportunities for students to connect with alumni or industry professionals, such as through professional associations or guest lectures. Additionally, some schools may offer career development services such as resume reviews or mock interviews.
21. How can I learn more about the program and the field of recreational therapy?
Students can learn more about Master in Recreation Therapy programs by researching school websites and talking with admissions counselors. They can also explore professional organizations such as the National Recreation and Park Association or the American Therapeutic Recreation Association for information on the field of recreational therapy.
22. Are there any prerequisites or recommended courses for the program?
Some Master in Recreation Therapy programs may have prerequisites or recommended courses that students should complete before applying, such as coursework in biology, psychology, or recreation management. Students should check with their prospective schools for specific requirements or suggestions.
23. What kind of practicum or internship sites are available for students?
Master in Recreation Therapy programs typically partner with a variety of healthcare or community organizations to provide students with hands-on experiences in the field. Students should check with their schools’ practicum or internship coordinators for a list of available sites, or work with their advisors to find a site that aligns with their interests and career goals.
24. What kind of post-graduation support is available?
Many schools offer post-graduation support for students, including career counseling, alumni networks, and continuing education opportunities. Additionally, graduates may be able to connect with professional organizations or certification bodies for ongoing support and training.
25. What kind of accreditation should I look for in a Master in Recreation Therapy program?
Students should look for Master in Recreation Therapy programs that are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT). Accreditation ensures that schools meet rigorous standards for academic quality and student outcomes.
To become a professional in the field, consider getting a Master’s degree in Recreation Therapy to gain comprehensive knowledge and practical skills in
Keep Dreaming On
Kind Reader, we hope this article has widened your horizons on the possibilities that come with getting a Master in Recreation Therapy. To pursue this career path will not only benefit you, but also those who need your help. It is a noble profession that requires a lot of heart, passion, and dedication. Thank you for taking the time to read this article. We hope to see you again soon! Until then, keep dreaming on.