Therapeutic Recreation Degrees

Salaries For Degrees in Therapeutic Recreation

Those who majored in Therapeutic Recreation can work in a variety of occupations.  While no one can say with certainty what you personally will do with a degree in Therapeutic Recreation, our survey panel picked the following jobs as likely options:

Students with a degree in Therapeutic Recreation are considered well prepared for
becoming Recreational therapists.

The median salary for people with online associate therapeutic recreation degrees is $33,402.89.  The lifetime value of this degree is approximately $849,765.00.

Salaries are highly dependent on individual negotiating skill, experience, policies at your employer, area, and a host of other factors.  The estimates we show on these pages are just that: estimates.  Your individual experience will likely vary.

Where does this come from?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, a unit of the US government, classifies all workers into some 800-odd occupational categories.  We paid a team of freelancers to get their opinion on what type of degree a holder of each type of job would likely have majored in.  For pairs which had a high degree of consensus, we created a link between the degree and the job.

From this, we calculated the average salary for Therapeutic Recreation degrees and converted it into a lifetime value.  We then compared it against other degrees at the same level of schooling (such as online bachelors therapeutic recreation degrees or online masters therapeutic recreation degrees), so that you can make informed educational and employment decisions.

What Can a Therapeutic Recreation Student Expect to Learn?

Recreational therapists provide recreational activities and treatment to people who are sick or disabled. They use a variety of techniques including games, dance, music and art to improve and help maintain the physical and mental well-being of their patients. They help their patients reduce stress, depression and anxiety and recover basic motor functioning and reasoning abilities.

Recreational therapists rehabilitate individuals with specific health conditions and work in concert with doctors, psychologists, social workers and occupational therapists. Entry level positions in recreational therapy require a bachelor’s degree in therapeutic recreation. This program requires that students be proficient in intervention design, medical assessment, physiology, psychiatric terminology, abnormal psychology, human anatomy, professional ethics and assistive technology. Certification isn’t mandatory, but most employers prefer certification. Certification is through the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification. In order for a student to be certified they have to have at least four hundred and eighty hours of supervised internship and pass a written exam.

Job Outlook

The job outlook for recreational therapists is expected to increase sixteen percent over the next ten years, faster than the national average for most occupations in the medical field. This growth stems from the needs of the aging population for recreational therapy. Though job growth is rising rapidly, so is the number of students entering the field. This makes recreational therapy a very competitive portion of the medical field. Job prospects are best for those students who have a bachelor’s degree and are certified under the Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist credentials. Students in rural areas have the most competition because recreational therapy jobs tend to be located in mored densely populated urban areas.

Online Schools Offering Accredited Therapeutic Recreation Degree Programs

  • Walden University (
  • University of Phoenix (
  • Kaplan University (
  • South University Online (
  • Grand Canyon University (
  • Argosy University Online (
  • Herzing University (
  • Keiser University (
  • Capella University (
  • Saint Leo University (
  • Virginia College (
  • Top Colleges & Universities Offering Campus-based Therapeutic Recreation Degrees

  • Gallaudet University (
  • Illinois State University (
  • Indiana State University (
  • Northwest Missouri State University (
  • Penn State University (
  • Bowling Green State University (
  • Community College of Baltimore County (
  • Kean College of New Jersey (
  • Old Dominion University (
  • Ashland University (
  • San Diego State University (
  • Temple University (

Famous People Who Have Studied Therapeutic RecreationBetsy Theraputic Research

Bessie Blount- Bessie Blount (pictured right) is a physical and recreational therapists who worked extensively with soldiers during World War II. It was during her time during the war that she invented a device that allowed disabled soldiers to feed themselves. She attempted to sell this device to the Veterans Administration, but they didn’t want it, so she sold it to the French government. Another invention that she is credited with is the emesis basin, which she designed while she was a therapists to the mother-in-law of Thomas Edison. She went on to become a forensic science consultant, where she examined Civil War documents and slave papers.

Lauren Berry-Lauren Berry was a physical and recreational therapists who created the Berry Method of massage. This massage system is one that is based on a simple concept, placing the muscles of the body in the positions that they belong. After his death at the age of 63, the Institute of Integral Health was formed as a not-for-profit teaching agency based upon his method.

Dolores Krieger-Dolores Krieger was a registered nurse who pioneered new methods of recreational therapy and therapeutic massage. She also developed a system of massage that is taught in over one hundred different educational facilities all over the world. This method of therapy is used by nurses all over North America.