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Career and Education Opportunities for Recreational Therapists in Orange, California

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for recreational therapists in the Orange, California area. About 1,500 people are currently employed as recreational therapists in California. By 2016, this is expected to grow 7% to 1,600 people employed. This is not quite as good as the national trend for recreational therapists, which sees this job pool growing by about 14.6% over the next eight years. Recreational therapists generally plan, direct, or coordinate medically-approved recreation programs for patients in hospitals, nursing homes, or other institutions.

A person working as a recreational therapist can expect to earn about $23 per hour or $49,900 per year on average in California and about $18 per hour or $38,370 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Recreational therapists earn less than people working in the category of Athletic and Occupational generally in California and less than people in the Athletic and Occupational category nationally. Recreational therapists work in a variety of jobs, including: child life therapist, activity assistant, and activity director.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Orange where you can study to be a recreational therapist, among ninety-two schools of higher education total in the Orange area. The most common level of education for recreational therapists is a Bachelor's degree. It will take about four years to learn to be a recreational therapist if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Recreational Therapist

Recreational Therapist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, recreational therapists plan, direct, or coordinate medically-approved recreation programs for patients in hospitals, nursing homes, or other institutions. They also activities include sports, trips, and arts and crafts.

Recreational therapists conduct therapy sessions to further optimize patients' mental and physical well-being. They also talk with members of treatment teams to develop and evaluate therapy programs. Equally important, recreational therapists have to instruct patients in efforts and techniques. They are often called upon to counsel and encourage patients to evolve leisure efforts. They are expected to obtain data from medical records, medical staff, family members and the patients themselves to gauge patients' capabilities, needs and interests. Finally, recreational therapists encourage clients with special needs and circumstances to acquire new skills and get involved in health-promoting leisure efforts, such as sports, games, arts and crafts, and gardening.

Every day, recreational therapists are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for recreational therapists to observe and record patients' participation and progress during treatment sessions, modifying treatment programs as needed. Somewhat less frequently, recreational therapists are also expected to ready and submit reports and charts to treatment teams to reflect patients' reactions and evidence of progress or regression.

and encourage clients with special needs and circumstances to acquire new skills and get involved in health-promoting leisure efforts, such as sports, games, arts and crafts, and gardening. And finally, they sometimes have to instruct patients in efforts and techniques.

Like many other jobs, recreational therapists must have a strong concern for others and have strong self control in the face of challenging situations.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Orange include:

  • Audiologist. Assess and treat persons with hearing and related disorders. May fit hearing aids and provide auditory training. May perform research related to hearing problems.
  • Physical Therapist. Assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that improve mobility, relieve pain, and decrease or prevent deformity of patients suffering from disease or injury.
  • Speech and Language Teacher. Assess and treat persons with speech, language, and fluency disorders. May select alternative communication systems and teach their use. May perform research related to speech and language problems.
  • Sports Trainer. Evaluate, advise, and treat athletes to assist recovery from injury, avoid injury, or maintain peak physical fitness.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Recreational Therapist Training

Fremont College - Cerritos, CA

Fremont College, 18000 Studebaker Road Suite 900A, Cerritos, CA 90703. Fremont College is a small college located in Cerritos, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 146 students and an admission rate of 59%. Fremont College has an associate's degree program in Therapeutic Recreation/Recreational Therapy which graduated five students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Art Therapy Certified Supervisor: The Art Therapy Certified Supervisor (ATCS) is a newly available credential offered to qualified Board Certified Art Therapists (ATR-BCs) who are interested in demonstrating substantial supervision qualifications.

For more information, see the Art Therapy Credentials Board website.

Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist: To be awarded the Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) certificate, the candidate must meet the eligibility requirements and pass a knowledge-based exam.

For more information, see the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification, Inc. website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Orange, California

Orange, California
Orange, California photo by File Upload Bot

Orange is located in Orange County, California. It has a population of over 136,392, which has grown by 5.9% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Orange, 134, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Orange are priced at $136,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, ninety-nine new homes were built in Orange, down from two hundred sixty-two the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Orange are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 28.0% of Orange residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Orange is 8.9%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Orange residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.8%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Charismatic Churches Independent.

Orange is home to the El Modena Branch Orange Public Library and the Santiago Golf Course as well as Plaza Historic District and Santiago Oaks Regional Park. Shopping malls in the area include Village Plaza Shopping Center, Villa Park Town Center Shopping Center and Mall of Orange Shopping Center. Visitors to Orange can choose from Anaheim-Days Inn Orange, 7 Crowns Motel and American Inn & Suites for temporary stays in the area.