Career and Education Opportunities for Recreational Therapists in Bridgeport, Connecticut
Bridgeport, Connecticut provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for recreational therapists. The national trend for recreational therapists sees this job pool growing by about 14.6% over the next eight years. In general, recreational therapists plan, direct, or coordinate medically-approved recreation programs for patients in hospitals, nursing homes, or other institutions.
Income for recreational therapists is about $19 hourly or $40,150 annually on average in Connecticut. Nationally, their income is about $18 per hour or $38,370 per year. Earnings for recreational therapists are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Athletic and Occupational in Connecticut and not quite as good as general Athletic and Occupational category earnings nationally. Recreational therapists work in a variety of jobs, including: music therapist , therapist, and art therapist.
There are seventy-five schools of higher education in the Bridgeport area, including two within twenty-five miles of Bridgeport where you can get a degree to start your career as a recreational therapist. Recreational therapists usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so 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
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 Bridgeport 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.
- Occupational Safety and Health Inspector. Review, evaluate, and analyze work environments and design programs and procedures to control, eliminate, and prevent disease or injury caused by chemical, physical, and biological agents or ergonomic factors. May conduct inspections and enforce adherence to laws and regulations governing the health and safety of individuals. May be employed in the public or private sector.
- Occupational Therapist. Assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that help restore vocational, homemaking, and daily living skills, as well as general independence, to disabled persons.
- 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
Gateway Community College - New Haven, CT
Gateway Community College, 60 Sargent Dr, New Haven, CT 06511. Gateway Community College is a medium sized college located in New Haven, Connecticut. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,140 students. Gateway Community College has a less than one year program in Therapeutic Recreation/Recreational Therapy which graduated six students in 2008.
Long Island University-Westchester Campus - Purchase, NY
Long Island University-Westchester Campus, LIU/Westchester Campus, 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, NY 10577-1400. Long Island University-Westchester Campus is a small university located in Purchase, New York. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 290 students. Long Island University-Westchester Campus has a master's degree program in Therapeutic Recreation/Recreational Therapy.
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: Bridgeport, Connecticut
Bridgeport is located in Fairfield County, Connecticut. It has a population of over 136,405, which has shrunk by 2.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Bridgeport, 151, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Bridgeport are valued at $110,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, twenty-six new homes were built in Bridgeport, down from forty-one the previous year.
The three big industries for women in Bridgeport are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, administrative and support and waste management services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 12.2% of Bridgeport residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.6%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Bridgeport is 12.1%, which is greater than Connecticut's average of 8.3%.
The percentage of Bridgeport residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 70.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Calvary Episcopal Church, Golden Hill United Methodist Church and Good Shepherd Christian Church are among the churches located in Bridgeport. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Episcopal Church and the United Church of Christ.
Bridgeport is home to the North Branch Bridgeport Public Library and the Challenger Learning Center as well as Went Field and Johnson Oak Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lafayette Shopping Plaza Shopping Center, Baldwin Plaza Shopping Center and Bayview Shopping Center.