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Career and Education Opportunities for Recreational Therapists in New York, New York

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for recreational therapists in the New York, New York area. About 2,740 people are currently employed as recreational therapists in New York. By 2016, this is expected to shrink by 4% to 2,620 people employed. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for recreational therapists are expected to grow by about 14.6%. In general, recreational therapists plan, direct, or coordinate medically-approved recreation programs for patients in hospitals, nursing homes, or other institutions.

Recreational therapists earn approximately $22 hourly or $46,220 per year on average in New York. Nationally they average about $18 hourly or $38,370 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Athletic and Occupational, people working as recreational therapists in New York earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Athletic and Occupational nationally. People working as recreational therapists can fill a number of jobs, such as: activity assistant, recreation therapist, and therapeutic specialist.

The New York area is home to 335 schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of New York where you can get a degree as a recreational therapist. Given that the most common education level for recreational therapists is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years training to become 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 New York 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

Rockland Community College - Suffern, NY

Rockland Community College, 145 College Rd, Suffern, NY 10901. Rockland Community College is a medium sized college located in Suffern, New York. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 6,986 students. Rockland Community College has a one to two year program in Therapeutic Recreation/Recreational Therapy which graduated three students in 2008.

CUNY Bronx Community College - Bronx, NY

CUNY Bronx Community College, W 181 St & University Ave, Bronx, NY 10453. CUNY Bronx Community College is a medium sized college located in Bronx, New York. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,348 students. CUNY Bronx Community College has an associate's degree program in Therapeutic Recreation/Recreational Therapy which graduated twelve students in 2008.

CUNY Lehman College - Bronx, NY

CUNY Lehman College, Bedford Park Blvd W, Bronx, NY 10468. CUNY Lehman College is a large college located in Bronx, New York. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,453 students and an admission rate of 31%. CUNY Lehman College has a bachelor's degree program in Therapeutic Recreation/Recreational Therapy which graduated three 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.

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: New York, New York

New York, New York
New York, New York photo by UpstateNYer

New York is situated in New York County, New York. It has a population of over 8,363,710, which has grown by 4.4% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in New York, 177, is far greater than the national average.

The three big industries for women in New York 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 travel time to work is about 40 minutes. More than 27.4% of New York residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in New York is 10.3%, which is greater than New York's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of New York residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 70.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Lukes Roman Catholic Church, Saint Ann's Episcopal Church and Trinity Church are some of the churches located in New York. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the American Baptist Churches in the USA.

New York is home to the Cadman Plaza and the Flushing Station as well as Victory Field and Whitman Park. Visitors to New York can choose from Boland Corporate Housing, Club Quarters Inc - Reservations and Allied Hotel Marketing Limited for temporary stays in the area.