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Career and Education Opportunities for Recreational Therapists in Charlotte, North Carolina

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for recreational therapists in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. Currently, 420 people work as recreational therapists in North Carolina. This is expected to grow by 7% to 450 people by 2016. 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.

The income of a recreational therapist is about $18 per hour or $38,860 yearly on average in North Carolina. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $18 per hour or $38,370 per year on average. Recreational therapists earn less than people working in the category of Athletic and Occupational generally in North Carolina and less than people in the Athletic and Occupational category nationally. Jobs in this field include: therapeutic specialist, art therapist, and music therapist .

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Charlotte where you can study to be a recreational therapist, among forty-three schools of higher education total in the Charlotte area. 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 Charlotte 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 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

Belmont Abbey College - Belmont, NC

Belmont Abbey College, 100 Belmont-Mt Holly Road, Belmont, NC 28012-1802. Belmont Abbey College is a small college located in Belmont, North Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,496 students and an admission rate of 63%. Belmont Abbey College has a bachelor's degree program in Therapeutic Recreation/Recreational Therapy which graduated one student in 2008.

Catawba College - Salisbury, NC

Catawba College, 2300 W Innes St, Salisbury, NC 28144. Catawba College is a small college located in Salisbury, North Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,261 students and an admission rate of 61%. Catawba College has a bachelor'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.

LICENSES

Recreational Therapist

Licensing agency: NC Therapeutic Recreation Board
Address: Post Office Box 67, Saxapahaw, NC 27340

Phone: (336) 212-1133
Website: NC Therapeutic Recreation Board

LOCATION INFORMATION: Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte, North Carolina photo by Alaskan Assassin

Charlotte is located in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. It has a population of over 687,456, which has grown by 27.1% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charlotte, 86, is well below the national average.

The three big industries for women in Charlotte are health care, finance and insurance, and educational services. For men, it is construction, finance and insurance, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 36.4% of Charlotte residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charlotte is 9.7%, which is less than North Carolina's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Charlotte residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 48.0%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. New Hampton Church, New Emmanuel Church and New East Stonewall Church are all churches located in Charlotte. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Charlotte is home to the Crown Point Plaza and the Providence Square as well as Kilborne District Park and Little Rock Road District Park. Shopping malls in the area include Heckinger Shopping Center, Hampshire Hills Shopping Center and Providence Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Charlotte can choose from American Motel, Extended Stay America - Charlotte/Tyvola and Drury Inn and Suites Charlotte for temporary stays in the area.