Activities Director: Job Profile & Occupational Outlook
Learn about the education and preparation needed to become an activities director. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties, and licensure to find out if this is the career for you.
Activities directors, also called recreational therapists, work in a variety of settings, including nursing homes and schools. Their primary focus is in aiding the sick and disabled with rehabilitation and skill improvement. The job requirements include a bachelor's degree, and licensure is required in some states. Professional certification is available and tends to be preferred by employers. This career might appeal to an individual with interests in healthcare, psychology, and social work.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree in recreational therapy or related field|
|Licensure and Certification||License required in some states; CTRS (Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist) certification preferred|
|Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)*||13% for recreational therapists|
|Median Wage (2013)*||$43,180 annually ($20.76 hourly) for recreational therapists|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), activities directors, also called recreational therapists, use recreational activities to help individuals who are sick or disabled (www.bls.gov). The types of activities they use vary, and may include arts and crafts, games and field trips. The BLS states that recreational therapists treat individuals who suffer from stress, depression or impaired motor skills. These professionals often observe patients during activities to monitor their progress and may work with other health and social service professionals to determine where additional improvements are needed.
Undergraduate programs in recreational therapy include coursework in behavioral and physical science, counseling and psychology. Students may also apply their learned techniques, application methods and assessments in their field experiences, which typically involve a full-time internship that places them under the supervision of experienced therapists.
Licensure and Certification
The BLS indicates that some states have licensing requirements for recreational therapists, such age limits, minimum academic standards and professional certification. The Health Professions Network (HPN) indicates that qualified recreational therapists hold the Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) credential (www.healthpronet.org). This credential is offered through the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC), and requires individuals to have a bachelor's degree or be near graduation, complete a formal internship and pass the certification exam, which includes topics in recreational theory, implementation and assessment (www.nctrc.org).
Activities Director Occupational Outlook
The BLS states that employment opportunities for recreational therapists were expected to increase by 13% from 2012-2022. Among the factors that the BLS cites for this anticipated increase are the growing number of elderly citizens and expanding federal funding for children with disabilities. Job opportunities will be available in public and private industries, such as nursing homes, government facilities and schools. Individuals who are experienced with certain populations may have better opportunities.
In May 2013, the BLS reported that the median wage of a recreational therapist was $43,180 annually, or $20.76 hourly. The BLS indicated that recreational therapists who work in nursing care facilities, the largest employer, earned a mean wage of $40,950 annually, while the federal government was the highest paying employer with an annual mean wage of $65,240. PayScale.com indicates that pay may vary substantially by the professional certification held and experience.
Related to Activities Director: Job Profile & Occupational Outlook
- Recently Updated
The title of activities director applies broadly to fields as diverse as education, event planning, gerontology and human...
Learn how to become a certified activities director. Research the job description and education and certification requirements,...
Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a gallery director. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as...
Open education is becoming increasingly popular as technological innovation allows for the digital sharing of information and...
- Become a Design Director: Training and Career Guide
- Preschool Education Director: Career Info and Requirements
- Leaders in Literacy: Study.com Speaks With the Director of SCALE
- Nishta Modi of Third World Impact Talks to Study.com
- Top Tallahassee Graphic Design & Animation Degree Programs
- Careers in DNA Analysis: Job Options and Degree Requirements
- Architectural Project Manager: Job Description, Duties and Requirements
- Become a Director of Student Affairs: Education and Career Roadmap
- How to Become a Director of Medical Records: Step-by-Step Career Guide
- Apparel & Accessories Design: Adult Education Info
- Web Broker: Job Description, Requirements and Outlook
- Fighting for the Dead: Study.com Interviews Award-Winning History Professor Dr. Peter Wood