Recreational therapists held about 18,600 jobs in 2014. The industries that employed the most recreational therapists were as follows:
Hospitals; state, local, and private
Nursing care facilities (skilled nursing facilities)
Ambulatory healthcare services
Continuing care retirement communities and assisted living facilities for the elderly
Recreational therapists work in a variety of settings. Therapists often work in hospitals or nursing and residential care facilities. They also work in places such as substance abuse centers, outpatient rehabilitation centers, special education departments, and parks and recreation departments.
They may use offices for planning or other administrative activities, such as patient assessment, but may travel when working with patients. Therapy may be provided in a clinical setting or out in a community. For example, therapists may take their patients to fields and parks for sports and other outdoor activities.
Some therapists may spend a lot of time on their feet actively working with patients. Recreational therapists may also need to physically assist patients or lift heavy objects such as wheelchairs.
Most recreational therapists work full time, although about 1 in 4 worked part time in 2014. Some recreational therapists work evenings and weekends to meet the needs of their patients.