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Recreational Therapy Salaries

Average Recreational Therapist Salary: The reason behind choosing recreational therapy as a career should not be the salary. Though recreational therapists are fairly well paid, this is a very demanding job that should only be done by individuals who care about their clients or patients and who are interesting in making a real difference in the lives of others. With that said, many are still curious to know the average salary for a recreational therapist working in the United States. As of 2009, the average salary was approximately $44,000 annually, though some individuals may make as low as $39,000 annually or as high as $49,000 annually. Many different factors affect the salary that one will bring home each year.

Factors That Affect Salary:

Even the most kindhearted and dedicated recreational therapist would still like to make more money at his or her job. Fortunately, there are certain things one can do to increase the likelihood of making a higher than average salary.

One of the best things an individual can do to guarantee a higher salary is to get a good education. When considering schools, individuals should look for recreational therapy programs that are very highly regarded, either locally or nationally, and that consistently turn out successful and practicing recreational therapists. Having a higher level of education than a bachelor’s degree, such as a master’s or doctoral degree will also ensure a higher pay rate. The most well paid recreational therapists are the most highly educated ones.

Additionally, where one lives is another big factor that relates to pay. Recreational therapists who are willing to move to areas where recreational therapists are licensed and thus more highly paid or to areas where there is a much greater demand for recreational therapists are more likely to have their salaries fall on the higher end of the spectrum. Finding these areas is easy with a bit of research. Individuals will need to check job listings in all areas, using websites such as CareerBuilder.com, Monster.com, or even Craigslist.org, and simply take note of areas in which recreational therapy salaries or higher or in which there are a lot of job postings for this career.

If one is not willing to relocate, experience and stability can help to increase one’s salary. Those who have completed internships or certification programs will most definitely be on the higher end of the pay scale, so these should be taken advantage of whenever possible. Additionally, those individuals who have been at the same job and with the same company or corporation for long periods of time are usually better paid than those who tend to change workplaces often. While relying on job stability can be a slower way to get to a higher paycheck, it will happen eventually as long as one is a good worker consistently. Staying with one company for an extended period of time will also look good on a resume and can help individuals to obtain higher paying jobs in the future.

In truth, most individuals will probably not make extremely high salaries when they first start out in the recreational therapy field. However, sticking with it and continually looking for new opportunities - either for work or to further one’s education or experience level – will help individuals to progress both personally and professionally and to get paid higher amounts.