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North Carolina Educational Requirements for Recreational Therapists

To become a recreational therapist in North Carolina there are many steps that you must take in school and after graduating including getting certified and getting a license to practice in the field.  In terms of the educational requirements, in this field it takes at least a bachelor’s degree to be successful at landing the majority of entry level positions but many more positions may open up after getting a master’s or beyond.  When enrolling into a 4 year bachelor’s degree program at a local university it is important for you to ensure that the university you choose is accredited as many jobs will not accept an applicant without a degree from this type of school.  In addition you must enroll in a degree program specific to recreational therapy to be successful at getting a job upon graduation.

During your undergraduate years it may be a smart idea to seek job opportunities in the form of internships for your major.  This is because it may be easier for you to grasp the duties the job requires in order to figure out what setting and what type of therapy you would want to pursue if you haven’t before getting to this stage.  In addition to this you may want to research the exact requirements of the job that you are planning on holding as some positions may require you to go through additional schooling in the form of graduate school. If the position that you want to fill requires you to go to graduate school then getting an internship before going will look good on your application to grad school and it will give you the experience necessary to succeed later on in your career.

If you have not decided whether you want to pursue a graduate school education by the time you enroll into an undergraduate degree program then it may be a good idea to do so.  A graduate school degree not only opens up many more opportunities for growth in your career path but it also can help you to reach your salary goals.  On average a graduate degree holder will make more than 50 percent of what an undergraduate degree holder will make throughout their career.  In addition to this your starting salary will be substantially higher if you pursue this type of education.  These benefits make the extra work it will take to get your degree well worth it, especially if this is a career path that you love enough to want to make a big impact in. 
As mentioned, many positions as a recreational therapist require you to be certified in the field in addition to having the school experience necessary to succeed.  When it comes to this certification process, it can be a tedious thing to go through as you must have about 500 hours of supervised training in an internship under your belt before getting certified.   This is why it is so important to go through an internship at the undergraduate level so you can get the experience you need.  In addition to going through so many hours of training you must also pass a written exam which will test your knowledge of the procedures in the field.  These steps are necessary ones to take in the event that you want to practice as a recreational therapy so needless to say you may want to put a lot of effort into your training at both the educational and the practical level.   This will only help you as it approaches the time for you to get a job.