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How to Become a Recreational Therapist in Washington

Becoming a recreational therapist is no easy task as it takes years of educational preparation as well as many hours spent training outside of school to be successful at becoming certified for the position.  If you live in the state of Washington then there may be some jobs in which you can work as a recreational therapist and not have to become certified but these may be rare.  In addition becoming certified to practice can very well boost your salary significantly but there are many steps that you must go through before you can get to this level in your training.

In order to work as a recreational therapy you must go through a 4 year degree program and obtain a bachelors degree in therapeutic recreation before trying to pass the certification process.  There are also those who become recreational therapists without going through a degree program and simply get an equivalent amount of educational experience in the field but this is another rare occurrence.  In your years studying therapeutic recreation you will learn a variety of things that will help prepare you for your job in the field.  The classes that you will take will teach you about assessing and preparing treatment plans for your clients as well as how to cope with your clients on a regular basis.  In addition to going through your degree program’s courses you may also want to gain more experience in the field at this stage by trying your best to land a job in a clinic or other setting working with certified therapists.  This will not only give you the experience you need to succeed in your major but it will also look good for any resume and for a graduate school application if you decide to further your education.

In regards to getting a high level degree in this field, you can do this after you get your bachelor’s degree to increase your chance of making a good salary upon finishing your training.  If you are familiar with how the job market works then you know that those who hold master’s and doctorate degrees will go on to make substantially more than those without them.  You may also know that pursuing a higher level of education often takes much hands-on work and research in your major.  Though this can be tedious and independent work the benefits of obtaining this type of status in life cannot be overstated.  You can open up a whole world of possibilities when it comes to getting different job offers once achieving a graduate school degree.

In addition to getting your educational training in the field of recreational therapy it is also necessary for you to go through the certification process in order to land most jobs as a recreational therapist.  The steps to doing this are few but this can be a long process.  The first step in the process is obtaining your bachelor’s degree from an accredited university.  In addition to this you will need to get experience in the field by doing hands on work as an internee.  This will allow you to get the experience that you need to succeed in your career as well as to pass the exam that you will have to take after your hands on training is finished in order to be certified as a professional recreational therapist.

When you are trying to become a recreational therapist it is necessary to consider a few things besides the educational and hands on training you will need to receive.  You will also need to know whether this type of position is right for the type of person you are.  Many recreational therapists are intelligent and outgoing people that have a sense of humor and are imaginative.  Though you do not absolutely have to exhibit these traits to work in the field it helps to have some of them in order to perform the duties that are required of you without being at odds with the career path you have chosen.  This job can prove to be very stressful at times if you do not have the right attitude towards your work.