Therapeutic Recreation

Careers in Therapeutic Recreation

Therapeutic recreation specialists use recreation as an intervention to promote independence, quality of life, and functioning for individuals with disabilities and other health conditions. Therapeutic recreation specialists assess physical, social, emotional, and cognitive needs and abilities and, with this information, develop individualized treatment plans and intervention strategies to support the individual's goals toward health and wellness. Therapeutic intervention is delivered through the full range of recreational activities including the arts, horticulture, sports, games, adventure recreation, and interactions with pets, among many other leisure interests.

Certification: Graduates are eligible to apply for certification by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification. Pass rates for first-time test takers at Ithaca College are 93%, compared to the national average of 73%.

Careers: Therapeutic recreation specialists work with all ages, from preschoolers to older adults, in three kinds of settings:

  • Clinical (rehabilitation, hospital)
  • Community (public parks and recreation, schools, camps)
  • Residential (long-term care)

Employment for recreational therapists is expected to grow 17% from 2010 to 2020. ~ Occupational Outlook Handbook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Related Links:


School of Health Sciences and Human Performance  ·  Ithaca College  ·  Ithaca, NY 14850  ·  (607) 274-3237  ·  Full Directory Listing