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Recreational Therapist School Degrees

The sooner one decides upon a career in recreational therapy, the better, since he or she can begin planning an education based around this job. A bachelor’s degree will always be required for work as a recreational therapist. Depending on the desired further education and type of work an individual wishes to pursue, a specific bachelor’s degree in Therapeutic recreation, not in any other generalized subject, will be required. Depending on the state of residence, some recreational therapists will also have to obtain a licensure after obtaining a degree. Obviously then, a career in recreational therapy is not something that can be entered into lightly and must be done with a lot of thought and careful consideration.

Recreational Therapy Schools:

Not every college or university will offer a bachelor’s degree in recreational therapy. While this is the degree one should ideally pursue for a career in the field, other majors may sometimes be acceptable. Some recreational therapists have majored in anatomy, physiology, psychology, or biology, but these individuals also needed adequate experience and other forms of specialized training in order to become recreational therapists. If one cannot major in recreational therapy, for whatever reason, he or she should be sure that a college advisor understands the career the individual wishes to pursue and that educational and experiential opportunities in the field can be arranged.

Currently, the states of Oklahoma, North Carolina, Utah, and New Hampshire require individuals with a degree in recreational therapy to become licensed in order to practice therapy. More states are likely to be added in the near future, so individuals should continually check to see what guidelines and regulations are in order for their particular area. The best way to find information about licensure requirements and how to obtain a license is to contact the medical board in one’s home state as rules vary from state to state.

Most recreational therapists, including those who possess licenses, will need to become certified by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation. While this is not a requirement everywhere, those therapists who are certified have a much, much better chance of being hired in this already competitive field. In fact, more prestigious or well paying jobs will not even consider hiring candidates who are not certified. For details on certification, individuals should contact the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation. In addition to offering a general certification, this council can also grant specialized certifications that can make it easier for individuals to work in certain areas of recreational therapy.

Choosing a School or Degree:

Individuals will want to be sure to choose a school that is well versed on the requirements and skills needed to become a licensed or certified recreational therapist. Potential students should look for strong programs that continually churn out successful recreational therapists and that have a good reputation in the state or general community where the student resides. Majoring in recreational therapy is the way to go, and one should only choose another major if there is no other possible solution.