Step by step process of becoming a Recreational Therapist in West Virginia
In order to become a recreational therapist there are a few things that you must do including getting a bachelors degree from an accredited college in the therapeutic recreation discipline. Though there are other disciplines that you could be a part of and reach the same end this is rare and it will most likely take the mentioned method in order to land a job in a setting that you may want to. As therapeutic therapists can work in a variety of settings with solely a bachelor’s degree in the field you may want to stop your education here but it helps to know that there are many opportunities for jobs at the master’s and doctorate level as well as a significantly larger salary to be had. If you decide to further your education you could also become a specialist in the field and this may give you the benefit of being able to get a job with more flexible hours in addition to more pay. Though the decision to seek graduate school training is ultimately yours to make the benefits of doing so may outweigh the costs of this extra step in the process.
Becoming a therapist begins with joining a bachelor’s degree program but there are many things you can do while you are in this program in order to further your education and get the experience you need to be an asset to the field. One of the processes you may want to keep on your mind to try out is getting an internship opportunity. This can not only further the experience and skills that you may bring to the table but this can also help you by building up your resume to show potential jobs that you have this experience. In addition this is important to do for the next step in the process of becoming a recreational therapist after you graduate from your degree program which is getting your certification to practice. There are also other opportunities that you could seek while at the bachelor’s degree level including doing some research in the field and thereby taking the necessary steps to increase your chances of getting into the graduate school that you desire.
If you do not plan on going to graduate school in order to further your experience in the field then the next step in the process of landing a job as a recreational specialist is getting certified as a competent worker. This is a three step process that can begin before graduating from your bachelor’s degree program but for many this may not be the case. The requirements for certification are that you obtain a bachelor’s degree and then go through the process of getting a certain amount of hands on training in a clinic through an internship. This internship will be supervised for the most part and it will play a major part in ensuring that you know all of the things that are involved with performing the duties of your job as a recreational therapist. In addition to this the internship will also prepare you to take the next step in getting a job.
The final step for many on the road to landing a job in this field is passing the certification exam that is necessary for any practitioner to be certified. This exam is administered by the national board of recreational therapists and as such it is very important to your career as a whole. The scores from this exam can play a part on the jobs you qualify for as well as your salary. If you do not pass this test then you cannot be certified and as many jobs in this field require this type of certification it can be very hard for you to get a job without it. This is something to ponder over while you are taking all of the other steps to work in the field. In addition the test is an aspect of your training that you should plan to prepare for well in advance so you can have a chance at getting the best marks that you can.