FIND PERSONALIZED JOBS
Sign up to Zippia and discover your career options with your personalized career search.

Log In

Log In to Save

Sign Up to Save

Sign Up to Dismiss

or

The email and password you specified are invalid. Please, try again.

Email and password are mandatory

Forgot Password?

Don't have an account? Sign Up

reset password

Enter your email address and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Back to Log In

FIND
PERSONALIZED JOBS

Become An Activity Specialist

Where do you want to work?

To get started, tell us where you'd like to work.
Sorry, we can't find that. Please try a different city or state.

Working As An Activity Specialist

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Getting Information
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $45,890

    Average Salary

What Does An Activity Specialist Do

Recreational therapists plan, direct, and coordinate recreation-based treatment programs for people with disabilities, injuries, or illnesses. These therapists use a variety of modalities, including arts and crafts; drama, music, and dance; sports and games; aquatics; and community outings to help maintain or improve a patient’s physical, social, and emotional well-being.

Duties

Recreational therapists typically do the following:

  • Assess patients’ needs through observations, medical records, tests, and discussions with other healthcare professionals, patients’ families, and patients
  • Create treatment plans and programs that meet patients’ needs and interests
  • Plan and implement interventions to prevent harm to a patient
  • Engage patients in therapeutic activities, such as exercise, games, and community outings
  • Help patients learn social skills needed to become or remain independent
  • Teach patients about ways to cope with stress, anxiety, or depression
  • Record and analyze a patient’s progress
  • Evaluate interventions for effectiveness

Recreational therapists help people reduce depression, stress, and anxiety; recover basic physical and mental abilities; build confidence; and socialize effectively.

They use activities, such as arts and crafts, dance, or sports, to help their patients. For example, a recreational therapist can help a patient who is paralyzed on one side of their body by teaching them to adapt activities, like casting a fishing rod or swinging a golf club, by using their functional side.

Therapists often treat specific groups of patients, such as children with cancer. Therapists may use activities such as kayaking or a ropes course to teach patients to stay active and to form social relationships.

Recreational therapists help people with disabilities integrate into the community by teaching them how to use community resources and recreational activities. For example, therapists may teach a patient who uses a wheelchair how to use public transportation.

Therapists may also provide interventions for patients who need help developing social and coping skills. For example, a therapist may use a therapy dog to help patients manage their depression or anxiety.

Therapists may work with physicians or surgeons, registered nurses, psychologists, social workers, physical therapists, teachers, or occupational therapists. Recreational therapists are different from recreation workers, who organize recreational activities primarily for enjoyment.

Show More

Show Less

How To Become An Activity Specialist

Recreational therapists typically need a bachelor’s degree. Many employers require therapists to be certified by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC).

Education

Recreational therapists typically need a bachelor’s degree, usually in recreational therapy or a related field such as recreation and leisure studies.

Recreational therapy programs include courses in assessment, human anatomy, medical and psychiatric terminology, characteristics of illnesses and disabilities, and the use of assistive devices and technology. Bachelor’s degree programs usually include an internship.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Most employers, particularly those in hospitals and other clinical settings, prefer to hire certified recreational therapists. The NCTRC offers the Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) credential. Candidates may qualify for certification through one of two pathways. The first option requires a bachelor’s degree in recreational therapy, which includes the completion of a supervised internship of at least 560 hours, and passing an exam. The second option also requires passing an exam, but allows candidates with a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated subject to qualify with a combination of education and work experience. Therapists must take continuing education classes to maintain certification.

NCTRC also offers specialty certification in five areas of practice: behavioral health, community inclusion services, developmental disabilities, geriatrics, and physical medicine/rehabilitation. Therapists also may earn certificates from other organizations to show proficiency in specific therapy techniques, such as aquatic therapy or aromatherapy.

As of 2014, only New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Utah required recreational therapists to obtain a license. Requirements vary by state. For specific requirements, contact the state’s medical board.

Important Qualities

Compassion. Recreational therapists should be kind and empathetic when providing support to patients and their families. They may deal with patients who are in pain or under emotional stress.

Leadership skills. Recreational therapists must be able to plan, develop, and implement intervention programs in an effective manner. They must be engaging and able to motivate patients to participate in a variety of therapeutic activities.

Listening skills. Recreational therapists must listen carefully to a patient’s problems and concerns. They can then determine an appropriate course of treatment for that patient.

Patience. Recreational therapists may work with some patients who require more time and special attention than others.

Resourcefulness. Recreational therapists customize treatment plans for patients. They must be both creative and flexible when adapting activities or programs to each patient’s needs.

Speaking skills. Recreational therapists need to communicate well with their patients. They must give clear directions during activities or instructions on healthy coping techniques.

Show More

Show Less

Activity Specialist jobs

NO RESULTS

Aw snap, no jobs found.

Add To My Jobs

Activity Specialist Career Paths

Activity Specialist
Case Manager Program Manager General Manager
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Assistant Director Director Of Food And Beverage
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Program Director Coach
Assistant Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Technician Technician Service Manager
Branch Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Activities Director Program Director
Communications Director
7 Yearsyrs
Youth Counselor Assistant Director Nursing Director
Director Of Health Services
11 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Account Manager Sales Manager
Director Of Sales
10 Yearsyrs
Activities Director Service Director Marketing Director
Director Of Sales And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Assistant Director General Manager
District Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Assistant Director Office Manager Operations Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Operations Manager Account Executive
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Program Director General Manager Account Executive
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Program Director Service Director
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Program Coordinator Project Coordinator
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Specialist Project Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Technician Systems Administrator Operations Manager
Property Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Youth Counselor Sales Consultant Leasing Consultant
Resident Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Specialist Account Manager Account Executive
Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Instructor Education Director
School Director
7 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Support Specialist Support Manager
Supported The Director
8 Yearsyrs
Show More

Activity Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

60.1%

Male

38.3%

Unknown

1.5%
Ethnicity

White

77.0%

Hispanic or Latino

14.9%

Asian

5.6%

Unknown

1.7%

Black or African American

0.8%
Show More
Languages Spoken

Spanish

66.9%

French

6.6%

Portuguese

5.8%

Chinese

3.3%

German

3.3%

Italian

3.3%

Mandarin

2.5%

Hindi

1.7%

Vietnamese

0.8%

Cantonese

0.8%

Japanese

0.8%

Urdu

0.8%

Bengali

0.8%

Polish

0.8%

Arabic

0.8%

Lingala

0.8%
Show More

Activity Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

8.8%

Austin Community College

8.2%

Texas State University

6.0%

University of Texas at Dallas

6.0%

Illinois State University

5.5%

New York University

4.9%

El Paso Community College

4.9%

State University of New York Albany

4.9%

City College of New York of the City University of New York

4.9%

Liberty University

4.9%

Hofstra University

4.9%

Temple University

4.4%

University of Texas at El Paso

4.4%

Brooklyn College of the City University of New York

4.4%

LIU Brooklyn

3.8%

University of North Texas

3.8%

Walden University

3.8%

University of Central Florida

3.8%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.8%

Syracuse University

3.3%
Show More
Majors

Business

17.3%

Psychology

10.4%

Criminal Justice

6.8%

Kinesiology

6.7%

Education

5.6%

Communication

5.4%

Rehabilitation Science

5.2%

Social Work

4.6%

Nursing

3.9%

Sociology

3.9%

Marketing

3.8%

Liberal Arts

3.5%

English

3.2%

Human Services

3.2%

Recreation Management

3.1%

Management

2.8%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.8%

Fine Arts

2.6%

Medical Assisting Services

2.6%

Health Care Administration

2.6%
Show More
Degrees

Bachelors

44.4%

Other

21.8%

Masters

17.2%

Associate

9.5%

Certificate

4.2%

Doctorate

1.4%

Diploma

1.0%

License

0.5%
Show More
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Activity Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Assistant Activity Specialist Nysarc; Inc., NYC Chapter New York, NY Sep 04, 2015 $56,680
Assistant Activity Specialist Nysarc; Inc., NYC Chapter New York, NY Nov 29, 2016 $53,872
Activities Specialist North Shore-LIJ Health System Glen, NY Jul 21, 2010 $41,582
Membership Activities Specialist Neighborhood Centers, Inc. Houston, TX Jan 31, 2011 $35,350
Social & Community Activity Specialist Better Home Living, LLC Bentonville, AR Oct 01, 2009 $33,738
Social & Community Activity Specialist Better Home Living LLC Bentonville, AR Oct 01, 2009 $33,738
Tennis Activities Specialist Ulian Krinsky School of Tennis King of Prussia, PA Oct 01, 2010 $31,873
Tennis Activities Specialist Julian Krinsky School of Tennis King of Prussia, PA Aug 30, 2010 $31,873

No Results

To get more results, try adjusting your search by changing your filters.

Show More

Top Skills for An Activity Specialist

HomeworkCustomerServiceWeeklyLessonPlansRecreationalActivitiesSuperviseArtSpecialEventsChildInternetDailyActivitiesCpoePhysicalActivityTechnicalSupportDataEntrySpecialNeedsStaffMembersCommunicationSkillsGroupActivitiesSocialSkillsVerizon

Show More

Top Activity Specialist Skills

  1. Homework
  2. Customer Service
  3. Weekly Lesson Plans
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Facilitated group sessions on areas such as homework help, recreation activities and arts and crafts.
  • Greeted new arrivals and provided customer service to explain facility rules and encourage participation.
  • Submit weekly lesson plans leading up to various performances, both in and outside of the school throughout year.
  • Explain principles, techniques, and safety procedures to participants in recreational activities, and demonstrate use of materials and equipment.
  • Supervised volunteers during group activities and on facility outings.

Top Activity Specialist Employers

Activity Specialist Videos

A Day in the Life of an ICU Nurse - Rook

Evidence for Electrical Comet Activity | Space News

Career Advice on becoming a Management Accountant by Matthew R (Full Version)

×