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What is a Creative Art Therapist

What Does a Creative Art Therapist 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.

Learn more about what a Creative Art Therapist does

How To Become a Creative Art Therapist

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.

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Average Salary
$50,842
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
7%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
30,504
Job Openings
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Average Salary for a Creative Art Therapist

Creative Art Therapists in America make an average salary of $50,842 per year or $24 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $73,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $35,000 per year.
Average Salary
$50,842
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Choose From 10+ Customizable Creative Art Therapist Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Creative Art Therapist templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Creative Art Therapist resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Creative Art Therapist Demographics

Creative Art Therapist Gender Distribution

Male
Male
19%
Female
Female
81%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among Creative Art Therapists, 81.1% of them are women, while 18.9% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among Creative Art Therapists is White, which makes up 67.2% of all Creative Art Therapists.

  • The most common foreign language among Creative Art Therapists is Spanish at 46.2%.

Job Openings

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Creative Art Therapist Education

Creative Art Therapist Majors

12.4 %

Creative Art Therapist Degrees

Masters

45.5 %

Bachelors

45.1 %

Associate

7.5 %

Top Colleges for Creative Art Therapists

1. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

2. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Private

In-State Tuition
$12,424
Enrollment
15,201

3. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

4. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

5. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

6. Tufts University

Medford, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,382
Enrollment
5,597

7. University of Florida

Gainesville, FL • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,381
Enrollment
34,564

8. Washington University in St Louis

Saint Louis, MO • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,399
Enrollment
7,356

9. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

10. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,798
Enrollment
31,503
Job Openings

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Art Therapy: Art Therapy Exercises For Healing In Life
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Top Skills For a Creative Art Therapist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 16.4% of Creative Art Therapists listed Patient Care on their resume, but soft skills such as Leadership skills and Listening skills are important as well.

Best States For a Creative Art Therapist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a Creative Art Therapist. The best states for people in this position are Alaska, Delaware, California, and Nevada. Creative Art Therapists make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $71,247. Whereas in Delaware and California, they would average $66,024 and $65,941, respectively. While Creative Art Therapists would only make an average of $64,377 in Nevada, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Delaware

Total Creative Art Therapist Jobs:
145
Highest 10% Earn:
$123,000
Location Quotient:
1.27
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Nevada

Total Creative Art Therapist Jobs:
208
Highest 10% Earn:
$95,000
Location Quotient:
1.1
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Indiana

Total Creative Art Therapist Jobs:
868
Highest 10% Earn:
$96,000
Location Quotient:
1.46
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Creative Art Therapists

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Top Creative Art Therapist Employers

Most Common Employers For Creative Art Therapist

RankCompanyZippia ScoreAverage Creative Art Therapist SalaryAverage Salary
1$87,995
2$71,637
3$62,822
4$51,304
5
5.Westmed Medical Group
$50,146
6$50,065