Recreational Therapists

The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that employment for recreational therapists will grow about as fast as the average for all careers through 2022. Employment for therapists who provide services for the elderly and persons with disabilitiess will grow the fastest—increasing by nearly 64 percent through 2022. Increased life expectancies for the elderly and for people with developmental disabilities such as Down Syndrome will create opportunities for recreational therapists. Most openings for therapists will be in health care and assisted living facilities because of the increasing numbers and greater longevity of the elderly. There is also greater public pressure to regulate and improve the quality of life in retirement centers, which may mean more jobs and increased scrutiny of recreational therapists. Strong employment growth is also expected in offices of health practitioners, outpatient care centers, and the offices of physical, occupational and speech therapists, and audiologists. The incidence of alcohol and drug dependency problems is also growing, creating a demand for qualified therapists to work in short-term alcohol and drug abuse clinics.

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