Links and Print Version

Area
Employer
Information/Strategies

Therapeutic Recreation

  • Administration/Management
  • Programming
  • Evaluation and Documentation
  • Staff Supervision
  • Specialties:
    •    Intervention
    •    Aquatic
    •    Outdoor
    •    Art
    •    Arts and Crafts
    •    Drama
    •    Dance and Movement
  • Rehabilitation hospitals/centers
  • Nursing homes
  • Senior centers
  • Adult daycare centers
  • Assisted living facilities
  • Residential facilities
  • Psychiatric facilities
  • Community mental health centers
  • Substance abuse centers
  • Recovery centers
  • Correctional facilities
  • Educational facilities
  • Camps and outdoor recreational programs
  • Pursue a major in therapeutic recreation or a program with a therapeutic recreation focus.
  • Volunteer and intern in therapeutic recreation settings such as camps, senior centers and rehabilitation facilities.
    Demonstrate ability to work as part of an interdisciplinary team with physicians, nurses, physical and occupational therapists.
  • Earn relevant licensure or certification; regulation varies by state.  Research the Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) credential offered through the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification.
  • Consider specializations in areas such as aquatics, intervention, outdoor recreation and art therapy.
  • Exhibit patience, creativity, motivational skills and a high comfort level working with people of all ages including those who are sick or disabled.


Occupational Therapy

  • Screening
  • Evaluation
  • Treatment:
    •    Physical
    •    Psychosocial
    •    Social
    •    Vocational
  • Follow-up
  • Administration
  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Hospitals (including psychiatric and rehabilitative)
  • Schools
  • Group or private practice
  • Nursing homes/Residential career facilities
  • Community mental health centers
  • Adult daycare programs
  • Job training centers
  • Residential care providers
  • Out-patient rehabilitation facilities
  • Home healthcare agencies
  • Federal and state government:
    •     Armed Forces
    •     Public Health Service
    •     Veterans Administration
  • Universities and colleges
  • Build a solid foundation in physical, biological and behavioral sciences.
  • Develop excellent communication skills which are important when interacting with patients and their families.
  • Volunteer in an occupational therapy or related healthcare setting to experience the field first-hand and meet program requirements.
  • Individuals working in occupational therapy should possess patience and a true interest in helping people with disabilities reach their full potential.
  • Learn to work well within a team.  O.T.’s work with many other professionals in the rehabilitation of patients.
  • Earn a master’s (MOT, MA, MS) or doctoral (OTD, less common) degree from an accredited program by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).
  • Doctoral degree is often preferred for university teaching and administrative positions.
  • All states regulate O.T. licensure.  Requirements include passing a certification exam given by the  American Occupational Therapy Certification Board and a supervised clinical internship. Those who have passed the exam apply to become Occupational Therapists Registered (OTR).
    Occupational therapists may choose to specialize         in a particular age group or type of disability             after passing national exam certification.


Commercial Recreation

  • Resort and Private Recreation Administration
  • Guest Relations
  • Trip Planning and Reservations
  • Sales/Marketing
  • Event/Program Planning and Evaluation
  • Facilities Management
  • Convention services
  • Event planning companies
  • Corporate employee services
  • Hotels
  • Resorts
  • Theme/amusement parks
  • Casinos
  • Country clubs
  • Motor home parks
  • Campgrounds
  • Boating/marina facilities
  • Second home communities
  • Travel/tourism companies
  • Guide services
  • Ecotourism agencies
  • Cruise, air, bus and rail lines
  • US Military Morale, Welfare and Recreation Programs
  • Develop strong communication and customer service skills and the ability to work well with people from various backgrounds.
  • Acquire foreign language experience and study abroad to increase multicultural perspective and knowledge of international travel regulations.
  • Seek employment with resorts, hotels, recreation departments or special events companies.
  • Pursue positions in reservations or telephone sales to build sales and customer service skills.
  • Volunteer at university and community-wide conferences.
  • Join student organizations related to travel or recreation and seek leadership and planning opportunities.
  • Increase knowledge of business theory by pursuing a minor or by taking additional classes in management, advertising and public relations.


Community/Local Recreation

  • Administration
  • Facilities Management
  • Sales/Marketing
  • Event/Program Planning and Evaluation
  • Camp Management
  • Community Center Management
  • Coaching
  • Community centers
  • Community programs Senior centers
  • Adult daycare centers
  • Special Olympics
  • Youth programs, e.g YMCA or YWCA
  • Sports leagues
  • Camps and outdoor recreational programs
  • Nonprofit, social service and religiously-affiliated organizations
  • Multipurpose sports clubs
  • Racquet clubs
  • Dance studios
  • Health and fitness clubs
  • Pools
  • Golf courses
  • Sport-related franchises, e.g. Little Gym, My Gym
  • Bowling alleys
  • Skating rinks
  • Movie theaters
  • Party services
  • Entertainment providers
  • Event planning companies
  • Festivals and fairs
  • Vendors
  • Concessionaires
  • Seek experience through related internships, part-time jobs or summer work at campus and community recreational facilities.
  • Participate in community-based programs, camps, youth groups, etc. through paid, intern or volunteer positions.
  • Join student organizations such as campus entertainment board, cultural attractions committee or student union.
  • Utilize campus recreational programs and facilities, including intramural sports.
  • Participate in planning/executing community events and activities, e.g. fairs, festivals, sporting events, conventions.
  • Develop membership sales techniques for some customer-service positions.
  • Display good planning, organizational, interpersonal, creativity and public speaking skills.
  • Learn to work well with people from different backgrounds with varying abilities.


Government Recreation

  • Administration
  • Program Management
  • Recreation Management
  • Recreation Planning
  • Park Development/Management
  • Natural Resource Management
  • City, county or regional government agencies:
    • Parks
    • Public recreation/education programs
  • State and federal government agencies:
    • Parks, forests, wildlife areas and water resources
  • Conservation organizations
  • US Military Morale, Welfare and Recreation Programs
  • Correctional facilities
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Learn federal, state and local government job application procedures.
  • Obtain experience with government agencies.
  • Participate in campus and local recreation programs and activities.
  • Volunteer to lead teams or organize committees in local recreation leagues.
  • Take additional coursework in wildlife, turf or natural resource management, exercise science or other related field to increase marketability.


Faith-Based Recreation

  • Administration
  • Program Management
  • Facilities Management
  • Camp Management
  • Programming
  • Churches
  • Synagogues
  • Mosques
  • Campgrounds affiliated with religious organizations
  • Para-church organizations, e.g. Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Campus Crusade for Christ
  • Faith-based sports programs, e.g. Upward Sports
  • Understand the relationship between religion, sport and recreation.
  • Participate in faith-based recreational programs, and seek leadership experience.
  • Develop skills for working in multi-cultural environments.
  • Research major programs such as AWANA and CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) and YouthWorks.
  • Attend training seminars that target sport and recreation in religious organizations such as Ministry Grid through Lifeway.


Recreation Retailing

  • Management
  • Buying/Purchasing
  • Small Business Ownership
  • Department stores
  • Specialty shops
  • Pro shops/Club stores
  • Sporting goods stores
  • Outdoor outfitters
  • Outdoor outfitters
  • Take additional coursework in business or pursue a business minor.
  • Obtain a part-time job or internship in sales to gain experience, as these positions are often stepping stones to higher-level opportunities.
  • Develop excellent interpersonal, communication and customer service skills.
  • Hone management and persuasion techniques.
  • Seek experience in all retail areas including purchasing, stock control, merchandise display and promotions.
  • Pursue expertise in a recreational area such as hiking, fishing, boating, skiing or hunting.
  • Plan to work long and/or irregular hours, including holidays.


Education

  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Administration
  • Student Affairs including:
    • Student Activities
    • Campus Programming
    • Campus Recreation, i.e. outdoor recreation programs, facilities management, fitness programming, intramural/club sports
  • Colleges and universities
  • Public and private schools (K-12)
  • Public and private preschool programs (e.g., Head Start)
  • Programs servicing children and adults with special needs
  • Earn a graduate degree for teaching at the college and university level.
  • Earn a master’s degree in college student affairs or related area if interested in college recreation.  Work at university recreational facilities and/or get involved in their programs, such as outdoor recreation or intramurals.
  • Research the process for teacher certification in the K-12 system, which varies by state.
  • Seek part-time or summer jobs working with youth.
  • Serve as a tutor, peer mentor, resident assistant or student advisor.


General Information and Strategies

  • An undergraduate degree is sufficient for entry-level recreation positions. A graduate degree may be required for administrative positions and teaching/research positions at universities and colleges.
  • Obtain summer, part-time, internship or volunteer experience in camps, recreation/fitness centers, social service organizations, tourist attractions, etc.
  • Build a solid background of recreational and leisure theories and therapeutic practices.
  • Develop broad knowledge base of recreational activities such as athletics, music, arts and crafts, nature, dance, drama, etc.
  • Hone leadership and supervisory skills for coordinating and directing others in various activities.
  • Obtain certification in first aid and safety, CPR or life-guarding.
  • Demonstrate strong interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills and the ability to work on a team.
  • Learn to interact effectively with people of various ages, backgrounds and ability levels.
  • Exhibit physical agility, stamina and a motivational spirit. An interest in working outdoors is essential for some positions.
  • Join related professional associations. Attend state/national professional association conferences.
  • Seek knowledge of U.S. and world geography, history, social customs and languages for some opportunities.
  • Consider participating in the Walt Disney College Program.