Average salary: $41,060
Recreational therapists get injured patients back on their feet using music and art, and games and sports. “You can utilize previous experience with a sport, art, dance or some other recreational activity — and the work demands compassion and interpersonal skills that older workers may have developed,” Shatkin says.
Normally, these positions require a bachelor’s degree while having a master’s will improve your hiring and pay prospects. Shatkin notes that employers in the field prefer certified therapists. Certification from the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification requires passing a written exam and logging at least 480 hours as an intern. The organization awards recognition in seven specializations: adaptive sports and recreation, behavioral health, community inclusion services, developmental disabilities, geriatrics, pediatrics, and physical medicine/rehabilitation.