Recreational Therapist Salary

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How Much Do Recreational Therapists Make?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that recreational therapists make a median annual income of $47,940 or $23 per hour. The lowest 10% of recreational therapists earned less than $31,710 and the highest 10% earned more than $80,610.

Do Recreational Therapists Get Paid Well?

Recreational Therapists are paid well—they earn more than the average worker in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for recreational therapists is $47,940 per year. This is 14 percent more than the average salary for all occupations, which is $45,760.

How Much Do Recreational Therapists Make Starting Out?

The BLS does not provide average compensation data for entry-level positions for recreational therapists just starting out, but the bottom 25% of recreational therapists earn $37,850 each year according to the BLS.

How Many Recreational Therapists Are There In The United States?

In 2021, there were 20,800 recreational therapists in the United States. The BLS predicts the number of recreational therapists will increase by 10 percent, approximately 2,200 jobs, by 2030.

Where Can Recreational Therapists Earn The Most?

Recreational Therapists' salaries depend on location and work setting. According to the BLS, recreational therapists earn the most in the following industries: psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals, general medical and surgical hospitals and nursing care facilities (skilled nursing facilities). The metropolitan areas with the highest pay for recreational therapists are:

  1. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA - $86,720
  2. Vallejo-Fairfield, CA - $82,390
  3. Fresno, CA - $78,410

How Much Do Recreational Therapists Earn In Each State?

The table below compares recreational therapists salaries across states and U.S. territories (Source: BLS Occupational Employment and Wages May 2020). You can also find data for the number of recreational therapists in each state as well as the number of recreational therapists per 1,000 jobs—a figure that can help you determine the job's popularity in a given location. Not all locations have salary and employment statistics.

Recreational Therapist Salary
Location
Annual Salary
in location
Employment
In location
Employment per 1,000 jobs
California
$81,650
1660
0.101
District of Columbia
$79,250
70
0.098
New Jersey
$60,010
400
0.107
Connecticut
$59,870
320
0.207
Oregon
$57,600
150
0.085
New York
$56,490
1430
0.164
New Hampshire
$52,440
50
0.077
Iowa
$52,200
180
0.125
Florida
$51,250
950
0.112
Massachusetts
$49,690
800
0.240
Arkansas
$49,080
30
0.029
Indiana
$48,970
260
0.090
Michigan
$48,840
790
0.201
Kentucky
$48,450
100
0.058
Illinois
$48,320
680
0.122
Nebraska
$48,300
100
0.106
Pennsylvania
$48,240
990
0.180
Wyoming
$48,010
30
0.130
Minnesota
$47,580
720
0.265
Nevada
$47,490
110
0.091
Maine
$47,350
30
0.059
Missouri
$46,680
440
0.163
Virginia
$46,450
560
0.152
Delaware
$45,930
110
0.251
Ohio
$45,710
690
0.135
Wisconsin
$45,590
720
0.266
Maryland
$45,390
460
0.181
South Carolina
$45,380
270
0.135
Montana
$45,140
30
0.074
North Carolina
$44,880
440
0.102
North Dakota
$44,790
40
0.108
Arizona
$44,400
310
0.110
Colorado
$44,070
340
0.132
Louisiana
$43,460
300
0.166
Idaho
$43,130
70
0.096
Utah
$42,730
350
0.235
Alabama
$42,640
120
0.064
Texas
$42,590
1520
0.126
Georgia
$42,520
700
0.163
Tennessee
$41,450
280
0.095
Vermont
$40,880
40
0.134
West Virginia
$38,780
80
0.123
New Mexico
$38,150
120
0.151
Oklahoma
$37,360
170
0.106
Kansas
$35,810
390
0.295
Mississippi
$31,200
200
0.189
Puerto Rico
$24,060
170
0.213