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I was recently asked: Is Recreational Therapy a dwindling profession?

The answer is hidden in the Occupational Outlook Handbook.


What is the Occupational Outlook Handbook?

The Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) is a comprehensive resource published by the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). It provides information about various occupations, including job descriptions, required education and training, earnings potential, job outlook, and related data.

The OOH serves as a valuable tool for job seekers, students, career counselors, and anyone interested in exploring different career paths. It covers a wide range of occupations, from traditional professions like doctors and teachers to emerging fields like data science and renewable energy.

The handbook provides detailed information about the nature of work in each occupation, typical duties and responsibilities, work environment, required education and training, necessary skills and qualifications, and the median pay for each occupation. It also offers insights into the job outlook, including projected employment growth or decline, potential job prospects, and factors influencing the employment trends in a particular field.

Additionally, the OOH provides data on industries and occupational groups, offering an overview of employment statistics and trends at a broader level. It may also include information on related occupations and alternate career paths within a particular field.

The Occupational Outlook Handbook is widely used as a reliable resource for career planning, job market research, and educational decision-making. It helps individuals gain a better understanding of various occupations and make informed choices regarding their career paths based on current and projected labor market conditions.

What was the past growth of Recreational Therapy?

Between 2010 and 2020, the employment of recreational therapists grew by approximately 13%. While this growth rate may not be as high as some other occupations, it still reflects a positive trend. The demand for recreational therapy services has been driven by several factors, including an aging population, increased recognition of the benefits of recreational therapy in healthcare settings, and a growing emphasis on holistic and patient-centered care.

It’s important to note that the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on healthcare systems may have impacted the growth and demand for recreational therapy in recent years. For the most current and specific information on the growth of the recreational therapy field, it is advisable to consult the latest reports and data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics or professional organizations in the field.

What does the occupational outlook handbook have to say about the outlook of recreational therapy today?

Job Outlook:

Employment of recreational therapists is projected to grow 4 percent from 2021 to 2031, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

About 1,500 openings for recreational therapists are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire. (Job outlook for Recreational Therapy, based on 7/3/2023)


Is Recreational Therapy dwindling?

According to research by the U.S. Dept. of Labor,

The profession grew by 13% from 2010 to 2020.

The profession is expected to grow at 4% from 2021 to 2030.