Employment Information

  1. Number of Jobs in 2016 = 19,200   
  2. Job Outlook = Employment of recreational therapists is projected to grow 7 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. As the large baby-boom generation ages, they will need recreational therapists to help treat age-related injuries and illnesses and to help them maintain a healthy, active lifestyle. There are over 1000 nursing homes in Ohio and multiple Assisted Livings, Retirement communities and Adult Care centers that employ activities directors.
  3. The activity profession is up and coming in the field of healthcare. Activity Professionals work to meet social, emotional, physical, spiritual and cognitive needs of individuals residing in senior environments. By using a specialized knowledge in the field of geriatrics, therapeutic interventions and divisional activities, Activity Professionals improve the lives of their clients on a daily basis. Older adults living in a nursing home, assisted living, and retirement community have a great deal of leisure time that needs to be filled with constructive activities.
  4. Facilities that receive Federal Funds, Medicare and Medicaid require an Activities program must be directed by a qualified professional who is eligible for certification as a therapeutic recreation specialist or as an activity professional by a recognized accrediting body. A recognized accrediting body refers to those organizations that certify, register, or license therapeutic recreation specialists, activity professionals or occupational therapists.    
  5. Ohio Revised Code; (G) The individual required by paragraph (A) of rule 3701-17-09 of the Administrative. Code to direct the activities program shall meet one of the following qualifications:
    • Is certified by a nationally recognized accrediting body as a therapeutic recreation specialist or activities professional; or
    • Has successfully completed training covering activities programming from a technical or vocational school, college, university, or other educational institution, and has one year of experience in recreational or activities services.
    • Training may also be provided by an out-of-state provider certified in the state in which the provider is located to offer technical or vocational programs or to offer degrees and college credits.     
  6. NCCAP the National Certification Council for Activity Professionals certifies Activity professionals. To become an ADC, Certified Activity Director the minimum requirement is 12 college credits, must include English. MEPAP I and II, Modular Education Program for Activity Professionals including 90 hours of practicum experience for both MEPAP I and II, totaling 180 hours. Continuing education of 30 hours and experience in the field can include practicum experience. Pass the national exam.