Sunday, January 3, 2021

Recreational Therapist Pay in the Top 20 Metro Markets

May 2019 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reveals that there were just over 19,000 recreational therapists (RTs) employed in the United States. Recreational therapists are employed in varied healthcare settings, including hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and continuing care retirement communities. While most recreational therapist jobs require a bachelors degree and particular technical skills, the wage scale for RTs is marginally lower than for workers in most occupations in the United States. In fact, according to BLS estimates, as of May 2019 the national mean salary for RTs was $51,130 per year, slightly less than the $53,490 annual mean wage for workers in all occupations. That said, RT pay varies widely from region-to-region, with practitioners in some regions making 75% more than their peers in other regions of the country.  This salary disparity is readily seen in BLS data from May 2019, which reveals the following about recreational therapist pay in the top 20 metro markets in the United States:

Metropolitan Area # Employed Annual Mean Wages
1 New York-Newark-Jersey City 1,360 $59,750
2 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim 510 $72,740
3 Chicago-Naperville-Elgin 590 $48,700
4 Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington 480 $42,190
5 Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land 370 $46,050
6 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria 390 $56,170
7 Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach 160 $51,890
8 Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington 620 $44,380
9 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta 240 $46,950
10 Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler N/A $53,620
11 Boston-Cambridge-Newton 600 $59,210
12 San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley 120 $74,200
13 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario 170 $79,780
14 Detroit-Warren-Dearborn 330 $49,700
15 Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue 130 $68,180
16 Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington 240 $57,590
17 San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad 150 $62,770
18 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater N/A $46,080
19 Denver-Aurora-Lakewood 130 $45,820
20 St. Louis 200 $54,150
National 19,070 $51,130

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics OES. Data extracted on January 1, 2021