- Rec therapists (some, but not all) have complained to me over the years that they are not respected and recognized as well as their allied professionals.
- I strongly believe that our allied professionals may be advancing more often because they require more continuing education. Unfortunately, many professionals do not independently continue their education. Therefore, agencies (like hospitals), state license boards, national certification boards have all set a minimum level of required continuing education hours per year.
Some Examples of the Difference in Continuing Education
Recreational therapists must earn 50 continuing education hours in five years in order to maintain their certification with the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC).
Let’s see what other professionals require:
- Physical Therapists must earn 24 continuing education hours per year to maintain their state license in my state, West Virginia. That is 120 hours in five years. A physical therapist is getting 70 more hours (beyond the 50 hours that Rec Therapists are required) in a five-year period.
- Speech Language Pathology and Audiology Therapists in West Virginia are required 20 hours of continuing education per year to maintain their state license. That would be a total of 100 hours in a five year period. That is 50 hours (beyond the 50 that RTs are expected to earn for their national certification) in a five-year period.
- National Certified Counselors (NCC) must earn 80 continuing education hours in five years. That is 30 more continuing education hours (beyond 50 hours that Rec Therapists are required) in a five-year period.
- Licensed Professional Counselors (LPCs) in West Virginia must earn 35 continuing education hours every two years to maintain their license. That is a total of 70 hours every four years. Do you see the difference? A licensed counselor requires 70 hours in four years and a certified rec therapist requires 50 in five years.
I’ve not checked on other professional groups and organizations.
The National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) appears to be working to encourage RTs to gain more knowledge and skills. They currently offer the specialty certifications (which require 75 hours of continuing education in a five-year period, among other requirements like a graduate degree or advanced certificate courses).
Here is the good news for you.
There are no limits to your continuing education.
You can make a choice to be a leader in the field. You can earn well above and beyond the minimum 50 hours required by NCTRC.
I’d argue that it might be safer to go the extra mile on hours – just in case one hour isn’t accepted.
Of course, you’re probably aware that I provide online continuing education courses. However, RTs don’t have to go with my program. My program focuses on mental/ behavioral health. RTs may want to seek out other expertise areas and learn more. I’d be glad to help you in your search for those courses and training too.
Are you ready to take your own career to the next level?
I’d like to invite you to check out the self-study CEU courses that I offer Rec Therapists.
Imagine what learning more can do for you in both your personal life and your professional life?
Best wishes and to your success.
Your friend and partner in Rec Therapy,
P.s. here is that link again: