Diversional Therapists plan, design, coordinate and implement recreation and leisure-based activity programs to support, challenge and enhance the psychological, spiritual, social, emotional and physical wellbeing of individuals.

A Certificate III including at least 2 years of on-the-job training, or a Certificate IV, or at least 3 years of relevant experience, is usually needed, with the majority of workers having a Certificate III or higher Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification. Even with a qualification, experience or on-the-job training is usually needed. Registration or licensing may be required.

Tasks

  • planning and implementing leisure activity programs for individuals in health care and in the community to assist in their social development, and promote their sense of wellbeing
  • identifying individual needs through task analysis
  • evaluating and assessing clients' levels of abilities, interests, needs, strengths and weaknesses, and their ability to carry out a range of tasks and interact with others
  • maintaining a knowledge of resources available within a facility and within the community
  • organising leisure and recreational events
  • assisting with training and supervising volunteers and staff
  • providing information on available support resources within the local community
  • encouraging and supporting clients to take part in activities suited to their particular needs and interests
  • adapting programs to suit individual clients' needs, interests, skills and abilities

Job Titles

  • Diversional or Recreational Therapist
  • Diversional or Recreational Therapist

    Specialisations: Activities Coordinator, Activities Officer

Fast Facts

  • Avg. Weekly Pay

    $1,021 Before Tax
  • Future Growth

    strong
  • Skill Level

    Certificate III or IV
  • Employment Size

    7,400
  • Unemployment

    above average
  • Male Share

    7.6%
  • Female Share

    92.4%
  • Full-Time Share

    56.6%

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This is a small occupation employing 7400 workers. Over the past 5 years the number of jobs has grown strongly.
Strong growth is expected in the future. New jobs and turnover from workers leaving may create up to 5,000 job openings over the 5 years to 2020.

  • While there are jobs in many parts of Australia, New South Wales has a large share of Diversional Therapists.
  • They nearly all work in Health Care and Social Assistance.
  • Part-time work is fairly common, but more than half work full-time. Full-time workers, on average, work 37.3 hours per week (compared to the all jobs average of 40 hours).
  • Average earnings for full-time workers are around $1,021 per week (below the all jobs average of $1,230). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • The workforce is fairly mature. The average age is 53 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years) and around 7 in 10 workers are aged 45 years or older.
  • More than 9 in 10 workers are female.
  • In 2016, the unemployment rate was above average.

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Employment trend data to November 2015 and Department of Employment projections to 2020.
YearNumber of Workers
20051600
20063800
20074500
20085800
20095300
20105800
20114000
20125300
20134700
20145000
20157400
20208100

Weekly Earnings

Full-time Earnings

All Jobs Average

Weekly Earnings (before tax)

Source: Based on ABS Characteristics of Employment survey, August 2015, Cat. No. 6333.0, Customised Report. Median earnings are before tax and do not include superannuation. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
EarningsDiversional TherapistsAll Jobs Average
Full-Time Earnings10211230

Hours

Weekly Hours Worked

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Hours actually worked by people who usually work full-time, and share of employment by full-time and part-time status, for this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryDiversional TherapistsAll Jobs Average
Full-time56.668.4
Part-time43.431.6
Average Weekly Hours (full-time)37.340.0

Main Industries

Top Industries

Main Employing Industries (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Health Care and Social Assistance95.9
Administrative and Support Services1.7
Public Administration and Safety1.5
Education and Training0.8
Other Industries0.1

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateDiversional TherapistsAll Jobs Average
NSW49.031.8
VIC13.125.5
QLD18.819.8
SA6.76.8
WA4.911.2
TAS1.62.0
NT0.01.1
ACT5.81.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketDiversional TherapistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.0-5.45.4
20-240.0-9.99.9
25-347.0-23.423.4
35-4425.2-21.721.7
45-5428.9-21.121.1
55-5916.0-8.78.7
60-6414.4-5.95.9
65 and Over8.5-3.83.8

Gender

Male Share

Female Share

Gender (% share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2016, Cat. No. 6291.0.55.003: Customised Report. Male and female share of employment in this job compared to the all jobs average.
CategoryDiversional TherapistsCategoryAll Jobs Average
Males7.6Males53.6
Females92.4Females46.4

Education Level

Top Education Levels

Highest Level of Education (% share)

Source: ABS, Education and Work (2016). Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Skill level requirements can change over time, the qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationDiversional TherapistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate0.0-8.68.6
Bachelor degree0.0-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma22.0-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV78.0-18.918.9
Year 120.0-18.718.7
Years 11 & 100.0-17.717.7
Below Year 100.0-8.18.1

A Certificate III including at least 2 years of on-the-job training, or a Certificate IV, or at least 3 years of relevant experience, is usually needed, with the majority of workers having a Certificate III or higher Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification. Even with a qualification, experience or on-the-job training is usually needed. Registration or licensing may be required.

If you are interested in this style of work, there are a wide range of training options available that could lead to this or a similar job.
The pathway that is right for you will depend on your skills and interests.

It is a good idea to speak to industry bodies, employers, and workers to learn more about the skills and qualifications you will need.

Employers look for Diversional Therapists who are caring, compassionate and empathetic and can communicate clearly with a diverse range of people

Knowledge

The topics, subjects, or knowledge areas workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Psychology

    89% Important

    Human behaviour and performance; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioural and affective disorders.

  2. Therapy and Counseling

    84% Important

    Diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and career counselling and guidance.

  3. Customer and Personal Service

    83% Important

    Customer and personal services. This includes understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  4. English Language

    81% Important

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

  5. Education and Training

    78% Important

    Teaching and course design.

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Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Activities

The work activities workers rate as most important are shown below.

  1. Assisting and Caring for Others

    93% Important

    Providing personal assistance, medical attention, or emotional support to people such as co-workers, customers, or patients.

  2. Documenting/Recording Information

    90% Important

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

  3. Scheduling Work and Activities

    88% Important

    Working out the timing of events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

  4. Building Good Relationships

    88% Important

    Building and keeping constructive and cooperative working relationships with others.

  5. Getting Information

    87% Important

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

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O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. The information on this site is derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2

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