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

  • $1,021 Weekly Pay
  • 3,100 workers Employment Size
  • Stable Future Growth
  • Medium skill Skill level rating
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment
  • 39.1% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • Unavailable Average full-time
  • 52.5 years Average age
  • 94.4% female Gender Share

The number of Diversional Therapists fell over the past 5 years and is expected to stay fairly stable over the next 5 years:
from 3,100 in 2017 to 3,200 by 2022.
There are likely to be around 2,000 job openings over this time from workers leaving and new jobs being created.

  • Size: This is a very small occupation.
  • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2017.
  • Location: Diversional Therapists work in many regions of Australia. Many work in Victoria.
  • Industries: Most work in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers earn 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.
  • Full-time: Less than half work full-time (39.1%, fewer than the all jobs average of 68.4%), showing there are many opportunites to work part-time.
  • Age: The average age is 53 years (compared to the all jobs average of 40 years). Many workers are 45 years or older (73.8%).
  • Gender: 94.4% of workers are female (compared to the all jobs average of 46.7%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2017 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2022.
YearNumber of Workers
20073900
20085200
20097200
20105200
20114100
20125700
20135300
20143500
20156300
20167100
20173100
20223200

Weekly Earnings

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

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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 Assistance94.0
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services3.2
Public Administration and Safety2.8

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 2017, 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
NSW30.331.6
VIC36.726.2
QLD22.919.7
SA6.56.7
WA0.010.8
TAS3.12.0
NT0.51.1
ACT0.01.8

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Labour Force Survey, annual average 2017, 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
15-190.0-5.25.2
20-240.0-9.99.9
25-3423.3-23.623.6
35-443.0-21.721.7
45-5434.8-20.820.8
55-5917.9-8.88.8
60-6415.5-6.06.0
65 and Over5.6-4.04.0

Education Level

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 Certificate0-8.68.6
Bachelor degree0-17.917.9
Advanced Diploma/Diploma22-10.110.1
Certificate III/IV78-18.918.9
Year 120-18.718.7
Years 11 & 100-17.717.7
Below Year 100-8.18.1

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.

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.
  • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
  • You might be interested in Health Industry and Community Services VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

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

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  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.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 29-1125.00 - Recreational Therapists.

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

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  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.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 29-1125.00 - Recreational Therapists.

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