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.

Also known as: Recreational Therapist.

Specialisations: Activities Coordinator, Activities Officer.

You usually need a diploma in leisure and health to work as a Diversional Therapist.

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

All Diversional Therapists

  • $1,018 Weekly Pay
  • Moderate Future Growth
  • Unavailable Unemployment
  • 7,800 workers Employment Size
  • Medium skill Skill level rating
  • 42% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 40 hours Average full-time
  • 52 years Average age
  • 91% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Diversional Therapists (in their main job) grew very strongly over 5 years:
from 3,700 in 2014 to 7,800 in 2019.

Caution: The Australian jobs market is changing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These estimates do not take account of the impact of COVID-19. They may not reflect the current jobs market and should be used and interpreted with extreme caution.

  • Size: This is a very small occupation.
  • Location: Diversional Therapists work in many parts of Australia. New South Wales has a large share of workers.
  • Industries: Most work in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry.
  • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $1,018 per week (lower than the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
  • Full-time: Less than half work full-time (42%, less than the average of 66%), showing there are many opportunities to work part-time.
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 40 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 52 years (compared to the average of 40 years). Many workers are 45 years or older (71%).
  • Gender: 91% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

Caution: The 2019 employment projections do not take account of any impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and are therefore no longer reflective of current labour market conditions. As such, they should be used, and interpreted, with extreme caution. Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, National Skills Commission trend data to May 2019 and projections to 2024.
YearNumber of Workers
20097300
20105200
20114100
20125800
20135300
20143700
20155600
20166900
20172700
20183400
20197800
20248300

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. 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 Earnings10181460

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Health Care and Social Assistance94.1
Public Administration and Safety2.9
Other Services0.9
Administrative and Support Services0.6
Other Industries1.5

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateDiversional TherapistsAll Jobs Average
NSW37.531.6
VIC25.825.6
QLD20.020.0
SA8.47.0
WA3.910.8
TAS3.02.0
NT0.21.0
ACT1.21.9

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketDiversional TherapistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.5-5.05.0
20-243.2-9.39.3
25-3410.1-22.922.9
35-4415.3-22.022.0
45-5431.1-21.621.6
55-5918.9-9.09.0
60-6413.8-6.06.0
65 and Over7.2-4.24.2

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). 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 Certificate3.6-10.110.1
Bachelor degree14.1-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma25.9-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV40.6-21.121.1
Year 126.1-18.118.1
Year 112.2-4.84.8
Year 10 and below7.5-12.512.5

You usually need a diploma in leisure and health to work as a Diversional Therapist.

Membership with Diversional & Recreational Therapy Australia may be required.

Checks, licences and tickets

You may need:

  • driver's licence
  • national police check
  • working with vulnerable people and children check
  • first aid certificate
  • Psychometric or aptitude tests

Thinking about study or training?

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

  • 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.

Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

Useful links and resources


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

Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Psychology

    86% Skill level

    Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

  2. Therapy and counselling

    77% Skill level

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

  3. Customer and personal service

    69% Skill level

    Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

  4. Education and training

    64% Skill level

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  5. English language

    60% Skill level

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

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and 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.

Filter Work Environment

Demands

The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

  1. Face-to-face discussions

    100% Important

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  2. Electronic mail

    98% Important

    Use electronic mail.

  3. Contact with people

    95% Important

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  4. Teamwork

    94% Important

    Work with people in a group or team.

  5. Unstructured work

    92% Important

    Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and 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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