Recreation Therapist

Therapeutic benefits, delivered through play

Recreation therapists use recreation and other activity-based interventions to help people of all ages and abilities improve or enhance their physical, cognitive, or emotional function, recover from illness or injury, and increase their overall physical and psychological health and well-being.

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$37.35 - $52.50 per hour

Other benefits


Degree in recreation therapy, therapeutic recreation, or recreation and leisure studies

AHS Therapeutic Recreation Student Placement information


  • Assess client skills, needs, interests, and values related to recreation and leisure
  • Develop treatment or action plans and programs for individuals or groups
  • Implement recreational therapy programs or interventions using a variety of techniques or modalities, including arts and crafts, sports, games, music, dance, or animal-assisted therapy
  • Observe and record client progress
  • Evaluate the success of plans and programs

Make a Difference

  • Improve overall health and quality of life by developing healthy living strategies through recreation and leisure
  • Help patients reduce depression, stress, and anxiety and increase independence, self-reliance, confidence, social skills, and inclusion
  • Provide adaptive strategies and help patients overcome barriers to participation in leisure activities
  • Educate people about recreation’s physical, mental, social, and emotional benefits

Work Collaboratively

  • Work directly with patients and clients individually or in a group setting
  • Collaborate with physiotherapists, occupational therapists, therapy assistants, physicians, nurses, social workers, and other healthcare professionals
  • Work in a variety of settings including hospitals, community health centres, schools, continuing care facilities, clinics, and clients' homes
  • May provide leadership and clinical supervision to physiotherapist assistants and aides and students

Grow Your Career

  • Teaching, coaching, or mentoring other recreational therapists
  • Additional training/education in a particular patient group (e.g., pediatric, geriatric) or therapeutic modality (e.g., art, music, animal-assisted therapy)
  • Healthcare leadership and management
  • Health system administration

Additional Information

To learn more about a career as a recreation therapist in our province visit Alberta Learning Information Services (ALIS).