Recreational Therapy Aide / Assistant / Rehabilitation Services Practitioner

Recreational therapy aide helps recreational therapists in planning and delivering recreation-based therapeutic programs and activities. Recreational therapy aides work with people who have physical, mental or social disabilities. They are part of allied health professionals who use recreation, leisure and play to treat patients. Under the direction of recreation therapists, they review client assessments and goals for therapeutic recreation programs and recreation-based activities. They conduct one-on-one and group activities, maintenance and use of equipment and supplies (e.g., exercise and craft supplies and equipments, etc.), and guide clients how to use those. They also observe, and report client activities and progress, provide feedback to the recreational therapists for evaluation and adjustments of the program, and guide the volunteers and students. They may need to drive the clients to community settings.

Recreational therapy aides may work in acute care, rehabilitation centers, long term care homes, mental health care, addiction services, correctional facilities, community-based programs private practice, etc.

Average Salary


Average Wage


Minimum Education

Certificate or Diploma

A recreational therapy aide certificate, Diploma in Social Services or Recreation. Certificate/degree requirement may be exempt by experience or Health Care Aide certificate.
Average wage $23.34/hour; average salary $37,912/year
High. Employment outlook is good to fair in most provinces. More information are available here.
Without further education, opportunities for advancement are limited. With education one can become a certified recreational therapist.
Recreational therapy aide/assistant certificate program is available at various colleges across Canada. Examples include: Bow Valley College, CDI College, Lethbridge College, St. Lawrence College, Georgian College, and many other options and further information can be found here. A list of institutions in Canada offering diploma programs can be available here.
Kind; sympathetic; critical thinking skills; steller people skills, enjoy working with seniors and persons with disabilities, leadership skills, organizational skills, able to take part in physical activities, strong interest in leisure and wellness activities, Recreation therapy aides often take part in activities requiring above-average strength and stamina; Class-4 driving license is often required; CPR/First Aid certification, immunization records are needed. Experience in sports, music, arts are assets.
This is not regulated by the national or provincial government approved regulatory body. Some aides work shifts that include evenings and weekends. Registration with a provincial body of therapeutic recreation such as TRO can be obtain but not required for jobs usually.
IMGs can get admitted into a recreational therapy aide program and obtain a certificate as well as can have some volunteer experiences in health care settings. Following that such position can be obtained.