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Recreational therapists

OaSIS code 31204.01

Recreational therapists implement treatment plans by carrying out specialized therapy sessions employing approaches and techniques such as recreational, sports or other movement therapy.


Also known as

  • Athletic therapist
  • Certified athletic therapist (CAT)
  • Recreational therapist

Main duties

This group performs some or all of the following duties:

  • Assess patients and review reports from physicians, physiotherapists, psychiatrists, counsellors, teachers and other professionals to determine patients' capabilities and needs.
  • Prepare individualized and group treatment plans either independently or through a multidisciplinary team approach, based on health concerns and on recommendations from physicians or other health professionals
  • Design and carry out specialized therapy sessions employing techniques such as art, athletic, dance, music or recreational therapy or remedial gymnastics to meet specific physical or psychological needs of patients
  • Co-ordinate, initiate, design and implement specialized therapy programs for the general patient population and in the community
  • Advise patients on how to deal with their mental and physical abilities and help them integrate into the community
  • Observe, analyze and record, patients' participation, reactions, and progress during treatment sessions and consult with other health care professionals to evaluate and modify treatment plans as needed
  • May conduct research in therapeutic recreation.

Additional information

  • There is no mobility between the different occupations in this unit group.

Similar occupations classified elsewhere


  • Occupational therapists (31203)
  • Therapists in counselling and related specialized therapies (41301)

NOC hierarchy breakdown

NOC version

NOC 2021 Version 1.0

Broad occupational category

3 – Health occupations


1 – Occupations usually require a university degree

Major group

31 – Professional occupations in health

Sub-major group

312 – Therapy and assessment professionals

Minor group

3120 – Therapy and assessment professionals

Unit group

31204 – Kinesiologists and other professional occupations in therapy and assessment

Occupational profile

31204.01 – Recreational therapists

Work characteristics

Work characteristics gathers the various components describing the work environment of each occupation, such as employers, work activities, and the work context. Each category displays up to 10 descriptors in descending order based, firstly, on their attributed ratings by the level of complexity (for Work Activities) or other measurement dimensions (for Work Context), and secondly, in alphabetical order. The whole list of descriptors and their ratings can be expanded at the bottom of each page.

Work Activities

Proficiency or complexity level
Assisting and Caring for Others
5 - Highest Level
Scheduling Work and Activities
5 - Highest Level
Coaching and Developing Others
4 - High Level
Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others
4 - High Level
Developing Objectives and Strategies
4 - High Level

Work Context

Structural Job Characteristics

Structured versus Unstructured Work
Degree of freedom to determine tasks and priorities
4 - High amount of freedom
Work Week Duration
Worked hours in a typical week
2 - Between 35 to 40 hours

Physical Work Environment

Physical Proximity
Physical distance from others
5 - Physically touching or very close

Physical Demands

2 - Less than half the time
3 - About half the time
Bending or Twisting the Body
3 - About half the time

Interpersonal Relations

Contact with Others
4 - Every day, a few times per day
5 - All the time, or almost all the time
Work with Work Group or Team
4 - Highly important
2 - Once a month or more but not every week


  • Clinics
  • Education institutions
  • Extended care facilities
  • Hospitals
  • Industry
  • Nursing homes
  • Private practice
  • Recreational facilities
  • Rehabilitation centres
  • Sports organizations

Skills and abilities

This section displays the various competencies required for an occupation. Each category displays up to 10 descriptors in descending order based, firstly, on their attributed ratings by the level of proficiency (for Skills and Abilities) or importance (for Personal Attributes) and secondly, in alphabetical order. The whole list of descriptors and their ratings can be expanded at the bottom of each page.


Proficiency or complexity level
Explosive Strength
4 - High Level
4 - High Level
Arm-Hand Steadiness
3 - Moderate Level
Body Flexibility
3 - Moderate Level
Deductive Reasoning
3 - Moderate Level


Proficiency or complexity level
4 - High Level
4 - High Level
Learning and Teaching Strategies
4 - High Level
4 - High Level
Oral Communication: Active Listening
4 - High Level

Personal Attributes

5 - Extremely important
5 - Extremely important
Concern for Others
5 - Extremely important
5 - Extremely important
Service Orientation
5 - Extremely important