Get started in one of the fastest growing health-related professions. Moraine Valley’s Recreation Therapy program prepares you for a career in therapeutic-based treatment programming for people with disabilities, injuries, or illnesses. Recreation therapists (RT) use a variety of modalities including arts and crafts, drama, music, dance, sports, aquatics and community outings to help maintain or improve a person’s physical, social, cognitive, spiritual and emotional well-being.

Recreation Therapists evaluate physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual needs, strengths, and aspirations of individuals with disabilities. This information is the basis for developing individualized treatment plans and interventions to support the individual’s goals toward wellness. Learn to assess individuals’ needs, plan and implement specific interventions to meet those needs and document and evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention.


Hourly Pay

Source: U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics


Median Pay

Source: U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Can I Do With An A.A.S. Degree In Recration Therapy?

Recreation Therapists plan and implement a variety of therapeutic interventions to include but not limited to:

  • Expressive arts
  • Aquatic Therapy
  • Horticulture Therapy
  • Animal Assisted Therapy
  • Adapted sports
  • Stress Management
  • Fitness
  • Community out Trips
  • Special Events
  • Crafts
  • Dance
  • Music
  • Equine Therapy (Therapeutic Horseback Riding)

Careers can be in a variety of diverse settings including:

  • Centers for Autism and Related Disorders
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Facilities
  • Treatment Centers for Substance Abuse
  • Pediatric Hospitals
  • Skilled Care and Assisted Living Nursing Facilities
  • Long-Term Care – Memory Support
  • Mental Health Hospitals
  • Psychiatric Rehabilitation
  • Veterans Administration Hospital
  • Schools Systems
  • Adult Day Care Settings
  • Special Recreation Associations
  • Centers for Developmental Disabilities
  • Community Recreation/Camps for Individuals with Disabilities
  • Special Olympics

Job Outlook

Employment of recreational therapists is projected to grow 7 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. As the large baby-boom generation ages, they will need recreational therapists to help treat age-related injuries and illnesses and to help them maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.

Helping veterans manage service-related conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or injuries such as the loss of a limb. Recreation Therapists can lead therapeutic interventions that help to reintegrate veterans into their communities and help them to adjust to any physical, social, or cognitive limitations.

As the US population ages, more people will need recreation therapists to help treat age-related injuries and illnesses. Older people are more likely to suffer from stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and mobility-related injuries that may benefit from recreation therapy.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics

Admission and Requirements

If interested in gaining more information about this program please submit your application to Moraine Valley and then contact Coordinator Donna McCauley using the form on this page.

Required Career courses for the program are only offered once a year so it is critical to seek advising from the program coordinator to guide you in selecting the right courses to complete your Associate of Applied Science Degree.  Any and all questions about these exciting and growing careers please do not hesitate to contact Donna McCauley.

Additional Resources

Illinois Recreation Therapy Association

SRANI Special Recreation Association Network of Illinois

American Recreation Therapy Association

Recreation Therapy Association

National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification

Program Details

Program NameType of CredentialCurriculum CodeDepartment or Division
Recreation TherapyA.A.S.1259Public Service



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Konnor Parrish (Oak Lawn), shared his educational journey while on a panel for the Illinois Project Lead the Way meeting.


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