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How Do I Become a Recreation Worker?

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  • Written By: Debra Barnhart
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2016
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A career in recreation can be attained in several ways. Part-time employment accounts for a significant portion of recreation jobs and offers a chance to learn new skills and make career connections. A variety of businesses can provide opportunities for someone who wants to become a recreation worker. Recreation careers include management positions at parks and other facilities. Many jobs in recreation require that a person be physically fit, have an outgoing personality, and the ability to influence others, while some may even require a college degree.

About 40 percent of the jobs in recreation are part time or seasonal. Summer camp counselor jobs are a good example. A summer camp counselor is responsible for leading children in outdoor recreation activities like camping, swimming, hiking and sports. Some camp counselors teach arts and crafts or performing arts. Other part-time jobs in recreation include weekend and after-school program facilitators and instructors. These jobs present an opportunity to gain knowledge of the recreation field, learn important skills, and make career connections that could lead to a full-time position.

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Local governments often have parks that are the center of recreational programs for residents. The programs may require administrative staff to manage them as well as activities specialists who facilitate or instruct activities like swimming, art, music or drama. Activity specialists may also work at nursing care facilities, senior centers and the tourist and amusement facilities. Knowledge and experience in a key area like art or music is usually essential to become an activity specialist. A college degree is often not necessary to become a recreation worker in this environment.

Those who want to become a recreation worker and pursue a career in supervision might consider working for a corporation. Some companies offer their employees recreational programs to build team spirit and boost morale. These programs often need someone to supervise. Leisure activities for employees might include activities like bowling or league sports. A degree in recreation and business experience are often needed to become a recreation worker in a corporate environment.

Other supervisory jobs in recreation include camp directors and parks and recreation directors. Camp directors are responsible for camp administration and for managing camp counselors. Directors of parks and recreation are usually accountable for managing the administration of all leisure activities in parks and playgrounds, and for managing budgets. Jobs in recreation management may require a bachelor’s degree in parks and recreation or leisure studies.

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