What is an Activities Director

If you're interested in helping seniors and want to have a fulfilling, fun experience in a nursing home setting, an activity director position may be right for you. In general, an activity director plans and coordinates social, physical, and cognitive activity programs to enhance and promote the life-quality of elderly individuals, retirement communities, and aging services. An Activity director role allows you to flex your communication, planning, and interpersonal skills.

As an activity director, usually, you may plan and schedule monthly activity calendars, coordinate therapeutic activities, such as exercise classes, game nights, cultural events, and all those programs that can balance the mental and physical well-being of senior individuals. As an activity director, you may work in several settings, including residential facilities, nursing homes, day centers, community camps, or organizations.

To become an activity director, most commonly, you may need a bachelor's degree in recreation therapy. However, you may be able to get this role with a high school diploma and relevant experience. To be successful, you must demonstrate patience, flexibility, compassion, and a desire to help others. Not only that, but by improving your soft skills, you can see plenty of opportunities to advance your career within a nursing home.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being an Activities Director. For example, did you know that they make an average of $16.28 an hour? That's $33,872 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 8% and produce 33,800 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does an Activities Director Do

There are certain skills that many Activities Directors have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed Communication skills, Flexibility and Leadership skills.

Learn more about what an Activities Director does

How To Become an Activities Director

If you're interested in becoming an Activities Director, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 56.6% of Activities Directors have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 7.7% of Activities Directors have master's degrees. Even though most Activities Directors have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become an Activities Director. When we researched the most common majors for an Activities Director, we found that they most commonly earn Bachelor's Degree degrees or Associate Degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on Activities Director resumes include High School Diploma degrees or Master's Degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become an Activities Director. In fact, many Activities Director jobs require experience in a role such as Certified Nursing Assistant. Meanwhile, many Activities Directors also have previous career experience in roles such as Activity Assistant or Cashier.

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And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Good Shepherd Retirement Jobs (17)
  2. Marriott International Jobs (12)
  3. Merrill Gardens Jobs (24)
  4. Brookdale Senior Living Jobs (14)
  5. Boys & Girls Clubs of America Jobs (34)
Average Salary
$33,872
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
8%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
4,063
Job Openings
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Average Salary for an Activities Director

Activities Directors in America make an average salary of $33,872 per year or $16 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $55,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $20,000 per year.
Average Salary
$33,872
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12 Activities Director Resume Examples

Learn How To Write an Activities Director Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Activities Director resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Activities Director Resume Examples And Templates

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Good Shepherd Retirement Jobs (17)
  2. Marriott International Jobs (12)
  3. Merrill Gardens Jobs (24)
  4. Brookdale Senior Living Jobs (14)
  5. Boys & Girls Clubs of America Jobs (34)

Choose From 10+ Customizable Activities Director Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Activities Director templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Activities Director resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Activities Director Demographics

Activities Director Gender Statistics

female

79.6 %

male

20.4 %

Activities Director Ethnicity Statistics

White

64.1 %

Hispanic or Latino

14.7 %

Black or African American

12.6 %

Activities Director Foreign Languages Spoken Statistics

Spanish

59.0 %

French

8.3 %

German

3.8 %
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Activities Director Education

Activities Director Majors

13.9 %

Activities Director Degrees

Bachelors

56.6 %

Associate

16.5 %

High School Diploma

11.3 %

Top Colleges for Activities Directors

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

2. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

3. California State University - Bakersfield

Bakersfield, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,309
Enrollment
9,142

4. University of Alaska Southeast

Juneau, AK • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,092
Enrollment
1,216

5. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990

6. Villanova University

Villanova, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,308
Enrollment
6,819

7. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,488
Enrollment
30,018

8. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

9. SUNY Farmingdale

Farmingdale, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,306
Enrollment
9,394

10. SUNY Stony Brook

Stony Brook, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,625
Enrollment
17,407
Job Openings

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Top Skills For an Activities Director

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 10.7% of Activities Directors listed Daily Activities on their resume, but soft skills such as Communication skills and Flexibility are important as well.

Best States For an Activities Director

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an Activities Director. The best states for people in this position are California, New York, Rhode Island, and Maine. Activities Directors make the most in California with an average salary of $63,882. Whereas in New York and Rhode Island, they would average $60,819 and $57,062, respectively. While Activities Directors would only make an average of $55,570 in Maine, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. New York

Total Activities Director Jobs:
113
Highest 10% Earn:
$127,000
Location Quotient:
0.67
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Maine

Total Activities Director Jobs:
7
Highest 10% Earn:
$114,000
Location Quotient:
0.4
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. New Hampshire

Total Activities Director Jobs:
11
Highest 10% Earn:
$107,000
Location Quotient:
0.48
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Activities Directors

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Top Activities Director Employers

Most Common Employers For Activities Director

RankCompanyZippia ScoreAverage Activities Director SalaryAverage Salary
1$75,278
2$70,037
3$69,971
4$39,485
5$36,006
6$35,255

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