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Become An Activity Coordinator

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Working As An Activity Coordinator

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • $30,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Activity Coordinator Do

Recreation workers design and lead recreational and leisure activities for groups in volunteer agencies or recreation facilities, such as playgrounds, parks, camps, aquatic centers, and senior centers. They may lead activities such as arts and crafts, dance, sports, adventure programs, music, and camping.

Duties

Recreation workers typically do the following:

  • Plan, organize, and lead activities for groups or recreation centers
  • Explain the rules of activities and instruct participants at a variety of skill levels
  • Enforce safety rules to prevent injury
  • Modify activities to suit the needs of specific groups, such as seniors
  • Administer basic first aid if needed
  • Organize and set up the equipment that is used in recreational activities

The specific responsibilities of recreation workers vary greatly with their job title, their level of training, and the state they work in. The following are examples of types of recreation workers:

Activity specialists provide instruction and coaching primarily in one activity, such as dance, swimming, or tennis. These workers may work in camps, aquatic centers, or anywhere else where there is interest in a single activity.

Recreation leaders are responsible for a recreation program’s daily operation. They primarily organize and direct participants, schedule the use of facilities, set up and keep records of equipment use, and ensure that recreation facilities and equipment are used and maintained properly. They may lead classes and provide instruction in a recreational activity, such as kayaking or golf.

Camp counselors work directly with youths in residential (overnight) or day camps. They often lead and instruct children and teenagers in a variety of outdoor activities, such as swimming, hiking, horseback riding, or nature study. Counselors also provide guidance and supervise daily living and socialization. Some counselors may specialize in a specific activity, such as archery, boating, music, drama, or gymnastics.

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How To Become An Activity Coordinator

Education and training requirements for recreation workers vary with the type of job, but workers typically need at least a high school diploma or the equivalent and receive on-the-job training.

Education and Training

Recreation workers typically need at least a high school diploma or the equivalent. Many receive on-the-job training that typically lasts less than a month.

Entry-level educational requirements vary with the type of position. For example, an activity leader position working with the elderly will have different requirements than a position as a summer camp counselor working with children.

Some positions may require a bachelor’s degree or college coursework. In 2014, the Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism, and Related Professions, a branch of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), accredited 80 bachelor’s degree programs in recreation or leisure studies. A bachelor’s degree in other subjects, such as liberal arts or public administration, may also qualify applicants for some positions.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Recreation workers must be able to communicate well. They often work with large groups of people and need to give clear instructions, motivate participants, and maintain order and safety.

Flexibility. Recreation workers must be flexible when planning activities. They must be able to adapt plans to suit changing environmental conditions and participants’ needs.

Leadership skills. Recreation workers should be able to lead both large and small groups. They often lead activities for people of all ages and abilities.

Physical strength. Recreation workers need to be physically fit. Their job may require a considerable amount of movement because they often demonstrate activities while explaining them.

Problem-solving skills. Recreation workers need strong problem-solving skills. They must be able to create and reinvent activities and programs for all types of participants.

For recreation workers who generally work part time, such as camp counselors and activity specialists, certain qualities may be more important than education. These qualities include a worker’s experience leading activities, the ability to work well with children or the elderly, and the ability to ensure the safety of participants.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

The NRPA offers four certifications for recreation workers:

  • Certified Parks and Recreation Professional (CPRP)
  • Certified Parks and Recreation Executive (CPRE)
  • Aquatic Facility Operator (AFO)
  • Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI)

Applicants may qualify for certification with different combinations of education and work experience. They also must take continuing education classes to maintain their certification.

The American Camp Association offers four certificates for various levels of camp staff, from Entry-Level Staff Certificate to Camp Director Certificate. Individuals who complete online courses may show their advanced level of knowledge of core competencies.

Some recreation jobs require other kinds of certification. For example, a lifesaving certificate is often required for teaching or coaching water-related activities. These certifications are available from organizations such as the YMCA or the American Red Cross. Specific requirements vary by job and employer.

Advancement

As workers gain experience, they may be promoted to positions with greater responsibilities. Recreation workers with experience and managerial skills may advance to supervisory or managerial positions. Eventually, they may become directors of a recreation department or may start their own recreation company.

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Activity Coordinator jobs

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Activity Coordinator Career Paths

Activity Coordinator
Lead Teacher Assistant Director Director Of Food And Beverage
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Case Manager Special Education Teacher
Assistant Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Technician Service Manager
Branch Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Licensed Practical Nurse Case Manager
Career Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Medical Assistant Instructor Assistant Director
Center Director
7 Yearsyrs
Program Director Operations Director Chief Operating Officer
Chief Executive Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Activities Director Program Director Operations Director
Chief Operating Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Assistant Director Program Manager Marketing Manager
Communications Director
7 Yearsyrs
Assistant Director Office Manager Property Manager
Communications Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Lead Teacher Program Coordinator Assistant Director
Director Of Admissions
7 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Social Worker
Director Of Social Services
6 Yearsyrs
Office Manager General Manager
District Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Operations Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Marketing Manager
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Project Manager Program Manager
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Activities Director Service Director
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Program Director Adjunct Instructor Instructor
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Program Coordinator
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Program Coordinator Program Manager General Manager
Property Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Program Manager General Manager Account Executive
Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Activity Coordinator Demographics

Gender

Female

70.9%

Male

27.1%

Unknown

2.0%
Ethnicity

White

79.3%

Hispanic or Latino

11.2%

Asian

7.4%

Unknown

1.5%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

58.2%

French

8.2%

Chinese

4.2%

Mandarin

3.7%

Portuguese

3.0%

German

2.8%

Japanese

2.6%

Hindi

2.3%

Italian

2.3%

Korean

1.9%

Russian

1.6%

Arabic

1.6%

Cantonese

1.4%

Vietnamese

1.2%

Urdu

1.2%

Tagalog

0.9%

Hmong

0.7%

Hawaiian

0.7%

Bosnian

0.7%

Croatian

0.7%
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Activity Coordinator Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

15.9%

Georgia Southern University

11.2%

Liberty University

8.6%

University of Central Florida

5.4%

Oregon State University

4.5%

Florida State University

4.5%

Capella University

4.3%

Grand Valley State University

4.1%

Illinois State University

4.1%

Ashford University

3.9%

University of Alabama

3.6%

Grand Canyon University

3.6%

University of Northern Colorado

3.4%

Walden University

3.4%

Michigan State University

3.4%

University of Houston

3.2%

Troy University

3.2%

Florida International University

3.2%

Western Michigan University

3.2%

Kean University

3.2%
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Majors

Business

15.0%

Psychology

13.1%

Communication

6.5%

Social Work

6.4%

Nursing

5.4%

Kinesiology

5.0%

Human Services

4.7%

Health Care Administration

4.2%

Education

4.0%

Criminal Justice

4.0%

Sociology

3.9%

Rehabilitation Science

3.8%

Recreation Management

3.3%

Elementary Education

3.1%

Liberal Arts

3.1%

Management

3.0%

Marketing

3.0%

General Studies

2.9%

Human Development

2.7%

English

2.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

45.4%

Other

21.1%

Masters

18.3%

Associate

8.6%

Certificate

4.1%

Doctorate

1.2%

Diploma

0.9%

License

0.4%
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Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Activity Coordinator Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
U.S. Shale Gas Activities Coordinator Kappa North America Inc. Houston, TX Sep 25, 2015 $91,600
Activities Coordinator II Cambridge Health Alliance Cambridge, MA Nov 13, 2009 $51,896
Activities Coordinator II Cambridge Public Health Commission Cambridge, MA Nov 13, 2009 $51,896
Activity Coordinator Gene Care Inc. Pomona, CA Oct 11, 2015 $50,690
Activities Coordinator BEIT Rabban Day School New York, NY Apr 01, 2014 $40,985
General Activities Coordinator Two Palms Nursing Center Inc. Pasadena, CA Sep 24, 2011 $36,627
Activity Coordinator Rosecrans Care Center Gardena, CA May 18, 2010 $36,314
Activity Coordinator Rosecrans Care Center Gardena, CA Aug 06, 2010 $36,314
Activities Coordinators Koolriver Adventure Tours Coloma, CA Apr 01, 2016 $32,578
Activities Coordinator Education Management and Networks, Inc. Detroit, MI Sep 11, 2014 $32,500
Activities Coordinator Pelican Bay Foundation Naples, FL Oct 01, 2010 $31,512
Activities Coordinator Us Sports Institute, Inc. NJ Apr 01, 2015 $30,616
Activities Coordinator Us Sports Institute, Inc. NJ Apr 01, 2014 $30,595
Activities Coordinator Us Sports Institute, Inc. White House Station, NJ Apr 01, 2016 $29,364
Program/Activities Coordinator Evert Tennis Academy LLC Boca Raton, FL Oct 01, 2010 $26,088
Environmental Activities Coordinator Bright Star Early Learning Ctr. @ Rock Chapel LLC Lithonia, GA Oct 01, 2009 $25,000
Activities Coordinator American River Recreation, Inc. CA May 01, 2015 $24,230
Activities Coordinator Mariah Wilderness Expeditions CA May 01, 2015 $24,230
Activities Coordinator Whitewater Excitement Unlimited CA Apr 03, 2015 $24,230
Activities Coordinator Seacamp Association, Inc. Big Pine Key, FL Sep 13, 2013 $24,000
Activities Coordinator Us Sports Institute, Inc. NJ Apr 01, 2013 $23,834
Activities Coordinator Dynamic Dance, LLC. Kissimmee, FL May 15, 2012 $22,936
Activities Coordinator Dynamic Dance, LLC. Kissimmee, FL Oct 01, 2012 $22,936

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Top Skills for An Activity Coordinator

FacilityDailyActivitiesEnsureSafetySuperviseSpecialEventsActivitiesCoordinatorRecreationalActivitiesCarePlansDementiaAlzheimerGroupActivitiesCustomerServiceProgramActivitiesDailyLivingLessonPlansBingoSpecialNeedsCommunicationSkillsStaffMembersMDS

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Top Activity Coordinator Skills

  1. Facility
  2. Daily Activities
  3. Ensure Safety
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Supervised six adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities in a residential facility.
  • Plan and coordinate all daily activities for the seniors residing in the nursing home.
  • Establish disciplinary policies and ensure safety for a better work environment.
  • Coordinated and supervised extra curricular activities on and off campus for clients
  • Coordinate with outside vendors and service providers for special events.

Top Activity Coordinator Employers

Activity Coordinator Videos

Activity FUNdamentals (Quality of Life in Nursing Homes)

Hotel Vermont - Activities & Things To Do in Burlington, VT

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