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Become A Leader

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Working As A Leader

  • 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

  • $23,320

    Average Salary

What Does A Leader 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 A Leader

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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Leader Jobs

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Leader Demographics

Gender

Female

49.8%

Male

47.0%

Unknown

3.2%
Ethnicity

White

77.0%

Hispanic or Latino

11.0%

Asian

9.6%

Unknown

1.8%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

49.0%

French

11.3%

Mandarin

6.6%

Chinese

6.4%

German

4.1%

Japanese

3.0%

Portuguese

2.8%

Italian

2.7%

Korean

2.3%

Arabic

2.3%

Cantonese

1.9%

Russian

1.6%

Hindi

1.3%

Vietnamese

1.0%

Greek

0.8%

Thai

0.7%

Urdu

0.6%

Hebrew

0.6%

Swedish

0.5%

Carrier

0.5%
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Leader Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

12.7%

Liberty University

8.6%

Pennsylvania State University

6.3%

Michigan State University

6.2%

University of Iowa

5.4%

Arizona State University

4.8%

Iowa State University

4.8%

Texas A&M University

4.5%

Appalachian State University

4.2%

New York University

4.1%

Ohio State University

4.1%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

4.0%

University of Connecticut

4.0%

University of Georgia

3.9%

University of South Florida

3.9%

Purdue University

3.9%

University of Alabama

3.7%

Baylor University

3.7%

University of Texas at Austin

3.7%

Syracuse University

3.6%
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Majors

Business

23.8%

Psychology

8.6%

Communication

5.9%

Marketing

4.8%

Nursing

4.8%

Criminal Justice

4.7%

Management

4.5%

Education

4.2%

Biology

4.0%

Finance

4.0%

Accounting

3.8%

English

3.6%

Political Science

3.6%

Elementary Education

3.2%

Kinesiology

3.2%

Social Work

2.8%

Sociology

2.7%

Mechanical Engineering

2.7%

Computer Science

2.7%

Economics

2.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

48.8%

Masters

20.2%

Other

18.6%

Associate

6.3%

Doctorate

2.6%

Certificate

2.5%

Diploma

0.7%

License

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Leader Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Lifecycle Leader Genentech Inc. South San Francisco, CA Sep 11, 2016 $300,006
Platform Leader Whirlpool Corporation Saint Joseph, MI Aug 22, 2016 $290,000
Lifecycle Leader Genentech USA South San Francisco, CA Nov 01, 2013 $278,000
Life Cycle Leader Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. Tucson, AZ Nov 01, 2013 $273,156
Life Cycle Leader Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. Tucson, AZ Apr 30, 2015 $255,000 -
$275,000
Global Category Apparel Leader, Nikelab NIKE, Inc. Beaverton, OR Feb 02, 2015 $250,000
Adjunct Recitation Leader New York University New York, NY Jan 16, 2013 $244,701
Global Clinical Leader Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals NJ Dec 18, 2015 $243,225
Global Clinical Leader Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals NJ Jan 13, 2015 $242,190
Lifecycle Leader Genentech, Inc. South San Francisco, CA Aug 15, 2016 $239,658 -
$366,200
Global Clinical Leader Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals NJ Apr 02, 2016 $238,050
Global Clinical Leader Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, Inc. NJ Oct 15, 2013 $235,000
Leader-Mining, Oil & Gas GHD Inc. San Francisco, CA Jun 06, 2014 $232,500
Global GO To Market Strategy & PMO Leader Mercer (Us) Inc. New York, NY Feb 05, 2016 $215,405 -
$230,000
Client Leader Groupm Worldwide LLC-MEC Latin America Miami, FL May 04, 2015 $130,000
Oncology Insight Leader Astrazeneca LP Gaithersburg, MD Jan 08, 2016 $120,800 -
$158,000
Oversight Leader SG Americas Operational Services, Inc. Jersey City, NJ Sep 17, 2016 $120,500
North American Predictive Analytics Segment Leader IBM Corporation Cambridge, MA Aug 09, 2015 $120,415 -
$176,957
NPI Leader GE Healthcare Bio-Sciences Corp. Westborough, MA May 31, 2016 $120,000 -
$130,000
Commodity Leader Videojet Technologies Inc. Wood Dale, IL Jul 20, 2016 $119,621
Engagement Leader Pegasystems Inc. Cambridge, MA May 16, 2015 $116,813 -
$144,301
Sourcing Leader Schlumberger Technology Corporation Sugar Land, TX Jan 12, 2015 $116,000
Readiness Leader Cummins Inc. Columbus, IN Sep 15, 2014 $99,000 -
$124,200
Release Leader Physicians Mutual Insurance Company Omaha, NE Oct 30, 2016 $96,886
Reliability Leader Cummins Inc. Columbus, IN Jan 15, 2015 $96,500 -
$120,900
Table Leader Educational Testing Service Kansas City, MO May 15, 2016 $96,472
Table Leader Educational Testing Service Salt Lake City, UT Jan 06, 2016 $96,472
Table Leader Educational Testing Service Salt Lake City, UT May 29, 2016 $96,472
RC RAM Leader Alstom Signaling Inc. Henrietta, NY Jan 13, 2015 $96,370

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Top Skills for A Leader

SafeEnvironmentProceduresCustomerServiceProductsFinancialEnsureComplianceDeliveryStrategyFacilitySuperviseBibleSmallGroupLogisticsMinistryResourceLessonPlansAdditionalERPCommunityServiceCommunicationSkills

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  1. Safe Environment
  2. Procedures
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Maintained equipment for a clean and safe environment, while providing quality customer service.
  • Developed, revised, implemented, and enforced existing policies and procedures.
  • Implemented exceptional customer service, detail presentations, inventory, took care of complaints, and money transfers.
  • Inspected, tested and measured materials, products and installations to specifications.
  • Achieve this through the development of joint business strategies and tracking of mutually beneficial financial goals.

How Would You Rate Working As a Leader?

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Leader Videos

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