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Become A Program Lead

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Working As A Program Lead

  • 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

  • $23,660

    Average Salary

What Does A Program Lead 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 Program Lead

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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Program Lead jobs

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Program Lead Career Paths

Program Lead
Lead Teacher Office Manager General Manager
Area Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Mentor Home Health Aid Front Desk Agent
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Site Director Preschool Teacher Special Education Teacher
Assistant Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Business Developer
Business Development Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Program Director Operations Director Chief Operating Officer
Chief Executive Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Site Coordinator Program Director Operations Director
Chief Operating Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Instructional Assistant Instructor Editor
Communications Director
7 Yearsyrs
Mentor Instructor Editor
Communications Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Lead Teacher Program Coordinator Program Director
Development Director
9 Yearsyrs
Instructional Assistant Lead Teacher Assistant Director
Director Of Admissions
7 Yearsyrs
Assistant Director Office Manager Human Resources Coordinator
Director Of Human Resources
10 Yearsyrs
Preschool Teacher Assistant Director Office Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Assistant Director Office Manager
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Assistant Director General Manager Account Executive
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Program Director Service Director
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Preschool Teacher Lead Teacher Office Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Site Coordinator Program Coordinator
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Program Manager
Senior Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Site Director Program Director
Service Director
9 Yearsyrs
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Program Lead Demographics

Gender

Female

57.6%

Male

39.8%

Unknown

2.6%
Ethnicity

White

72.3%

Hispanic or Latino

15.6%

Asian

9.5%

Unknown

1.9%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

64.7%

French

7.1%

Chinese

4.3%

Mandarin

3.5%

German

3.0%

Vietnamese

2.3%

Portuguese

2.1%

Arabic

2.0%

Japanese

1.5%

Cantonese

1.3%

Hindi

1.3%

Italian

1.3%

Hmong

1.2%

Russian

1.0%

Korean

0.8%

Greek

0.8%

Hebrew

0.7%

Carrier

0.5%

Swahili

0.3%

Somali

0.3%
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Program Lead Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

13.1%

California State University - Dominguez Hills

6.6%

College of the Sequoias

5.9%

California State University - Fullerton

5.7%

San Francisco State University

5.2%

Long Beach City College

5.2%

California State University - San Bernardino

5.0%

San Diego State University

4.7%

Kansas State University

4.6%

San Jose State University

4.6%

Arizona State University

4.5%

University of California - Irvine

4.2%

Cerritos College

4.2%

Michigan State University

4.0%

California State University - Long Beach

3.9%

University of California - Riverside

3.7%

California State University - Los Angeles

3.7%

New York University

3.7%

Pennsylvania State University

3.7%

Purdue University

3.7%
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Majors

Business

19.0%

Psychology

10.7%

Communication

5.1%

Human Development

5.1%

Social Work

5.0%

Sociology

4.9%

Criminal Justice

4.9%

Education

4.8%

Management

4.3%

Liberal Arts

4.2%

Elementary Education

4.1%

Kinesiology

4.0%

Marketing

3.4%

Political Science

3.3%

Computer Science

3.1%

English

3.0%

Human Services

2.9%

Nursing

2.8%

Biology

2.7%

Early Childhood Education

2.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

45.8%

Masters

23.4%

Other

17.5%

Associate

7.0%

Certificate

3.1%

Doctorate

2.8%

Diploma

0.3%

License

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Program Lead Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Program Lead Accenture LLP San Francisco, CA Feb 18, 2014 $187,365
Program Lead, Marketing Partnerships Program Facebook, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Apr 25, 2016 $165,000 -
$185,000
Program Lead, Marketing Partnerships Program Facebook, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Apr 20, 2015 $165,000
Program Lead Citigroup Technology, Inc. Warren, NJ Aug 01, 2014 $153,000
Offline Programming Engineering Lead Electroimpact, Inc. Mukilteo, WA Jan 12, 2015 $151,798
Emerging Partnerships Lead, US-PMP Program KIK Us Inc. New York, NY Dec 01, 2014 $150,000 -
$225,000
Emerging Partnerships Lead, US-PMP Program KIK Us Inc. New York, NY Nov 24, 2014 $150,000 -
$225,000
S/W Implementation Program Lead Comverse, Inc. Mount Laurel, NJ Jan 27, 2016 $141,731
Program Lead Citigroup Technology, Inc. New York, NY Oct 31, 2014 $140,000
Offline Program Engineering Lead Electroimpact, Inc. Mukilteo, WA Mar 01, 2014 $139,360
Program Lead Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Mar 23, 2016 $135,000
Technical Program Lead (Operations) Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Jul 07, 2016 $133,968 -
$168,200
Program Lead Iforward Solutions LLC Houston, TX Nov 01, 2013 $130,000
Program Lead Iforward Solutions LLC Redmond, WA Mar 11, 2013 $130,000
Application Program Lead United Guaranty Corporation Greensboro, NC Mar 10, 2016 $118,000
Program Leader, Innovation Efforts, Composite Solu Owens Corning Science & Technology, LLC Granville, OH Aug 04, 2014 $116,133
Dmts-System Analysis and Programs (Lead System Consultant) Verizon Telematics Inc. Atlanta, GA Nov 20, 2015 $115,589
Program Leader Owens Corning Science and Technology, LLC Granville, OH Aug 06, 2015 $115,000
Intra-Oral Dental Program Lead Teledyne Rad-Icon Imaging Santa Clara, CA Apr 12, 2015 $114,455
Program Lead Citigroup Technology, Inc. Warren, NJ Jan 27, 2016 $112,500
Applications Program Lead United Guaranty Corporation Greensboro, NC Aug 08, 2014 $112,000
Engineering Program Leader General Electric Company-Infrastructure Schenectady, NY Oct 01, 2015 $102,000
Program Lead Veryday Inc. New York, NY Sep 11, 2015 $102,000 -
$160,000
Program Lead Biztech Solutions Inc. Redmond, WA Feb 28, 2013 $101,379
Program Lead Biztech Solutions Inc. Redmond, WA Mar 14, 2013 $101,379
Program Lead, Utility Economics Intertek USA Inc., DBA Intertek Caleb Brett Sunnyvale, CA Jan 04, 2013 $100,984
NPI Program Lead Philips Medical Systems (Cleveland), Inc. Cleveland, OH Apr 10, 2016 $100,040
AM Warranty Program Leader General Electric Company Waukesha, WI Aug 15, 2016 $100,000 -
$110,000
Application Program Lead United Guaranty Corporation Greensboro, NC Mar 16, 2016 $100,000

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Top Skills for A Program Lead

HomeworkAssistanceWeeklyLessonPlansEnsureSafetyCurriculumClassroomManagementProceduresSuperviseComplianceChildDeliveryFinancialMathematicsPhysicalActivityProgramParticipantsPositiveRoleModelCustomerServiceDailyActivitiesAcademicEnrichmentGirlsEnrichmentActivities

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Top Program Lead Skills

  1. Homework Assistance
  2. Weekly Lesson Plans
  3. Ensure Safety
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided homework assistance, enrichment activities and physical activities.
  • Plan and carry out weekly lesson plans regarding life skills and health education.
  • Enforce rules and regulations of recreational facilities to maintain discipline and ensure safety.
  • Designed and implemented curriculum on a local and statewide basis.
  • Provided classroom management concepts for implementation in at risk/troubled classrooms.

Top Program Lead Employers

Program Lead Videos

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