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Become A Recreation Aide

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Working As A Recreation Aide

  • 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 Recreation Aide 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 Recreation Aide

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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Recreation Aide jobs

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Recreation Aide Career Paths

Recreation Aide
Technician Delivery Driver Night Auditor
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Recreation Leader Instructor Assistant Director
Associate Director
8 Yearsyrs
Program Assistant Specialist Coach
Athletic Director
5 Yearsyrs
Recreation Leader Security Officer Account Manager
Business Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Hostess Home Health Aid Licensed Practical Nurse
Career Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Technician Instructor Assistant Director
Center Director
7 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Security Officer Operations Manager
Chief Executive Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Program Lead Site Coordinator Youth Director
Children's Ministries Director
5 Yearsyrs
Warehouse Associate Maintenance Technician Property Manager
Communications Director
7 Yearsyrs
Warehouse Worker Maintenance Technician Property Manager
Communications Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Crew Member Specialist Account Manager
District Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Warehouse Associate Driver Instructor
Education Director
7 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Delivery Driver Maintenance Technician
Facilities Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Crew Member Technician Service Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Warehouse Worker Forklift Operator Warehouse Manager
Logistics Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Food Service Worker Driver Operation Supervisor
Production Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Hostess Office Manager
Property Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Technician Service Manager
Service Director
9 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Dispatcher Operations Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Food Service Worker Home Health Aid Warehouse Associate
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Recreation Aide Demographics

Gender

Female

61.3%

Male

36.2%

Unknown

2.5%
Ethnicity

White

77.7%

Hispanic or Latino

13.9%

Asian

6.5%

Unknown

1.5%

Black or African American

0.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

68.3%

French

9.0%

German

4.8%

Portuguese

2.1%

Cantonese

2.1%

Italian

2.1%

Khmer

1.4%

Russian

1.4%

Hindi

1.4%

Cheyenne

0.7%

Filipino

0.7%

Mandarin

0.7%

Gujarati

0.7%

Romanian

0.7%

Japanese

0.7%

Ukrainian

0.7%

Persian

0.7%

Hmong

0.7%

Polish

0.7%

Chinese

0.7%
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Recreation Aide Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

11.0%

California State University - Sacramento

8.0%

Old Dominion University

7.0%

Tidewater Community College

7.0%

Ashford University

6.7%

Liberty University

6.4%

University of Maryland - University College

4.3%

Virginia Commonwealth University

4.3%

Arizona State University

4.0%

Kean University

4.0%

University of Central Florida

4.0%

Norfolk State University

4.0%

Essex County College

4.0%

Long Beach City College

4.0%

Grand Canyon University

4.0%

Florida State University

3.7%

Virginia State University

3.7%

National University

3.3%

Suffolk County Community College

3.3%

Temple University

3.0%
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Majors

Business

14.4%

Criminal Justice

11.1%

Psychology

10.7%

Kinesiology

7.1%

Nursing

5.5%

Health Care Administration

4.6%

General Studies

4.4%

Communication

4.3%

Medical Assisting Services

4.2%

Education

3.8%

Social Work

3.7%

Liberal Arts

3.5%

Recreation Management

3.3%

Management

3.1%

Biology

3.0%

Sociology

2.8%

Human Development

2.7%

Accounting

2.7%

Rehabilitation Science

2.5%

Early Childhood Education

2.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

41.1%

Other

28.1%

Associate

13.2%

Masters

10.0%

Certificate

5.1%

Diploma

1.6%

Doctorate

0.6%

License

0.3%
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Real Recreation Aide Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Recreation Aide Spare Time, Inc. CA Apr 01, 2011 $36,126
Recreation Aide Spare Time, Inc. CA Apr 01, 2012 $36,105
Recreational Aide Baltusrol Golf Club Springfield, NJ May 01, 2016 $25,044
Recreational Aide The Country Club at Woodfield, Inc. Boca Raton, FL Oct 01, 2016 $25,044
Recreation Aide Aspen Skiing Company, LLC CO Nov 15, 2011 $24,501
Recreational Aide Lake Shore Country Club Glencoe, IL May 01, 2015 $24,334
Recreation Aide Us Sports Institute, Inc. NJ Apr 01, 2012 $23,834
Recreation Aide Core Consulting Solutions, LLC NJ Apr 05, 2012 $23,834
Recreational Aide Davidson Hotel Company Newport, RI May 15, 2016 $23,479
Recreational Aide Colleton River Plantation Club Inc. Bluffton, SC Oct 11, 2016 $23,333
Recreational Aide St. Andrews Country Club Boca Raton, FL Oct 05, 2016 $23,228
Recreational Aide The Polo Club of Boca Raton, Inc. Boca Raton, FL Oct 01, 2016 $23,228
Recreational Aide Boca West Country Club, Inc. Boca Raton, FL Oct 01, 2016 $23,228
Recreational Aides Addison Reserve Country Club Delray Beach, FL Oct 01, 2016 $23,228
Recreational Aide The Club at Admirals Cove, Inc. Jupiter, FL Oct 01, 2016 $23,228
Recreational Aide The Everglades Club, Inc. Palm Beach, FL Oct 01, 2016 $23,228
Recreational Aide St. Andrews Country Club Boca Raton, FL Oct 01, 2015 $23,228
Recreational Aide The Club at Admirals Cove, Inc. Jupiter, FL Oct 01, 2015 $22,581
Recreational Aide Boca West Country Club, Inc. Boca Raton, FL Oct 01, 2015 $22,581
Recreational Aide The Polo Club of Boca Raton, Inc. Boca Raton, FL Oct 01, 2015 $22,581
Recreational Aides Addison Reserve Country Club Delray Beach, FL Oct 01, 2015 $22,581
Recreational Aide The Polo Club of Boca Raton, Inc. FL Oct 01, 2014 $22,581
Recreational Aides Sailfish Point Property Owners and Country Club Association, Inc. Stuart, FL Oct 01, 2016 $21,914
Recreational Aide Baltusrol Golf Club Springfield, NJ May 21, 2015 $21,684
Recreational Aide Jupiter Hills Club, Inc. FL Oct 01, 2014 $21,496
Recreational Aide The Muttontown Club East Norwich, NY May 01, 2015 $21,183

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Top Skills for A Recreation Aide

RecreationalFacilitiesCustomerServiceRecreationalActivitiesSuperviseSpecialEventsRecreationProgramsDailyActivitiesFrontDeskPhoneCallsDailyOperationsNewArrivalsSafeEnvironmentCPRSafetyProceduresFacilityRulesTrainingStaffMembersRecreationalEquipmentMWRGroupActivitiesSportsEquipment

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Top Recreation Aide Skills

  1. Recreational Facilities
  2. Customer Service
  3. Recreational Activities
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assisted in Enforcing rules and regulations of the recreational facilities to maintain discipline and ensure the safety of the participants.
  • Provided excellent customer service to parents and community visitors.
  • support the special needs population with Special Olympic training and other recreational activities
  • Recruited, trained, directed, and supervised volunteers.
  • Identify programs and special events supporting military focus on fitness.

Top Recreation Aide Employers

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Recreation Aide Videos

Activity FUNdamentals (Quality of Life in Nursing Homes)

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