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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:
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.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Recreation Aide
Top Careers After Recreation Aide
Hispanic or Latino13.9%
Black or African American0.5%
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University of Phoenix11.0%
California State University - Sacramento8.0%
Old Dominion University7.0%
Tidewater Community College7.0%
University of Maryland - University College4.3%
Virginia Commonwealth University4.3%
Arizona State University4.0%
University of Central Florida4.0%
Norfolk State University4.0%
Essex County College4.0%
Long Beach City College4.0%
Grand Canyon University4.0%
Florida State University3.7%
Virginia State University3.7%
Suffolk County Community College3.3%
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
|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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Activity FUNdamentals (Quality of Life in Nursing Homes)