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Become A Recreation Coordinator

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Working As A Recreation 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

  • $29,740

    Average Salary

What Does A Recreation 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 A Recreation 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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Recreation Coordinator jobs

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Recreation Coordinator Career Paths

Recreation Coordinator
Activities Director Program Director General Manager
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Recreation Director Program Director General Manager
Area Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Home Health Aid Security Officer Night Auditor
Assistant General Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Social Worker Special Education Teacher
Assistant Principal
10 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Technician Service Manager
Branch Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Activities Director Program Coordinator Assistant Director
Center Director
7 Yearsyrs
Program Director Operations Director Chief Operating Officer
Chief Executive Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Program Director Service Director Operations Director
Chief Operating Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Special Education Teacher Site Coordinator Youth Director
Children's Ministries Director
5 Yearsyrs
Recreation Supervisor Recreation Director Program Director
Communications Director
7 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Operations Manager Property Manager
Communications Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Recreation Director Activities Director Director Of Social Services
Director Of Admissions
7 Yearsyrs
Assistant Director General Manager
District Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Program Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Marketing Manager
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Program Manager General Manager Account Executive
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Case Manager Program Coordinator Program Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Assistant Director Office Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Recreation Supervisor Clinical Manager Operations Manager
Property Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Social Worker Specialist Warehouse Associate
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Coordinator 2.6 years
Head Coordinator 2.5 years
Recreation Leader 2.3 years
Youth Coordinator 2.2 years
Sports Coordinator 2.1 years
Recreation Worker 1.7 years
Recreation Aide 1.7 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 15.4%
Volunteer 6.0%
Cashier 4.6%
Teacher 4.5%
Instructor 3.9%
Counselor 3.6%
Supervisor 3.4%
Top Employers After
Internship 7.6%
Teacher 5.8%
Supervisor 4.3%
Director 4.3%
Manager 3.6%
Volunteer 3.3%

Recreation Coordinator Demographics

Gender

Female

54.8%

Male

43.3%

Unknown

1.8%
Ethnicity

White

80.5%

Hispanic or Latino

11.2%

Asian

6.1%

Unknown

1.5%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

59.9%

French

12.4%

German

3.6%

Arabic

3.6%

Italian

2.9%

Russian

2.2%

Portuguese

2.2%

Hindi

1.5%

Hmong

1.5%

Filipino

1.5%

Occidental

1.5%

Polish

1.5%

Dutch

0.7%

Samoan

0.7%

Gujarati

0.7%

Azerbaijani

0.7%

Ukrainian

0.7%

Tigrinya

0.7%

Bengali

0.7%

Navajo

0.7%
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Recreation Coordinator Education

Schools

Liberty University

9.1%

University of Phoenix

8.6%

University of Central Florida

7.4%

Florida State University

5.8%

Central Michigan University

5.8%

California State University - East Bay

4.5%

Ashford University

4.5%

Western Illinois University

4.5%

Pennsylvania State University

4.5%

Texas A&M University

4.5%

West Virginia University

4.5%

Capella University

4.5%

Eastern Washington University

4.1%

Southern Connecticut State University

4.1%

Michigan State University

4.1%

Arizona State University

4.1%

Grand Canyon University

4.1%

George Washington University

3.7%

Illinois State University

3.7%

University of Montana

3.7%
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Majors

Business

12.3%

Kinesiology

11.8%

Recreation Management

11.0%

Psychology

9.6%

Criminal Justice

7.0%

Social Work

6.0%

Rehabilitation Science

4.7%

Education

3.8%

Sociology

3.7%

Management

3.6%

Health Education

3.5%

Communication

3.4%

Liberal Arts

3.4%

Elementary Education

3.1%

Human Services

2.5%

Educational Leadership

2.4%

Political Science

2.3%

Health Care Administration

2.1%

Public Administration

1.9%

General Studies

1.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

48.3%

Masters

23.6%

Other

15.6%

Associate

7.2%

Certificate

3.0%

Doctorate

1.5%

Diploma

0.7%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Recreation Coordinator Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Recreation Coordinator Squash On Fire Operation, LLC Washington, DC Sep 05, 2015 $49,000
Recreation Coordinator Squash On Fire Operations LLC Washington, DC Apr 02, 2016 $49,000
Youth Development Coordinator Chicago Fire Soccer, LLC Bridgeview, IL Apr 09, 2015 $36,050
Recreation Coordinator Black Diamond Resort Company AK Apr 01, 2014 $35,792
Recreation Coordinator Black Diamond Resort Healy, AK Apr 15, 2015 $34,331
Recreation Coordinator Black Diamond Resort Co Healy, AK Apr 15, 2015 $34,331
Recreation Coordinator Soccer Edge LLC Bridgeport, CT Apr 01, 2016 $32,390
Recreation Coordinator Soccer Edge LLC CT Mar 14, 2015 $31,451
Recreation Coordinator United Soccer Academy, Inc. NJ Apr 01, 2015 $30,616
Recreation Coordinator United Soccer Academy, Inc. NJ Feb 07, 2015 $30,616
Recreation Coordinator United Soccer Academy, Inc. NJ Apr 01, 2014 $30,595
Recreation Coordinator United Soccer Academy, Inc. NJ Feb 10, 2014 $30,595
Recreation Coordinator Paul Turner's Ultimate Soccer Academy, Inc. MA Mar 01, 2014 $30,387
Recreation Coordinator Nippon Express Travel USA, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 11, 2015 $30,000
Recreation Coordinator Mount Washington Hotel and Resort Woodsville, NH Oct 25, 2007 $29,494
Recreation Coordinator United Soccer Academy, Inc. White House Station, NJ Feb 22, 2016 $29,364
Recreation Coordinator United Soccer Academy, Inc. White House Station, NJ Apr 01, 2016 $29,364
Recreation Coordinator III Clemson University Youth Learning Institute Aiken, SC Apr 01, 2013 $28,000

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Top Skills for A Recreation Coordinator

RecreationFacilitiesDirectSupervisionRecreationProgramsSpecialEventsRecreationalActivitiesYouthDevelopmentCustomerServiceDailyActivitiesTeenRecreationDepartmentLifeSkillsGirlsStaffMembersStaffMeetingsCPRDailyOperationsYouthProgramsCommunityEventsMonthlyCalendarProgramActivities

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Top Recreation Coordinator Skills

  1. Recreation Facilities
  2. Direct Supervision
  3. Recreation Programs
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Coordinate the restoration, maintenance and cleaning of all recreation facilities, equipment and playing surfaces.
  • Provided direct supervision of Host Country Nationals.
  • Plan and develop sports and recreation programs for both individuals with disabilities and at risk teens.
  • Market, coordinate, and run special events in a 12,000 square foot skate park.
  • Schedule and implement recreational activities in specific program areas.

Top Recreation Coordinator Employers

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Recreation Coordinator Videos

A Career in Outdoor Recreation (JTJS42009)

A Day in the Life of Ken - Facility Operations Manager

A Day in the Life of Lee Ann - Recreation Supervisor

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