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Become A Recreation Supervisor

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Working As A Recreation Supervisor

  • 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

  • $85,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Recreation Supervisor 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 Supervisor

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 Supervisor Demographics

Gender

Male

49.2%

Female

39.8%

Unknown

10.9%
Ethnicity

White

64.8%

Hispanic or Latino

14.4%

Black or African American

11.8%

Asian

5.5%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

58.1%

French

11.3%

German

4.8%

Hmong

3.2%

Mandarin

3.2%

Marshallese

1.6%

Portuguese

1.6%

Hawaiian

1.6%

Romanian

1.6%

Braille

1.6%

Carrier

1.6%

Tagalog

1.6%

Hebrew

1.6%

Polish

1.6%

Korean

1.6%

Cantonese

1.6%

Russian

1.6%
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Recreation Supervisor Education

Schools

Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

12.1%

University of Phoenix

11.6%

Illinois State University

9.0%

Western Illinois University

6.8%

Ohio State University

5.6%

Clemson University

4.5%

Florida State University

4.2%

Texas State University

4.0%

University of Central Florida

4.0%

Liberty University

4.0%

Central Michigan University

4.0%

Winona State University

4.0%

Washington State University

3.7%

Florida Atlantic University

3.4%

Aurora University

3.4%

Ball State University

3.4%

Southern Connecticut State University

3.1%

University of New Hampshire

3.1%

University of Wisconsin - La Crosse

3.1%

Temple University

3.1%
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Majors

Kinesiology

15.3%

Business

15.2%

Recreation Management

14.6%

Criminal Justice

7.0%

Health Education

6.2%

Psychology

5.8%

Education

4.2%

Communication

4.2%

Rehabilitation Science

3.5%

Management

3.4%

Social Work

2.5%

Liberal Arts

2.4%

Parks And Recreation Management

2.2%

Marketing

2.2%

Health Care Administration

2.1%

Elementary Education

2.0%

Sociology

2.0%

Natural Resources Management

1.9%

General Studies

1.8%

History

1.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

54.3%

Masters

19.4%

Other

15.6%

Associate

6.0%

Certificate

3.0%

Doctorate

0.8%

Diploma

0.5%

License

0.4%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$85,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$40,000
Min 10%
$85,000
Median 50%
$85,000
Median 50%
$85,000
Median 50%
$85,000
Median 50%
$85,000
Median 50%
$85,000
Median 50%
$85,000
Median 50%
$179,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
BENCHMARK
Highest Paying City
Aurora, CO
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
3.1 years
How much does a Recreation Supervisor make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Recreation Supervisor in the United States is $85,487 per year or $41 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $40,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $179,000.

Real Recreation Supervisor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Recreation Supervisor AHRC NYC New York, NY Aug 09, 2016 $41,101
Recreation Supervisor AHRC-NYC New York, NY Oct 03, 2011 $38,000
Recreation Supervisor AHRC NYC New York, NY Sep 09, 2013 $38,000
Recreation Supervisor Bartlett Park District Bartlett, IL Mar 03, 2012 $37,000
Recreation Supervisor Bartlett Park District Bartlett, IL Feb 01, 2012 $37,000
Recreation Supervisor Bartlett Park District Bartlett, IL Jan 17, 2012 $37,000
Recreation Supervisor Emerson Management LLC Emerson, NJ Jan 09, 2016 $36,042 -
$62,610
Recreation Supervisor-Activities The Breakers Palm Beach, Inc. Palm Beach, FL Sep 05, 2015 $33,280
Recreation Supervisor Emerson Management LLC Emerson, NJ Jul 12, 2015 $30,616 -
$41,740
Athletics Recreation Supervisor Rock Hill LLC Commack, NY May 21, 2008 $30,000
Recreation Supervisor Miami Fitness Connection, Inc. Miami Shores, FL Dec 07, 2009 $28,500
Recreation Supervisor The Noga Company LLC DBA Noga Soccer NY Apr 01, 2011 $28,091

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Top Skills for A Recreation Supervisor

  1. Recreational Activities
  2. Special Events
  3. Ensure Safety
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed and supervised an extensive Family Activities Program consisting of both cultural and recreational activities.
  • Conducted and supervised special events; developed contracts and hired contracted instructors.
  • Maintained constant surveillance of all activity in the recreational facility to ensure safety and security of children and adults.
  • Developed, implemented, and monitored programs to maximize customer satisfaction and manage on-site customer service representatives.
  • Assist with scheduling, payroll, discipline of guards, and customer services with guests.

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Top 10 Best States for Recreation Supervisors

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Washington
  3. Maine
  4. North Dakota
  5. New Hampshire
  6. Rhode Island
  7. Kentucky
  8. Alaska
  9. South Dakota
  10. Wyoming
  • (9 jobs)
  • (19 jobs)
  • (3 jobs)
  • (1 jobs)
  • (3 jobs)
  • (3 jobs)
  • (7 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (2 jobs)

Top Recreation Supervisor Employers

Jobs From Top Recreation Supervisor Employers

Recreation Supervisor Videos

Employees Making the City of Reno Work - Recreation Supervisor Joe Wilson

A Day in the Life of Lee Ann - Recreation Supervisor

Jennifer Spane, Recreation Supervisor, Pierce Co. Parks & Recreation

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