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Working As a Senior Counselor

  • 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

  • $152,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior Counselor 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 Senior Counselor

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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Average Yearly Salary
$152,000
Show Salaries
$84,000
Min 10%
$152,000
Median 50%
$152,000
Median 50%
$152,000
Median 50%
$152,000
Median 50%
$152,000
Median 50%
$152,000
Median 50%
$152,000
Median 50%
$273,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Jackson Walker
Highest Paying City
Everett, WA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
3.1 years
How much does a Senior Counselor make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Senior Counselor in the United States is $152,327 per year or $73 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $84,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $273,000.

Real Senior Counselor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Counsel, Original Film Netflix, Inc. Beverly Hills, CA Nov 06, 2016 $213,970
Senior Counsel, Original Film Netflix, Inc. Beverly Hills, CA Sep 22, 2016 $213,970
Senior Counsel GSMA Limited Atlanta, GA Sep 21, 2013 $190,000 -
$220,000
Senior Counsel Lipman Hearne, Inc. Washington, DC Oct 01, 2009 $120,000
Senior Counselor State University of New York Upstate Medical Unive Syracuse, NY Apr 15, 2014 $68,000
Senior Counselor-U.S. and International Students RH Testing Services, Inc. Rowland Heights, CA Aug 22, 2016 $64,043
Senior Counselor/Psychologist State University New York at Buffalo State College Buffalo, NY Jan 03, 2016 $63,000
Senior Counselor/Assistant Director Texas Tech University Lubbock, TX Aug 30, 2010 $60,000
Senior Counselor Daemen College Amherst, NY Mar 21, 2014 $42,200 -
$44,000

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Top Skills for A Senior Counselor

  1. New Counselors
  2. Safe Environment
  3. Ensure Compliance
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Supervised and trained Residence Counselors level 3, 2 and 1, made presentations and training plans for new counselors.
  • Supervised campers and provided appropriate social and learning activities by establishing enriching and safe environments.
  • Partnered with Department of Energy attorneys and management to ensure compliance with prime contract terms and conditions and statutory contracting requirements.
  • Lead psychological assessments and evaluations of clients; develop, implement and evaluate/modify treatment plans based on individualized client service needs.
  • Managed litigation against founder and CEO to ensure company maintained operations and protected its intellectual property from claims by American-based competitors.

Rank:

Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Senior Counselors

  1. Washington
  2. Montana
  3. Idaho
  4. Alaska
  5. Massachusetts
  6. New York
  7. Maine
  8. Connecticut
  9. Oregon
  10. Nevada
  • (147 jobs)
  • (22 jobs)
  • (20 jobs)
  • (9 jobs)
  • (652 jobs)
  • (450 jobs)
  • (15 jobs)
  • (141 jobs)
  • (45 jobs)
  • (62 jobs)

Senior Counselor Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 10,383 Senior Counselor resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Senior Counselor Resume

View Resume Examples

Senior Counselor Demographics

Gender

Female

45.5%

Male

43.3%

Unknown

11.2%
Ethnicity

White

62.6%

Hispanic or Latino

14.6%

Black or African American

12.9%

Asian

6.5%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

55.2%

French

11.0%

German

4.6%

Chinese

3.9%

Mandarin

3.7%

Russian

3.3%

Italian

3.3%

Portuguese

2.5%

Hebrew

2.5%

Japanese

1.9%

Hindi

1.7%

Korean

1.7%

Cantonese

0.8%

Greek

0.8%

Urdu

0.8%

Arabic

0.8%

Vietnamese

0.4%

Cherokee

0.4%

Georgian

0.4%

Bengali

0.4%
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Senior Counselor Education

Schools

Fordham University

8.3%

Georgetown University

7.4%

New York Law School

6.7%

George Washington University

6.7%

University of Phoenix

6.6%

Temple University

6.4%

New York University

5.2%

University of Texas at Austin

4.6%

Southern Connecticut State University

4.6%

American University

4.3%

Harvard University

4.2%

Florida State University

4.2%

Liberty University

4.1%

Pennsylvania State University

4.0%

Capella University

4.0%

Boston University

3.8%

University of Pittsburgh -

3.8%

University of Massachusetts Amherst

3.8%

University of Connecticut

3.7%

State University of New York Buffalo

3.6%
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Majors

Law

30.2%

Psychology

10.6%

Business

9.1%

Social Work

6.9%

Criminal Justice

4.3%

Mental Health Counseling

3.5%

School Counseling

3.5%

Communication

3.4%

Sociology

3.2%

Counseling Psychology

2.9%

Human Services

2.7%

Legal Research And Advanced Professional Studies

2.7%

English

2.6%

Political Science

2.5%

Education

2.4%

History

2.0%

Elementary Education

1.9%

Liberal Arts

1.9%

Marketing

1.9%

Management

1.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

36.7%

Doctorate

21.7%

Masters

21.1%

Other

13.7%

Associate

3.8%

Certificate

2.5%

Diploma

0.4%

License

0.1%
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Top Senior Counselor Employers

Jobs From Top Senior Counselor Employers

Senior Counselor Videos

Hello Counselor - Lee Eungyeol, Kim Yongjun, Lee Seokhoon & Park Chorong (2015.09.21)

Camp Chi Rho 2015 Senior Counselor Skit

Hello Counselor - Kim Johan, Yoo Sangmoo, Kim Junhee & Cheetah (2016.03.28)

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