a recreation worker

What does a Recreation Worker do?

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A recreation worker can be found working in recreation facilities or volunteer agencies designing and leading leisure and recreational activities or groups. They lead activities such as sports, arts and crafts, adventure programs, music, dance, and camping. They work in parks, camps, playgrounds, senior centers, or aquatic centers. Many recreation workers also spend a lot of time being physically active in the outdoors or recreational gyms.

How to Become a Recreation Worker

a recreation worker

A recreation workers type of position may require different education and training, but one typically needs to have at least a high school diploma or the equivalent. Most workers receive on-the-job training lasting approximately 30 days. Some types of jobs may require the applicant to have a bachelor’s degree or college coursework.

A branch of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) accredited 80 bachelor’s degree programs in recreation or leisure studies in 2014. The NRPA offers four certificates for recreation workers and may qualify one for certification with different combinations of education and work experience. He or she must continue taking education classes to keep their certification current. A bachelor’s degree in subjects such as public administration or liberal arts may also qualify an applicant for certain positions.

Job Description of a Recreation Worker

Recreation workers typically plan, organize, set-up, and lead activities for groups or recreation centers. They teach, facilitate, and lead activities while ensuring the participants are safe. They must clearly explaining the rules of activities and instruct the participating in different skill levels. For example, they must be able to adapt activities according to different groups’ needs, such as for senior activities or a preschool children’s program. These workers would also enforce the safety rules in order to prevent injuries and must be able to administer first aid if necessary.

There are several different positions of recreation workers so their job title and level of training may vary state by state. For instance, there are camp counselors, activity specialists, recreation leaders, and many more titles used in this industry.

Article Citations

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Recreation Workers.

National Center for O*NET Development. 39-9032.00. O*NET OnLine.

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