People tend to spend their spare time participating in various organized recreational activities such as crafts and arts, camping, performing arts, and a wide variety of sports. Recreation workers organize, plan, direct, and coordinate these activities in recreation areas, local playgrounds, community centers, parks, camps, religious organizations, tourists' attractions, and theme parks.
Recreation workers hold different positions at various levels of responsibilities. They may work in businesses where they plan, organize and direct leisure activities for people. They provide coaching and instruction in various domains such as drama, art, music, tennis, and swimming. Sometimes, recreation workers are referred as activity specialists.
The job of camp counselors is to instruct and lead teenagers and children in outdoor recreation such as hiking, swimming, camping, horseback riding. Additionally, camp counselors teach campers special subjects such as music, archery, boating, gymnastics, drama, computers, and tennis. In some residential camps, a counselor provides guidance and oversees daily living. A camp director usually administers camp counselors, executes different administrative functions, and plan programs and camp activities.
Recreation leaders are accountable for a daily operation of a recreation program. They organize, guide, and direct participants. Recreation leaders may lead and provide instructions on drama, dance, crafts, sports, and games. They keep records of equipment, use of facilities, and make sure that all equipment and recreation facilities are used appropriately.
Recreation supervisors direct plan and recreation leaders, manage and organize recreational activities to cater the needs of populations. Recreation supervisors act as liaisons between the recreation leaders and recreation center or director of the park. A recreation supervisor who holds specialized responsibilities may supervise special events and activities and oversee other activities such as gymnastics, performing arts, and aquatics.
Directors of parks and recreation manage, design, and develop comprehensive recreation programs in playgrounds, parks, and other settings. The work of directors is to serve as technical advisor to local and state park and recreation commissions. They are responsible for park and recreation budgets.
Recreation workers may perform their tasks in different settings, for instance, a woodland recreational park, a cruise ship, a playground, or a summer camp. Despite of settings, many recreation workers spend ample amount of time outdoors and work in all type of weather conditions. Recreation supervisors and directors, however, generally spend their time in an office. They plan, prepare, and design special programs and events. Usually, supervisors and directors oversee other recreation workers. Recreation workers at all levels have to suffer injuries during physical activities. Recreation workers need to carry out following responsibilities.
The training and educational requirements for recreation workers may vary extensively depending upon the type of job. Candidates who would like to work for full-time require a college degree. However, candidates enhance skills required for this job by means of participating in on-the-job training.
Candidates who have completed a bachelor's degree may get good job in this field. In industrial recreation, employers seek for candidates who have completed a bachelor's degree in leisure studies or recreation and must have background in business administration. Some of the college students accept part-time work as recreation workers.
Some employers prefer candidates who have completed a master's degree in public administration, business administration, recreation, and parks for administrative position. Most of the companies require candidates who have completed an associate degree in recreation studies of allied field.
Licensure and Certification
The NRPA certifies candidates for technical and professional jobs. Recreational professionals and certified park ought to pass an exam, obtain a bachelor's degree with major in recreation, leisure services, and park resources from a program recognized by the NRPA.
Certification and training may vary from country to country and state to state. The information about lifeguard is available from your recreation department and local parks.