Recreation Workers


Employment Prospects


There are about 408,300 recreation workers, not counting summer workers or volunteers, employed in the United States. About 29 percent work for local government agencies, and about 16 percent are employed by nursing and residential care facilities, such as halfway houses, institutions for delinquent youths, and group homes or commercial recreation establishments and private industry. Another 14 percent work for civic and social membership organizations such as the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, YMCA, or YWCA.

Starting Out

College career services offices are useful in helping graduates find employment. Most college graduates begin as either recreation leaders or specialists and, after several years of experience, they may become recreation directors. A few enter trainee programs leading directly to recreation administration within a year or so. Those with graduate training may start as recreation directors.

Advancement Prospects

Recreation leaders without graduate training will find advancement limited, but it is possible to obtain better paying positions through a combination of education and experience. With experience it is possible to become a recreation director. With further experience, directors may become supervisors and eventually head of all recreation departments or divisions in a city. Some recreation professionals become consultants.

Tips for Entry

Gain experience by taking on volunteer, part-time, or summer jobs as a camp counselor or recreation aide.

Work or volunteer with as many different people as possible to become more outgoing and to build communication skills.

Become proficient in as many areas as possible, such as music, crafts, sports, and other activities. Developing a speciality or a focus may increase your chances in landing a job.