A Closer Look at a Career as a...

A Closer Look at a Career as a Recreation Worker

by Rochelle C. Pangilinan
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

If you loved going to recreational facilities like camps or parks this past summer, then chances are, you’ve encountered a recreation worker. You’ve probably even asked one of them to take a picture of you and your friends to capture happy moments.

Recreation Workers – What You Need to Know

The recreation workers’ main task is to provide customers like you with a seamless customer experience in the facility you’ve gone to—whether it is space for sports, fitness, or any leisure activities.  They always work closely with individuals or families to ensure a safe recreational space. Most of the time, recreation workers are also asked to work with staff members or supervisors to plan and schedule activities tailored to the customers, as well as assist in supervising those activities. For example, at a co-ed soccer camp, they are responsible for facilitating enjoyable activities that caters to both boys and girls.

No matter what the facility they are employed at, recreation workers are often tasked to do a hands-on approach to activities, and it’s a must that they be passionate about physical fitness and have an outgoing nature.


According to PayScale.com, a recreation worker can earn between $30,059 up to $65,615 per year with potential for overtime pay. Recreation workers can potentially be a manager or director where they will have the final decisions on every item involving the facility, not just the building itself, but also roads, streetlights, trees, playgrounds, plantings, and sports spaces.


If you feel a recreation worker is the career for you, the first step is to earn a high school diploma or the equivalent and get on-the-job training. However, earning an associate’s degree or higher in a field related to physical education can be a big plus. Other degrees to look into are social science, social work, education, and exercise science. A part-time or volunteer experience at recreational facilities can help you gain the practical experience you need.

To succeed in this field, you have to have finely tuned communication skills as you are often working with a big group of individuals, at times of different cultural backgrounds and personalities. You should be able to provide clear instructions to participants and motivate them as necessary by taking on an effective interpersonal communication style and implementing exceptional relationship-building tactics.

While planning and organizational skills are a must too, you should also be able to adapt flexibility when the situation calls for it. For example, if you plan outdoor activities and it begins to rain, there must be a contingency plan so participants can still have a worthwhile time.

Pros and Cons

A career in the recreational industry can be physically demanding, but if you’re a health & fitness buff, this is something you’ll welcome as it’s one job that always keeps you on your toes and will motivate you to work harder on your utmost health and physical well-being. Lead by example is truly important in this job, and you will reap the rewards if you stay true to that adage.

Being a recreation worker can be challenging though when you would have to deal with participants who are not motivated to participate at all. During this time, you’ll need a lot of patience and leadership techniques to get them going.





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