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Career profile Recreation Worker

Also known as Activities Assistant, Activities Director, Activity Aide, Activity Assistant, Activity Coordinator, Activity Director, Recreation Assistant, Recreation Coordinator, Recreation Supervisor

Recreation Worker

Also known as Activities Assistant, Activities Director, Activity Aide

Interests Profile
  • Social
  • Enterprising
  • Artistic
Pay Range
$19,510 - $46,510 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Active Listening
  • Speaking
  • Social Perceptiveness
Knowledge Areas
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Education and Training
Core tasks
  • Enforce rules and regulations of recreational facilities to maintain discipline and ensure safety.
  • Assess the needs and interests of individuals and groups and plan activities accordingly, given the available equipment or facilities.
  • Organize, lead, and promote interest in recreational activities, such as arts, crafts, sports, games, camping, and hobbies.
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What does a Recreation Worker do?

Recreation Workers conduct recreation activities with groups in public, private, or volunteer agencies or recreation facilities.

In addition, Recreation Workers organize and promote activities, such as arts and crafts, sports, games, music, dramatics, social recreation, camping, and hobbies, taking into account the needs and interests of individual members.

What kind of tasks does a Recreation Worker perform regularly?

Recreation Workers are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Enforce rules and regulations of recreational facilities to maintain discipline and ensure safety.
  • Assess the needs and interests of individuals and groups and plan activities accordingly, given the available equipment or facilities.
  • Organize, lead, and promote interest in recreational activities, such as arts, crafts, sports, games, camping, and hobbies.
  • Manage the daily operations of recreational facilities.
  • Administer first aid according to prescribed procedures and notify emergency medical personnel when necessary.
  • Complete and maintain time and attendance forms and inventory lists.
  • Explain principles, techniques, and safety procedures to participants in recreational activities and demonstrate use of materials and equipment.
  • Direct special activities or events, such as aquatics, gymnastics, or performing arts.
  • Supervise and coordinate the work activities of personnel, such as training staff members and assigning work duties.
  • Evaluate recreation areas, facilities, and services to determine if they are producing desired results.
  • Greet new arrivals to activities, introducing them to other participants, explaining facility rules, and encouraging participation.
  • Document individuals' progress toward meeting their treatment goals.
  • Confer with management to discuss and resolve participant complaints.
  • Meet with staff to discuss rules, regulations, and work-related problems.
  • Oversee the purchase, planning, design, construction, and upkeep of recreation facilities and areas.
  • Encourage participants to develop their own activities and leadership skills through group discussions.
  • Meet and collaborate with agency personnel, community organizations, and other professional personnel to plan balanced recreational programs for participants.
  • Provide for entertainment and set up related decorations and equipment.

The above responsibilities are specific to Recreation Workers. More generally, Recreation Workers are involved in several broader types of activities:

Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Thinking Creatively
Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Scheduling Work and Activities
Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

What is a Recreation Worker salary?

The median salary for a Recreation Worker is $28,440, and the average salary is $30,960. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Recreation Worker salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Recreation Workers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Recreation Workers earn less than $19,510 per year, 25% earn less than $23,420, 75% earn less than $35,620, and 90% earn less than $46,510.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Recreation Workers is expected to change by 16.3%, and there should be roughly 64,600 open positions for Recreation Workers every year.

Median annual salary
$28,440
Typical salary range
$19,510 - $46,510
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
16.3%

What personality traits are common among Recreation Workers?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Recreation Worker are usually higher in their Social, Enterprising, and Artistic interests.

Recreation Workers typically have very strong Social interests. Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Also, Recreation Workers typically have strong Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Lastly, Recreation Workers typically have moderate Artistic interests. Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Recreation Worker tend to value Relationships, Independence, and Achievement.

Most importantly, Recreation Workers very strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Second, Recreation Workers strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Lastly, Recreation Workers moderately value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Recreation Workers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as self-control, cooperation, and integrity.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Recreation Workers, ranked by importance:

Self-Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

What education and training do Recreation Workers need?

Many Recreation Workers will have a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Recreation Workers usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Educational degrees among Recreation Workers

  • 3.9% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 24.7% completed high school or secondary school
  • 25.6% completed some college coursework
  • 9.7% earned a Associate's degree
  • 27.6% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 7.3% earned a Master's degree
  • 1.2% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Recreation Workers

Recreation Workers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as public safety and security, customer and personal service, or education and training knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Recreation Workers might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Law and Government
Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Administrative
Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.

Important Abilities needed by Recreation Workers

Recreation Workers must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Recreation Workers need abilities such as oral comprehension, oral expression, and speech clarity in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Recreation Workers, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Speech Clarity
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Critical Skills needed by Recreation Workers

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Recreation Workers frequently use skills like active listening, speaking, and social perceptiveness to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Recreation Workers, ranked by their relative importance.

Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Social Perceptiveness
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Coordination
Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Service Orientation
Actively looking for ways to help people.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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