If you're the outgoing type with a passion for motivating people; if you're physically fit and have experience volunteering at your local park, recreation center, or playground, you might consider pursuing a career in recreation. Recreation workers fill a vital role in the U.S. economy. They work as camp counselors or camp directors, recreation leaders, or directors of recreation and parks. Although specific duties vary by job and work environment, recreation workers generally plan and organize fun activities--from performing arts and sports to camping or arts and crafts.
Depending on the specific job, educational requirements for recreation workers can vary. Whereas you may be able to find seasonal and part-time positions with just a high school diploma or GED, you might increase your hireability by pursuing an associate degree in recreation. While the curriculum may vary by school, an accredited associate degree in recreation generally includes coursework in the history, theory, and practice of park and recreation management, as well as recreational needs of special populations (e.g., the elderly or disabled). Hands-on practice in community organizing, supervision and administration help to round out the academic portion. Depending on your specialization, you might also study therapeutic recreation, outdoor recreation, camp management, or industrial or commercial recreation.
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