Activity Coordinator Job Description
An Activity Coordinator develops and plans activities, outings and events. They may work in various settings, such as hotels, nursing homes, colleges or camps. They are responsible for developing programs, staffing the events and overseeing the implementation of activities.
Activity Coordinators generally report to an activity director or community manager. They may oversee volunteers or other staff during events. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted a job growth of 10 percent through 2024 for the category Recreation Workers, which Activity Coordinators fall under. This will add about 38,900 jobs to this growing job sector.
Activity Coordinator Duties and Responsibilities
The type of organization Activity Coordinators work for will largely dictate the types of responsibilities they have. There are, however, several primary tasks common to all Activity Coordinators. A review of current job listings identified the following core responsibilities.
Activity Coordinators spend the majority of their time working on programming activities, events and outings. At some workplaces this will require several programs a week to be created, planned, organized and implemented, while in other workplaces several programs a day are required. Activity Coordinators will work with the activity director to ensure all the required staff and materials are available for all activities, a room or space is reserved for the event and any promotional materials are developed and distributed in advance of the programs. An Activity Coordinator may be responsible for all programs at their place of work or they may work with other coordinators in larger facilities or organizations.
Oversee Support Staff
Activity Coordinators often assist with overseeing the support staff and volunteers working activities and events. They may help train the staff, create teams or groups to work certain events or programs and supervise them during the actual event to ensure they follow all directions and protocols. Some Activity Coordinators may also assist in the hiring process.
Manage Maintenance and Supplies
Another responsibility often delegated to Activity Coordinators, is that of maintaining and ordering supplies. This may involve ordering materials and supplies as needed, conducting inventory duties, performing shipping and receiving tasks and having equipment and rooms cleaned and serviced when necessary. The size of an organization will determine how much responsibility the Activity Coordinator takes on in this area.
Activity Coordinator Skills
Activity Coordinators should have a passion for working with and assisting elderly persons as well as strong organizational skills. Positive attitudes and an enthusiasm for the job are important when working with seniors. They must have excellent communication skills and the ability to exercise judgment. In addition to these traits, employers look for applicants with the following skillsets.
Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Activity Coordinators with these core skills. If you want to work as an Activity Coordinator, focus on the following.
- Proficient computer skills
- Knowledge of event planning practices and techniques
- Public speaking experience
- Knowledge of marketing and promotional practices
- Physically able to perform duties such as standing for long periods, squatting, bending and lifting heavy objects
Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your Activity Coordinator toolbox and broaden your career options.
- Valid driver’s license
- CPR licensed and first aid training
- Certification as an Activities Professional by a recognized accrediting organization
Activity Coordinator Resources
There are some helpful and informational resources available on the Web for those interested in becoming an Activity Coordinator. We scoured the internet and found these links full of learning opportunities and the latest industry news.
On the Web
Activity Connection – This website offers online resources for professionals working with the elderly. It provides ideas for programs, crafts and sensory stimulation with seniors. There is also a newsletter section that provides ideas for articles and topics to include in a monthly newsletter, as this job often falls to Activity Coordinators.
Activity Directors Network – A website full of links to resources and references for Activity Coordinators working with elderly populations. From fun activities to health and medical advice for seniors, this site is full of useful information.
Not Just Bingo – A site dedicated to providing Activity Professionals with useful articles, how-to posts, and other information on games and activities that support the physical and mental well-being of senior citizens.
@ADNetwork – This feed is maintained by ActivityDirectors.com and provides information on training opportunities, job openings, and other industry-related information and news.
@nccaporg – This relatively new Twitter feed is maintained by the National Certification Council of Activity Professionals (NCCAP) and provides information on upcoming symposiums and events as well as industry news.
Activity Coordinator Books
Best of Play It! – This book is a wonderful resource for Activity Coordinators who work with youth. Full of inventive games for both indoor and outdoor fun, it is sure to come in handy when planning activities for children.
Caregiver Activity Lesson Plans – This book is offered by the National Association for Activity Professionals (NAAP) and includes detailed lesson plans that can be used in nearly any geriatric setting to help motivate and entertain elderly patients.
National Association for Activity Professionals – The NAAP was formed in 1982 to represent activity professionals working mainly in geriatric settings. They promote professional development and personal growth by providing conferences, education programs and resources to their members.
National Certification Council for Activity Professionals – Established in 1986, NCCAP is an organization dedicated to certifying activity professionals and establishing standards and criteria to promote excellent care for senior populations.
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