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A Recreation Director oversees the recreational programs put on by public and private parks, sports facilities, community centers or other institutions. They plan, organize and direct the operations of sports and fitness programs, activities and services. This involves working on publicity and finances for the programs, and managing coaches and other individuals involved in running the activities.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of all recreation workers, including Recreation Directors, will grow 10 percent by 2024, faster than the national average for all occupations.
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Recreation Director Duties and Responsibilities
To accomplish their primary goal of designing and leading recreational and leisure activities, Recreation Directors perform many tasks. We analyzed several job listings to identify these core Recreation Director duties and responsibilities.
The Recreation Director assesses the recreation requirements of the community or organization, and plans activity program that meets those needs. They communicate with community members, and research various sport and recreation programs. They ensure that a variety of sport, recreation and cultural programs are planned and implemented, and over time evaluate the effectiveness of these programs and identify future needs.
Recreation Directors Implement recreation programs and ensure that they are being taken advantage of and are successful. They create and manage schedules for activities and facilities. They recruit, train and oversee staff and volunteers. Recreation Directors may supervise and lead some activities, as well.
Develop and Maintain Budget
Recreation Directors must prepare a recreation program budget and ensure that is adhered to. They prepare financial and program reports concerning programs, costs, participant numbers and equipment and facility use.
Recreation Directors promote the programs under their control through an active community relations campaign. They arrange for advertising of programs, as needed, and maintain constant community engagement.
Recreation Director Skills
Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Recreation Directors with these core skills. If you want to work as a Recreation Director, focus on the following.
- Experience with events coordination and planning
- Proficient with Microsoft Office applications including Word, Excel & Publisher
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
- Physical fitness
- Team and management skills
- Effective decision-making and negotiation skills
Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your Recreation Director toolbox and broaden your career options.
- Knowledge of emergency procedures, First Aid and CPR
- Knowledge of the management and operation of recreation facilities and equipment
- Understanding of coaching theory and practice
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We searched the Web to find the best industry resources to help you continue exploring a career as a Recreation Director. From thought leaders to industry groups, this list is packed with opportunities to learn, connect and engage.
On the Web
A helpful blog with job listings as well as useful programming resources for summer camps and recreation.
This wellwritten blog by a seasoned park professional covers statistics, stories and relevant research.
A directory of resources for Therapeutic Recreation, Recreation Therapy and Activity professionals.
Network with other professionals from this wellrespected group.
A group of over 4,000 members, all working in recreational therapy.
Awards a nationally recognized designation of Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) to qualified individuals, as well as other professional development resources.
News, resources and events for Recreation Directors and other camp professionals.
Offers certification (NCTRC) for professionals who provide recreational programming for individuals with disabilities.
Recreation Director Books
This text, written by over 30 experts in the field, provides a wealth of knowledge on the running of a successful recreation program.
An indepth guide to leading the complex programs Recreation Directors are responsible for.
An invaluable resource promotion, to a key aspect of a Recreation Director's job.