Recreation Specialist Job Description [Updated for 2024]

recreation specialist job description

In the age of increased focus on wellness and leisure, the importance of recreation specialists has never been more apparent.

Society progresses, and with each stride, the demand for creative minds who can plan, enhance, and secure our recreational systems intensifies.

But let’s delve deeper: What’s truly expected from a recreation specialist?

Whether you are:

  • A job seeker trying to understand the core of this role,
  • A hiring manager outlining the perfect candidate,
  • Or simply curious about the nuances of recreational planning and management,

You’re in the right place.

Today, we present a customizable recreation specialist job description template, designed for straightforward posting on job boards or career sites.

Let’s dive right in.

Recreation Specialist Duties and Responsibilities

Recreation Specialists are primarily involved in developing, organizing, and facilitating recreational activities for various groups of individuals.

This role can range from managing sporting events to designing therapeutic activities for disabled individuals.

The following are key duties and responsibilities of a Recreation Specialist:

  • Assess the recreational needs and interests of the target group
  • Plan, develop, and coordinate a variety of recreational activities, sports events, games, and field trips
  • Conduct outreach programs to promote awareness of available recreational services
  • Instruct participants in the rules and methods of playing indoor and outdoor games
  • Ensure safety and security measures are in place during recreational activities
  • Monitor and maintain recreational facilities and equipment to ensure they are in good condition
  • Manage budgets for recreational programs and events
  • Document participant progress and behavior
  • Collaborate with other professionals such as therapists, social workers, and teachers to meet the diverse needs of participants
  • Assist in addressing any behavioral or social issues among participants during activities


Recreation Specialist Job Description Template

Job Brief

We are seeking an energetic and dedicated Recreation Specialist to design, implement and supervise a variety of recreational programs and activities.

The Recreation Specialist will be responsible for coordinating events, ensuring the safety and enjoyment of participants, and facilitating community involvement.

Our ideal candidate has a creative spirit, a passion for physical fitness and recreation, and a strong desire to promote health and wellbeing within the community.

Ultimately, the role of the Recreation Specialist is to provide enjoyable, accessible, and high-quality recreational experiences for all participants.



  • Plan, organize and direct recreational programs and activities
  • Assess the needs and interests of the community to develop relevant programs
  • Ensure safety guidelines are adhered to during all activities
  • Coordinate the use of facilities for programs
  • Promote and publicize recreational activities
  • Train and supervise staff and volunteers
  • Prepare and manage budgets for recreational programs
  • Keep records of program attendance and equipment use
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of programs and suggest improvements



  • Proven work experience as a Recreation Specialist or similar role
  • Experience in planning and coordinating recreational programs
  • Excellent communication and leadership skills
  • Knowledge of safety regulations and emergency procedures
  • Ability to work flexible hours, including evenings, weekends, and holidays
  • First Aid and CPR certification
  • BSc degree in Recreation, Leisure Studies or relevant field



  • 401(k)
  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Retirement plan
  • Paid time off
  • Professional development opportunities


Additional Information

  • Job Title: Recreation Specialist
  • Work Environment: Most work will be performed in an outdoor or physical activity setting. Some administrative work may be done in an office environment.
  • Reporting Structure: Reports to the Director of Parks and Recreation.
  • Salary: Salary is based upon candidate experience and qualifications, as well as market and business considerations.
  • Pay Range: $35,000 minimum to $65,000 maximum
  • Location: [City, State] (specify the location or indicate if remote)
  • Employment Type: Full-time
  • Equal Opportunity Statement: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
  • Application Instructions: Please submit your resume and a cover letter outlining your qualifications and experience to [email address or application portal].


What Does a Recreation Specialist Do?

Recreation Specialists typically work in parks, recreational facilities, community centers, or schools, ensuring that leisure activities are safe, enjoyable, and beneficial to the participants.

They plan, organize, and conduct recreational activities such as sports, games, arts and crafts, music, drama, and fitness programs.

These activities are designed to cater to people of different age groups and interests, ranging from kids to the elderly.

Recreation Specialists often work with diverse populations, including those with disabilities, and create adaptable programs to fit their needs.

They work closely with other professionals, such as therapists, to ensure that programs are not only enjoyable but also contribute to participants’ physical and mental well-being.

They are responsible for inspecting and maintaining the equipment and facilities, ensuring that they are safe and in proper working condition.

They may also manage budgets for programs, organize special events, and supervise volunteers or junior staff.

Recreation Specialists are expected to have a comprehensive understanding of emergency procedures and are often trained in first aid and CPR.

They also need to have excellent communication and interpersonal skills to interact effectively with participants, their families, and community members.


Recreation Specialist Qualifications and Skills

A proficient Recreation Specialist should have the skills and qualifications that align with your job description, such as:

  • Planning and coordinating skills for organizing recreational programs and activities that cater to a variety of age groups and interests.
  • Excellent communication skills to effectively convey instructions, rules, and safety guidelines during recreational activities.
  • Strong interpersonal skills to establish rapport with participants, fostering a welcoming and engaging environment.
  • Leadership skills to supervise and guide participants, volunteers, and other staff involved in the programs.
  • Physical fitness and agility to participate in, demonstrate, or oversee various recreational activities such as sports, games, arts and crafts, etc.
  • Problem-solving skills to promptly address and resolve any issues or concerns that may arise during the course of programs or activities.
  • Flexibility and adaptability to cater to varying needs, preferences, and schedules of participants.
  • Knowledge of safety procedures and basic first aid to ensure the wellbeing of all participants.


Recreation Specialist Experience Requirements

Recreation specialists typically require a bachelor’s degree in parks and recreation or a related field.

However, prior experience can sometimes substitute for formal education.

Entry-level candidates can gain experience through internships or part-time roles in recreational programs or facilities.

Candidates with 1 to 2 years of experience may have worked in roles such as a recreation assistant or leader, providing direct support in recreation programs.

This experience can include planning and implementing recreational activities or events, overseeing participants, and coordinating with other staff or volunteers.

Recreation specialists with more than 3 years of experience often have developed skills in program planning, team management, and budgeting.

They may have gained this experience in roles such as a recreation coordinator or supervisor.

Those with over 5 years of experience are often suited for managerial or directorial positions within recreational departments or organizations.

This level of experience often includes a track record of successful program development, staff supervision, budget management, and community engagement.


Recreation Specialist Education and Training Requirements

Recreation Specialists typically require a bachelor’s degree in parks and recreation management, leisure studies, or a related field.

The coursework in these programs provides a foundation in areas such as physical education, public administration, and social sciences.

Some programs may also offer concentrations in specific areas such as therapeutic recreation, outdoor recreation, or commercial recreation.

Certification is not always required, but it can enhance job prospects.

The National Recreation and Park Association provides the Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) certification, which requires a degree and experience in the field, as well as passing an exam.

Recreation Specialists should also have First Aid and CPR certifications, as they are often responsible for overseeing the safety of participants in various activities.

Work experience, often gained through internships, is also important.

Many employers prefer to hire Recreation Specialists who have experience planning and leading recreational activities.

Continuing education is essential for Recreation Specialists to stay updated with the latest trends in the field.

They often attend workshops, conferences, and training programs to enhance their skills and knowledge.

In some cases, a master’s degree in a related field could be beneficial, especially for those who aspire to senior management roles in recreation.


Recreation Specialist Salary Expectations

A Recreation Specialist earns an average salary of $42,769 (USD) per year.

The actual earnings may fluctuate depending on the individual’s level of experience, specific location, and the organization for which they work.


Recreation Specialist Job Description FAQs

What qualifications does a Recreation Specialist need?

Recreation Specialists typically require a bachelor’s degree in recreation management, leisure studies, or a related field.

Some employers may also require certification from organizations such as the National Recreation and Park Association.

Experience in planning and coordinating recreational programs is also necessary.


What are the daily duties of a Recreation Specialist?

A Recreation Specialist is responsible for planning, coordinating, and supervising various recreational programs and activities.

They may also be involved in promoting these programs, ensuring safety regulations are followed, maintaining recreational facilities, and evaluating the effectiveness of the programs.

They often interact with participants, answering any queries they might have about the activities.


What skills are important for a Recreation Specialist?

Effective communication and interpersonal skills are essential for a Recreation Specialist as they constantly interact with program participants.

Organizational and planning skills are also crucial for successfully coordinating recreational programs.

Additionally, they should have a keen interest in sports and recreational activities and be able to motivate and engage participants.


What qualities make a good Recreation Specialist?

A good Recreation Specialist is creative, enthusiastic, and has a passion for recreational activities.

They are patient, especially when working with children or individuals with special needs.

They are also sensitive to the needs of diverse groups and can adapt activities accordingly.

A good Recreation Specialist also has excellent problem-solving skills to handle any issues that may arise during the implementation of recreational programs.


What should you look for in a Recreation Specialist resume?

A Recreation Specialist resume should highlight relevant education, certifications, and work experience.

Look for experience in planning and coordinating recreational programs or events, as well as any specialized experience with specific populations, such as seniors or people with disabilities.

Finally, look for skills such as communication, leadership, and creativity, which are all essential in this role.



And there you have it.

Today, we’ve unraveled the mystery of what it truly means to be a recreation specialist.

And guess what?

It’s not just about playing games.

It’s about creating memorable experiences, one activity at a time.

With our go-to recreation specialist job description template and real-world examples, you’re all set to make your move.

But why stop there?

Dig deeper with our job description generator. It’s your next step to crafting impeccable listings or perfecting your resume.


Every activity is a piece of the larger experience.

Let’s create those unforgettable moments. Together.

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