Parks and Recreation Manager

Depending on the type of park and recreation facility being managed, this professional may be required to create programs for the elderly, after school kids’ activities, wilderness education, summer camps or even religious affiliation events.

Parks and recreation managers may find the following education and training helpful in their careers:

  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant area of study, such as criminal justice
  • Master’s Degree in parks and recreation, criminal justice, leisure management, business administration or public administration
  • Previous experience working with parks and recreation is typically required for this management position

Many state and private facilities require that park and recreation managers be certified through the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). Continuing education is required to maintain certification.

Parks and Recreation Job Description

The role of the manager is greatly determined by the hiring organization and the target group utilizing the facilities. Some managers focus on events for children and educational programs. Others deal primarily with adult groups, from the elderly to corporate entities.

On any given day, a parks and recreation manager may be responsible for the following:

  • Creating programs specifically designed for a target audience
  • Hiring, firing and overseeing staff
  • Creating and maintaining a park budget
  • Interacting with the community to promote the park and events
  • Coordinating with other park managers concerning events and guests

Park and recreation managers may work for the state or local government, or for private industry. Corporate entities hire park and recreation managers to coordinate and oversee events for employees and their families at a specified location. Large nursing and residential care facilities employ park and recreation managers. State and local governments provide a number of opportunities to manage parks and recreational facilities with various themes from education to leisure to athletics.

Parks and Recreation Job Salary

With the growing number of children and elderly individuals, this field is expected to grow faster than normal compared to other professions. Parks and recreation managers will be in demand, predicts the Bureau of Labor Statistics, at least through 2016.

A salary study performed by Recreation Management in 2008 indicated that the average parks and recreation manager’s salary was around $61,000. The majority of the recreation management polled earned between $40,000 and $80,000 annually with most of them working between 45 and 50 hours per week.

About a third of parks and recreation managers work for the federal, state or local government, whose salaries are somewhat higher than those employed by private institutions and residential facilities.



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