Is becoming a recreation worker right for me?
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How to become a Recreation Worker
Becoming a recreation worker typically involves obtaining a high school diploma or equivalent and completing some form of post-secondary education or training. Here are the steps you can take to become a recreation worker:
- Obtain a high school diploma or equivalent: Most recreation worker positions require at least a high school diploma or equivalent.
- Pursue post-secondary education or training: Many recreation worker positions require some form of post-secondary education or training, such as an Associate or Bachelor's Degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies, Exercise Physiology, or a related field. Some positions may accept a certificate or diploma from a vocational or technical school.
- Gain experience: Many recreation worker positions require some level of experience, such as volunteering or working in a related field, such as coaching, camp counseling, or youth programming.
- Obtain relevant certifications: Some recreation worker positions require specific certifications, such as first aid or lifeguard certification, or certifications in specific activities, such as yoga or rock climbing.
- Apply for jobs: Once you have the necessary education, training, and experience, you can apply for recreation worker positions through job boards, community organizations, or government agencies. Networking with professionals in the field and attending job fairs may also be helpful.
- Continue professional development: To advance in the field and stay current with industry trends and practices, recreation workers may pursue continuing education, attend conferences or workshops, or join professional associations.
There are several certifications available for recreation workers, depending on the specific field in which they work. Here are a few examples:
- Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP): This certification is offered by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and is designed for professionals who work in parks and recreation departments at the local, state, or national level. CPRP certification requires passing an exam that covers topics such as programming, administration, and operations.
- Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS): This certification is offered by the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) and is designed for professionals who work in therapeutic recreation settings. CTRS certification requires a bachelor's degree or higher in therapeutic recreation or a related field, completion of a supervised internship, and passing an exam.
- Certified Youth Sports Administrator (CYSA): This certification is offered by the National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS) and is designed for professionals who work in youth sports organizations. CYSA certification requires completion of an online course and passing an exam that covers topics such as risk management, program development, and volunteer management.