Recreation Workers

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About the Job

Conduct recreation activities with groups in public, private, or volunteer agencies or recreation facilities. Organize and promote activities, such as arts and crafts, sports, games, music, dramatics, social recreation, camping, and hobbies, taking into account the needs and interests of individual members.

It is also Called

  • Youth Worker
  • Therapeutic Recreation Specialist
  • Therapeutic Recreation Leader
  • Therapeutic Recreation Director
  • Therapeutic Recreation Assistant
  • Therapeutic Activities Services Worker
  • Teen Counselor
  • Summer Counselor
  • Summer Camp Counselor
  • Special Events Coordinator
View All

What They Do

  • Take residents on community outings.
  • Evaluate staff performance, recording evaluations on appropriate forms.
  • Develop treatment goals for individuals based on their assessments.
  • Conduct individual in-room visits with residents.
  • Schedule maintenance and use of facilities.
  • Serve as liaison between park or recreation administrators and activity instructors.
  • Provide for entertainment and set up related decorations and equipment.
  • Meet and collaborate with agency personnel, community organizations, and other professional personnel to plan balanced recreational programs for participants.
  • Encourage participants to develop their own activities and leadership skills through group discussions.
  • Oversee the purchase, planning, design, construction, and upkeep of recreation facilities and areas.


People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: SEA.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Social interests, but also prefer Enterprising and Artistic environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Relationships, but also value Independence and Achievement in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.


In 2017, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $27,480 with most people making between $17,290 and $41,950


avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 14,640 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 16,010 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 137 openings due to growth and about 273 replacement openings for approximately 410 total annual openings.

Pennsylvania Department of Education