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Recreation and leisure activities play an important role in maintaining well being and quality of life. A knowledgeable workforce is needed to ensure leisure opportunities exist at state and national parks, entertainment venues, museums, hotels, convention halls, sports facilities, and community centers. Use the information below, gathered from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, to explore careers in recreation, park, and tourism studies.
Lodging managers ensure that guests on vacation or business travel have a pleasant experience with their hotel accommodations. They also ensure that the business is run efficiently and with high standards. Most lodging managers hold a bachelor’s degree and seek experience in the field through work experience or an internship.
Recreation workers design and lead activities to help people enjoy leisure activity. They are employed in a variety of settings including community centers, summer camps, parks, sports venues, and senior care facilities. Time may be spent indoors or outdoors depending on the work setting and responsibilities. Managerial and supervisory roles also exist within recreation settings. The level of education required varies by role within the organization.
Meeting, Convention, & Event Planners
Meeting, convention, and event planners coordinate plans for events such as fundraising galas, weddings, conferences & professional meetings, or large-scale sporting events. They arrange locations, schedules, vendors, and other details. They may work out of an office or onsite at a venue. They often travel to events and meeting sites. Most positions require a bachelor’s degree.
Recreational therapists provide recreation-based treatment programs for individuals with disabilities, injuries, or illnesses. They may work indoors or outdoors and in settings that may include hospitals, nursing homes, or park-like settings. A number of modalities may be used such as art, aquatics, horseback riding, and dance. Recreation Therapy requires a bachelor’s degree and certification.
Conservation Scientists & Foresters
Conservation scientists and foresters manage the land quality of forests, parks, ranges, and other natural resources. They may work for local, state, or federal government or on privately-owned land. They may also work for conservation advocacy organizations. A bachelor’s degree is typically needed to work in this field. Entry level positions are available with on-the-job training for forest and conservation workers.
Sports Officials & Sports Coaches
Individuals with an interest in recreation may want to work in sport-related job functions. There are opportunities to work as a sports official or sports coach. Sports officials preside over competitive athletic events to maintain the standards of play. Coaches manage the planning, training, and leadership of athletes. Officials and coaches often work long or irregular hours, depending on game schedules. The work may take place indoors or outdoors. Degree requirements may vary by location and level.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/, visited June 2018.
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Job Titles of Recent Graduates
- Account Manager
- Area Supervisor, Special Events
- Catering Sales Manager
- Events & Facilities Coordinator
- Guest Services Agent
- Hotel Attendant
- Marketing Events Coordinator
- Nature Interpreter
- Recreational Therapist
- Sales & Marketing Associate
- Suite & Sales Service Assistant
- Travel Assistant
- Venue Manager
Recent Companies Hiring
- Aimbridge Hospitality
- Ashfield Meetings & Events
- Cedar Point Amusement Park
- Chicago Bears
- Edelweiss Lodge & Resort
- Hilton Hotels
- Indianapolis Zoological Society
- National Park Service
- Northern Indiana Therapies
- Walt Disney World
- White Lodging Services