Sport, Fitness & Recreation
Recreation officers organise and lead sport, leisure and outdoor activities for individuals, groups and local communities.
What does a Recreation Officer do?
Recreation officers organise and lead sport, leisure and outdoor activities for individuals, groups and local communities. They may lead private trips to teach skills in activities such as climbing, kayaking and skiing, or organise recreational and leisure activities in leisure centres, community centres, or facilities such as aged care homes. Privately-employed recreation officers are also known as outdoor activities instructors.
As a recreation officer, you would:
- plan, organise and lead activities for individuals or groups
- explain the rules of activities
- demonstrate activities and instruct participants at a variety of skill levels
- explain safety procedures and enforce safety rules to prevent injury
- modify activities to suit the needs of specific groups, such as seniors
- administer basic first aid if needed
- organise and set up equipment
- make sure that all equipment and facilities are safe
- liaise with parents, schools, local sporting organisations, church leaders, and community groups
- plan and promote recreation activities and events
- check weather conditions before starting sessions.
Key skills and interests
To become a recreation officer, you would need:
- expertise in the activities you will be leading
- to enjoy outdoor activities
- good administration and organisational skills
- the ability to give clear instructions and explanations
- a calm and patient disposition
- the ability to inspire confidence and give encouragement
- a responsible attitude and strong health and safety awareness.
Working hours and conditions
As a recreation officer you would work long and irregular hours, including evenings, weekends and holidays. Part time work is often available. Depending on what your specialty is, the work may be seasonal.
You would mainly work outside and in all types of weather. The work may be very physically challenging. Appropriate safety equipment or clothing must be worn for each activity.
Recreation officers would also need a current provide First Aid Certificate, and a current driver's licence.
How to become an Recreation Officer?
Entry Level Education
Recreation officers would usually have gained at least a VET qualification in sport and recreation, leisure and health, outdoor recreation or facilities management. Some of these courses may give you access to induction training and possible job placement with the Department of Sport and Recreation in your state.
Your employment prospects may be improved if you have a degree in exercise and sports science, sport development, sport and recreation management, human movement studies, or exercise science. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English, mathematics, biology, chemistry or physical education would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university.
Employment of recreation workers is projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations.
As more emphasis is placed on the importance of exercise and physical activity, more recreation workers will be needed to work in local government recreation departments, fitness centres, and sports centres.
In addition, as the baby-boom generation grows older, there will be more demand for recreation workers to work with older clients in community organisations and in aged care and residential care facilities.