Recreation Programmer  What They Do

Just the Facts


Insider Info

dotA recreation programmer is the person who creates leisure programs for others. These programs range from basketball leagues to painting classes and everything in between.

Recreation programmers work at sports and recreation centers, YMCAs, private fitness clubs, nonprofit organizations and large corporations.

As organizers and leaders of recreation programs, their job duties vary depending on where they live and for whom they work. Yet the common thread among all of these workers is that they help people pursue their interests, be it in arts and crafts, sports or other leisure activities.

dotIt might surprise you that this is essentially an office job. Programmers spend most of their day on the phone or in front of a computer writing reports, proposals or budgets.

They are closely connected to the community and are often involved in other community activities.

dotWorking conditions can vary. For example, a recreation programmer at a community YMCA has a different work setting than someone who organizes activities for children at a summer camp. Despite such variations, most full-time jobs have a standard 40-hour week.

dotRecreation programmers say it is important to have people skills. You will spend a lot of time talking to people and getting feedback so you can run the best program you can.

You must also have a broad knowledge of all sports and leisure activities. You don't have to be a jock, but you must enjoy sports and recreation.

At a Glance

Plan and organize sports and leisure activities

  • The trend toward healthy living means more work for recreation programmers
  • This is essentially an office job
  • A degree or college diploma in recreation studies or physical education is recommended