Should Your Consider A Career In Parks And Recreation?

When most people think of parks and recreation, they think of enjoying the outdoors, as well as other recreational experiences. There are some individuals, though, who also dream of working in this type of environment. Those who are considering a career in parks and recreation can benefit from learning about what types of jobs that are available, how to qualify for those jobs, and what the benefits are. Obtaining this information will help you decide if this is the right field for you.

What Jobs Are Available?

One of the first questions you may have is what types of jobs are available. The answer to this question is often complex. There are a range of parks and recreation careers, including program managers, lecturers who educate individuals and groups of people, activities managers, aquatic directors, park services managers, naturalists, scientists, travel guides, and park rangers. The types of jobs that are available depend greatly on the area in which you wish to work. If you prefer the recreation side, you are more likely to find program management and administration jobs, while parks jobs typically involve work related to the outdoors, such as fish and game wardens, mountain guides and wildlife managers. Jobs in city parks are also quite different than those you may find in rural areas or even within state and national parks.

What Are The Benefits Of These Jobs?

Parks and recreation is often a central in cities and can even be found in rural areas of the country. Some individuals find the greatest benefit of these jobs is the ability to work outside or spend time working in an area they truly enjoy. Individuals interested in conservation and environmental science also seek careers in the field. Individuals working in parks and recreation typically want to benefit their community, as well as the environment. In general, the lower level jobs within parks and recreation are not high paying, but many do offer benefits, including insurance and paid time off. Higher-paying jobs are also available to the right candidates, especially those who possess an advanced degree such as a Master of Public Administration (MPA).

Education Requirements In Parks And Recreation

Earning an MPA is one of the best options if you wish to work in the management levels of the parks and recreation career paths. An MPA degree provides candidates with the education necessary to serve in the management levels of leisure-based services, creating policies, implementing programs and managing tourism, among other tasks. While having an MPA can help you advance more quickly in this career path, some jobs within the path require only a bachelor’s degree. Individuals who exhibit a love of nature and want to help others enjoy the outdoors or stay fit can benefit from evaluating the career paths within parks and recreation. From administrative positions to working outside in nature, parks and recreation careers provide a long list of benefits beyond those typically found in most jobs. Choosing a career path that embodies what you enjoy doing in life is the best way to find the career that fulfills all your needs.
This article was written by Social Media Outreach Coordinator Logan Harper on behalf of CAREEREALISM-Approved Partner, 2U — an education technology company that partners with institutions of higher education such as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill which provides an Masters in Public Administration, MPA@UNC.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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