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Program Director Coordinator

Education and Training: On job training and bachelor degree
Average Salary: $21,960
Job Outlook: Very good

Program director coordinators are also known as camp counselors, recreation supervisors, and camp directors in the United States. They are employed in recreation parks or camps where program director coordinators are responsible for supervising many different kinds of activities.

For example, those working as recreation workers (in nursing homes or old age homes) lead activities like arts and crafts, sports, and games. Some businesses also employ recreation workers to conduct leisure activities in offices or at team outings.

Camp counselors supervise a multitude of outdoor activities in recreation or day camps like hiking, camping, swimming, and outdoor sports. They make sure children follow instructions and that safety measures are in place. Some program director coordinators may be in charge of only one activity such as swimming, crafts, or music.

Program director coordinators may be employed in numerous industries. They are needed on board cruise ships, at nature or summer camps, playgrounds, nursing homes, old age homes, and even prisons.

Education and Training Requirements

Education and training requirements for program director coordinators vary widely depending on the industry they are employed in. Most only require experience and professional competency in a particular activity such as swimming, for example.

In many cases, program director coordinators are young adults who enjoy camping though it is not surprising to see people with bachelor’s degrees wanting to join this profession. A lot of camp counselors and recreation workers have liberal arts degrees. More recently, colleges have also started offering associate degrees and certificate programs in leisure studies and recreation.

Businesses looking to hire program director coordinators often hire those with degrees in business administration or public administration.

Accredited programs in leisure studies or recreation can greatly increase your chances of employment in this industry. Specialized training in arts, music, or dance can be a huge plus point for becoming an activity leader in a camp.

Most program director coordinators learn on the job and later take a certification exam conducted by the National Recreation and Park Association.

Getting the Job

To become a program director coordinator, you can start in your teenage years by contacting supervisors at camps you have attended in childhood. You will most likely start off by doing administrative tasks and spending time watching senior camp supervisors to see how they handle camp activities.

Those with a bachelor’s degree in recreation or leisure studies can become program director coordinators by finding job leads online or offline.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook, and Career Development

Employment opportunities for program director coordinators are expected to grow 15% by 2018 as people start spending more money on recreation. Businesses will also employ recreation workers to keep employee morale high and increase productivity. The number of retiring baby boomers will increase in the coming years resulting in an increase in the demand for recreation services due to the high disposable income of this group.

Those looking to volunteer will have a better chance of getting jobs. Since this industry has limited opportunities, there will be a lot of competition for jobs, with the best ones going to people with experience and the right credentials.

Working Conditions and Environment

Work conditions vary depending on the industry a program director coordinator is employed in. As a program director coordinator, you will spend most of your working time indoors in an office as you will be busy planning programs, giving directions, and executing planned activities.

About 40% program director coordinators in the United States work part time during summer months, during which their working hours may be irregular and may also include weekend or night work. Others typically work 40 hours a week.

Salary and Benefits

As of May 2008, the median annual wages of program director coordinators were $21,960. Those employed with businesses or large recreation parks may earn more.

Full time program director coordinators receive typical work related benefits like health insurance, sick leave, bonuses, etc. Those employed part time may or may not receive such benefits.

Where to Go for More Information

American Camp Association
5000 State Rd., 67 N
Martinsville, IN 46151
(800) 428-2267

National Recreation and Park Association
22377 Belmont Ridge Rd.
Ashburn, VA 20148
(800) 626-6772

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