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2020 Recreation Administration Degree Guide

If you would like to work in a field that promotes exercise, leisure activities, and healthy living in a fun environment, consider majoring in Recreation Administration.

A career in Recreation Administration allows you to oversee the daily operations of recreational and leisure facilities, create programs, and take care of business administration tasks. To prepare for a career in this field, students take classes in topics such as business, finance, marketing, management, indoor and outdoor recreation and more.

Students have the ability to major in general Recreation Administration or can specialize in areas such as Golf Course Operation and Grounds Management.

Recreation Administration Degrees Remain Stable

#160 Most Popular Major
4.2k Degrees Awarded
0.6% Increase in Graduates

Recreation Administration was the 160th most popular major in the 2017-2018 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 4,172 degrees in this year alone. This represents small change only 0.6% from the prior year's total of 4,145 recreation admin degrees awarded.

Approximately 94 colleges in the U.S. offer a recreation administration degree of some kind. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of recreation admin programs later in this article.

Requirements for Getting a Degree in Recreation Administration

Since students that go into Recreation Administration are responsible for many aspects of the business, it is important to be organized. This will be helpful when you need to handle multiple tasks and projects at one time. Strong interpersonal and communication skills are also required as you design programs, organize schedules for others and speak with clients and others that use your facility. These skills will also help you better serve customers and ensure you are providing them with the services they want. Students who pursue a degree in Recreation Administration often have a background in business.

Recreation Administration majors typically work in jobs that are full time. However, due to seasons, a job may be busier during certain times of the year, having an effect on work hours.

Summer jobs or internships in the recreation field will give students hands-on experience. It was also provide them with a background in recreation, so they can decide if this is a field they would like to pursue a career in.

Getting Accepted Into a Recreation Administration Program

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required for most recreation admin degree programs and many students will need a minimum GPA and SAT/ACT score depending on the school. Once you obtain your degree, additional recreation admin certifications required to pursue a career in this field.

Recreation Administration Degree Types

There are various different levels of recreation admin degrees. You can spend many years getting as high as a research / scholarship based doctorate's in recreation administration to something that takes less time like a first year certificate. Depending on the recreation administration degree you choose, obtaining your diploma can take anwhere from 1 to 4+ years.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to recreation admin, with approximately 45.0% of workers getting one. See the the most common levels of education for recreation admin workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree 43.9%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 10.4%
Some College Courses 9.3%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate 9.1%
Post-Secondary Certificate 9.0%

About 63.4% of workers in careers related to recreation admin obtain at least bachelor's degree. The chart below shows what degree level those who work in recreation administration have obtained.


This of course varies depending on which recreation admin career you choose.

Career Opportunities for A Degree In Recreation Admin Graduate

Above Average Number of Jobs
$29.5k Average Starting Salary
9% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

A degree in Recreation Administration prepares graduates to pursue a job in a variety of locations. Graduates work for recreation centers, parks, cruise ships, gyms, and other facilities that provide recreation and leisure services to the general public. With the field growing at an average rate, students should have good opportunities finding jobs after graduation. Those with previous experience or who are willing to move will have a better chance of finding a well-paying job.

Solid Growth Projected for Recreation Admin Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your recreation admin degree? Recreation Administration careers are expected to grow 8.9% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to recreation administration.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
General and Operations Managers 2,468,300 9.1%
Managers 1,071,700 8.0%
Landscaping, Lawn Service, and Groundskeeping Supervisors 198,600 11.4%

How Much Money Do Recreation Admin Grads Make?

Recently graduated recreation administration students earned an average of $29,523 in 2017-2018. Earnings can range from as low as $21,300 to as high as $43,200. As you might expect, salaries for recreation admin graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


High Paying Careers for Recreation Admin Majors

Salaries for recreation administration graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers recreation admin grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
General and Operations Managers $123,880
Managers $115,590
Landscaping, Lawn Service, and Groundskeeping Supervisors $51,280

Getting Your Recreation Administration Degree

With over 247 different recreation admin degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased recreation admin school rankings to help you with this.

Recreation Administration is one of 4 different types of Parks, Recreation, Leisure, & Fitness Studies programs to choose from.

Majors Similar to Recreation Admin

Related Major Annual Graduates
Health & Physical Education 63,893
Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies 3,541
Other Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies 275
Outdoor Education 235

View All Recreation Admin Related Majors >


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