5 Great Jobs with a Degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies

Key Takeaways:

  • Recreation and leisure studies degree opens doors to jobs like Park Ranger, Fitness Center Manager, Coach, Sports Information Director, and Amusement Park Manager.
  • Jobs in this field involve outdoor activities, organizing healthy lifestyles, coaching athletes, managing sports information, and overseeing amusement park operations.
  • While not the highest-paying, these roles offer fulfilling experiences through interaction, physical activity, and enhancing others’ lives.

A degree in recreation and leisure studies is perfect for people who love the outdoors, being active and working with others as this major prepares you for a variety of great jobs. Maybe you will even do something significant like James Naismith did while working for the YMCA: invent basketball. Of course, simply bringing smiles to the faces of those you work with and enhancing their lives is plenty rewarding.

Top Recreation Degree Jobs

Park Ranger

The outdoors need looking after, and these individuals are the fortunate ones who get to do that on a full-time basis. They should be energetic as miles of land are usually traversed and tens to hundreds of people are assisted on a daily basis. Of course, that is exactly what those who apply for jobs such as this one want. Being knowledgeable about animals, how they interact with each other and people and educating visitors on what to do when around them is part of the job as well.

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Related: Do Park Rangers Need a College Degree?

Fitness Center Manager

People who like to organize and help others become and continue to be as healthy as possible would enjoy following up their recreation and leisure studies degree with becoming a fitness center manager. These individuals do need to be well versed in managing the finances of an organization and seeing the big picture. Knowing who to hire, who to retain and who to let go and ensuring that all of the equipment being used is safe and efficient are important aspects of this job too.


Many who attain recreation and leisure studies degrees head into coaching. Although plenty of youth coaching positions are available throughout the country, a number of jobs leading young and older adults are being filled on a daily basis as well. Of course, much of your job would be spent on the practice field and in the gym as you help athletes get as close to their potential as possible. You would also be doing administrative things on a regular basis such as finishing paperwork, meeting with a variety of people and even talking to members of the media.

Sports Information Director

Those securing this type of position wear a number of hats. At times, SIDs write press release, complete media guides, communicate with members of the media, arrange interviews for their coaches and athletes and compile the official statistics of many of the games that they work at. Some will travel with teams throughout their seasons while others will only make sporadic trips, generally when the expected media interest warrants it. People looking to get into this line of work are encouraged to also take journalism or public relations classes and gain first-hand experience in their school’s sports information office if possible.

Amusement Park Manager

Another option for people with a recreation and leisure studies degree is working at a theme park. Like fitness center managers, these individuals need to balance having a successful business from a financial standpoint with ensuring that the amusement park is kept safe. Overseeing marketing efforts will likely take up a significant proportion of your time as amusement parks tend to market on a wider scale than most other types of businesses. Setting entrance and other prices and ensuring lines are kept as short as possible are possible duties as well.

Although these may not be the highest paying jobs out there, people who look to take one of these positions value the experience just as much as they do the bottom line of their paychecks. Simply put, people who put their recreation and leisure studies degree to work will usually not be bored as is oftentimes the case for those in other lines of work.

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