How to become a Recreation Officer

Recreation officers develop, support and coordinate sport and recreation programmes and services for the benefit of the community. Recreation officers may work at one of three levels: professional, technical or operative. • Professional officers work as planners, researchers, consultants, educators and administrators. • A technical officer's work may involve managing a leisure centre, community centre or sports complex. • Recreation officers work at the operative level as youth leaders and outdoor activity leaders. The three levels are not always clearly defined. The relevant responsibilities will vary considerably between different organisations and may overlap.

Personal requirements of a Recreation Officer

  • Enjoy outdoor activities
  • Good communication and negotiation skills
  • Good administration and organisational skills
  • Able to lead, motivate and supervise other people
  • Good sport skills and expertise in a specific area such as swimming or outdoor recreation

Education & Training for a Recreation Officer

To become a recreation officer you usually have to complete a VET qualification. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become a recreation officer through a traineeship. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. Entry to this occupation may be improved if you complete a degree in exercise and sports science, sport development, sport and recreation management, human movement and health studies, exercise science or physical activity studies. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English, mathematics, biology, chemistry or physics are usually required. A number of universities in Australia offer degrees in these areas. Universities have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.

Additional Information

A Provide First Aid Certificate is usually required.

Duties & Tasks of a Recreation Officer

Recreation officers:

  • initiate, organise and coordinate local sport and recreation events and services such as community functions, sporting competitions, hobby classes, school holiday programs and cultural activities
  • develop and administer recreation policy
  • plan and promote recreation activities and events
  • prepare and administer financial estimates, budgets and resource allocations
  • coordinate and arrange meetings and venues
  • recruit, train and supervise recreation leaders
  • liaise with parents, schools, local sporting organisations, church leaders, social workers, community groups and individuals about programs and facilities
  • write proposals, evaluations and correspondence.

Working conditions for a Recreation Officer

Most recreation officers have a high level of contact with the public.

Employment Opportunities for a Recreation Officer

Recreation officers manage and coordinate a variety of organisations, programs, events, services and facilities. They may be employed by government authorities, community organisations, schools, commercial organisations (such as health and fitness agencies), outdoor recreation organisations and sports associations. Leisure management is a growing area, and people with management or marketing qualifications are sought after.

Avg. weekly wage:


Future growth:

Very strong

Employment by state:

ACT ACT 2.8%

NSW NSW 35.1%

NT NT 2.1%

QLD QLD 19.7%

SA SA 8.3%

TAS TAS 3.8%

VIC VIC 17.3%

WA WA 10.8%

Hours worked:



Average unemployment

Gender split:

Male 22.2%

Female 77.8%

Education level:

Highest qualification is secondary school: 7.1%

Highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 17.3%

Highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 15.6%

Highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 41.3%

Highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 18.7%

Age brackets:

15-19 - 2%

20-24 - 7.4%

25-34 - 25.5%

35-44 - 30.3%

45-54 - 18.8%

55-59 - 10.2%

60-64 - 5.4%

65 and Over - 0.4%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

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