Recreation / Leisure / Parks

What to expect from a career in Recreation, Leisure and Parks programming

The recreation and leisure services industry is growing. Many people want to add physical activity into their lives in a fun and interesting way, while others are looking for unique adventure opportunities. Ontario college recreation, leisure and parks programs give you the knowledge and hands-on training you’ll need to apply your outgoing personality and love of physical activity into a career in this exciting industry.

If you can see yourself working outdoors or being the mastermind in creating and executing rewarding recreation, leisure and parks programs, here’s what you need to know.

Recreation, Leisure and Parks Courses

Recreation, leisure and parks programs at Ontario colleges usually fall into of the following categories:

  • Outdoor Adventure. Courses will prepare students to work outdoors in every season. Depending on the program, you may learn to assist and guide others in rock climbing, cycling, canoeing, ice climbing, skiing and camping. You’ll also be prepared to deal with a variety of safety and survival situations.
  • Recreation and Leisure. Strong leadership and motivational skills will be emphasized to help students learn to execute sports and recreation programs. Courses include coaching, fitness and wellness, injury management, special events and more. Some programs may also include courses in therapeutic recreation.
  • Resort and Park Operations. In these programs, students learn basic skills related to operating a resort or park, as well as how to organize and run daily outdoor activities and sports. Emphasis will be placed on identifying wildlife and horticulture, as well as understanding the role and importance of ecosystems.

In some recreation, leisure and parks programs, students gain a variety of guide certifications, from Wilderness First Aid and Survival Skills to Ice Safety and GPS Navigation.

In all programs, students will learn to create relevant activity programs for people of all ages and abilities. Liability and risks are also topics that will be covered.

General Recreation, Leisure and Parks Program Requirements

Ontario college recreation, leisure and parks programs require an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent, including a grade 12 English credit. Specific science credits may be required for some programs. In addition, current CPR and Standard First Aid certificates are typically required, before the start of the program. Check program requirements carefully.

Recreation, Leisure and Parks Jobs and Salaries

Graduates of recreation, leisure and parks programs will find numerous opportunities with adventure travel companies, recreational facilities, government agencies, parks and resorts, outdoor education centres, therapeutic recreation agencies and more.

Job titles include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Program Coordinator
  • Wilderness Trip Leader
  • Recreation Programmer
  • Recreation and Events Coordinator
  • Park Manager

The average starting salary for recreation, leisure and parks program graduates is between $28,000 and $35,000 per year, with parks operations jobs at the higher end of this range.

Ontario Colleges Offering Recreation, Leisure and Parks Programs

Use the left-column navigation to refine your search by College, Program Availability, Program Start Date and more, or see the table below for a complete list of recreation, leisure and parks programs at Ontario colleges.

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