A recreation officer needs:
- to enjoy outdoor activities
- to have good communication and negotiation skills
- to have good sport skills
- to have expertise in a specific area such as swimming or outdoor recreation
- to be able to motivate and supervise other people
- good organisational skills.
A recreation officer spends some time working in an office. They will also spend time working outdoors, including in different weather conditions. They usually spend a lot of time working with the public.
Recreation officers normally work 38 hours per week, but may need to work during the week-end and for extra hours when sporting events are being organised and run.
On average, recreation officers, classified under welfare, recreation and community arts workers, can expect to earn between $1 000 and $1 249 per week ($52 000 and $64 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience. As a recreation officer develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.
Recreation officers need to be proficient with a wide range of sporting equipment. They may also need to be proficient with specialised equipment for people with special needs. They will also need to have basic computer skills.
To become a recreation officer you usually need to complete a formal qualification in sport and recreation, leisure and health, or community activity programs.
The Certificate III and IV in Sport and Recreation, and Certificate IV in Leisure and Health are offered at TAFE Colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia.
You can also complete a traineeship. The community recreation officer or recreation coordinator traineeships usually take 18 to 24 months to complete.
You can also complete a degree majoring in exercise and health, sport, recreation and event management, population health, sports science, or a related field.
Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.
If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
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If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.