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Career and Education Opportunities for Recreation Coordinators in Columbia, Missouri

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for recreation coordinators in the Columbia, Missouri area. There are currently 6,680 jobs for recreation coordinators in Missouri and this is projected to grow by 1% to 6,730 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for recreation coordinators, which sees this job pool growing by about 14.7% over the next eight years. In general, recreation coordinators conduct recreation activities with groups in public, private, or volunteer agencies or recreation facilities.

Recreation coordinators earn approximately $9 per hour or $20,190 yearly on average in Missouri. Nationally they average about $10 hourly or $21,960 yearly. Incomes for recreation coordinators are not quite as good as in the overall category of Fitness and Recreation in Missouri, and not quite as good as the overall Fitness and Recreation category nationally.

There are thirteen schools of higher education in the Columbia area, including five within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree to start your career as a recreation coordinator. Recreation coordinators usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years training to become a recreation coordinator if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Recreation Coordinator

Recreation Coordinator video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, recreation coordinators conduct recreation activities with groups in public, private, or volunteer agencies or recreation facilities. They also organize and promote activities, such as arts and crafts, sports, and hobbies, taking into account the needs and interests of individual members.

Recreation coordinators enforce rules and regulations of recreational facilities to take care of discipline and insure safety. They also promote interest in recreational activities such as arts and hobbies. Equally important, recreation coordinators have to meet with staff to consider rules and work-related problems. They are often called upon to greet new arrivals, introducing them to other participants  and encouraging participation. They are expected to explain principles and safety procedures to participants in recreational activities, and demonstrate use of materials and equipment. Finally, recreation coordinators administer first aid in line with prescribed procedures, and notify emergency medical personnel when needed.

Every day, recreation coordinators are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for recreation coordinators to complete and take care of time and attendance forms and inventory lists. They are often called upon to ascertain and interpret group interests, evaluate equipment and facilities, and adapt efforts to meet participant needs. They also oversee the daily operations of recreational facilities. They are sometimes expected to direct special activities or events such as aquatics or performing arts. Somewhat less frequently, recreation coordinators are also expected to encourage participants to evolve their own efforts and leadership skills through group discussions.

And finally, they sometimes have to conduct individual in-room visits with residents.

Like many other jobs, recreation coordinators must be reliable and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Columbia include:

  • Fitness Instructor. Instruct or coach groups or individuals in exercise activities and the fundamentals of sports. Demonstrate techniques and methods of participation. Observe participants and inform them of corrective measures necessary to improve their skills. Those required to hold teaching degrees should be reported in the appropriate teaching category.
  • Residential Life Director. Coordinate activities for residents of boarding schools, college fraternities or sororities, college dormitories, or similar establishments. Order supplies and determine need for maintenance, repairs, and furnishings. May maintain household records and assign rooms. May refer residents to counseling resources if needed.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Recreation Coordinator Training

Columbia College - Columbia, MO

Columbia College, 1001 Rogers, Columbia, MO 65216. Columbia College is a large college located in Columbia, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,081 students and an admission rate of 53%. Columbia College has a bachelor's degree program in Sport and Fitness Administration/Management which graduated two students in 2008.

Westminster College - Fulton, MO

Westminster College, 501 Westminster Ave, Fulton, MO 65251-1299. Westminster College is a small college located in Fulton, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 992 students and an admission rate of 77%. Westminster College has a bachelor's degree program in Sport and Fitness Administration/Management.

Central Methodist University-College of Liberal Arts & Sciences - Fayette, MO

Central Methodist University-College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, 411 Central Methodist Square, Fayette, MO 65248-1198. Central Methodist University-College of Liberal Arts & Sciences is a small university located in Fayette, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,031 students and an admission rate of 66%. Central Methodist University-College of Liberal Arts & Sciences has 2 areas of study related to Recreation Coordinator. They are:

  • Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Parks, Recreation and Leisure Facilities Management, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

University of Missouri-Columbia - Columbia, MO

University of Missouri-Columbia, 105 Jesse Hall, Columbia, MO 65211. University of Missouri-Columbia is a large university located in Columbia, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,130 students and an admission rate of 85%. University of Missouri-Columbia has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies which graduated twenty-nine and four students respectively in 2008.

William Woods University - Fulton, MO

William Woods University, One University Avenue, Fulton, MO 65251-1098. William Woods University is a small university located in Fulton, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,287 students and an admission rate of 85%. William Woods University has a bachelor's degree program in Sport and Fitness Administration/Management.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Personal Trainer: The ACSM Certified Personal TrainerSM is a fitness professional involved in developing and implementing an individualized approach to exercise leadership in healthy populations and/or those individuals with medical clearance to exercise.

For more information, see the American College of Sports Medicine website.

Sports Nutrition: The optimum way for you or your clients to get the most out of their workouts and feel their best is to develop an energizing, performance-enhancing nutrition plan, tailored to their body's specific needs.

For more information, see the American Fitness Professionals and Associates website.

Sports Conditioning Specialist: The AFPA Sports Conditioning Specialist Certification program presents the principles and practices of a new era of athletic training.

For more information, see the American Fitness Professionals and Associates website.

Functional Training Specialist: The AFPA Functional Training Specialist Certification program is designed to teach the Functional Training protocols to improve total athleticism, enhances performance, and reduces injuries through exercise progressions that will spur development potential for specific movement patterns commonly use in sport.

For more information, see the American Fitness Professionals and Associates website.

Yoga Instructor Level I: The AFPA Yoga Fitness Instructor Certification program emphasizes safe, effective, and inspiring teaching methods that prepare you to be a confident and competent Yoga Fitness Instructor.

For more information, see the American Fitness Professionals and Associates website.

Stability Ball Trainer: The AFPA Stability Ball Trainer Certification program was developed to promote safe yet challenging ball exercise to instructors and personal trainers.

For more information, see the American Fitness Professionals and Associates website.

Functional Trainer: Functional training is a complete system of athletic development that focuses on training the body the way it will be used in competition, making it the most efficient and effective form of training today.

For more information, see the International Fitness Professional Association website.

Master Personal Fitness Trainer Track: The Master Personal Fitness Trainer Track includes the following certifications: IFPA Personal Fitness Trainer OR .

For more information, see the International Fitness Professional Association website.

Flexibility Coach: You want to be at the "top-of-your-game," and the IFPA Certified Flexibility Coach gives you tools to set you apart.

For more information, see the International Fitness Professional Association website.

Certified Special Events Professional: The CSEP designation is the hallmark of professional achievement in the special events industry.

For more information, see the International Special Events Society website.

Boxing Level I: This 1 day certification provides an overview of the theoretical knowledge and practical skill necessary to teach a safe and effective Boxing and or Kick Boxing class.

For more information, see the International Sports Conditioning Association website.

Kick Boxing Level I: This 1 day certification provides an overview of the theoretical knowledge and practical skill necessary to teach a safe and effective Boxing and or Kick Boxing class.

For more information, see the International Sports Conditioning Association website.

Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist: To be awarded the Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) certificate, the candidate must meet the eligibility requirements and pass a knowledge-based exam.

For more information, see the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification, Inc. website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, Missouri

Columbia, Missouri
Columbia, Missouri photo by Grey_Wanderer

Columbia is situated in Boone County, Missouri. It has a population of over 100,733, which has grown by 19.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Columbia, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Columbia are valued at $171,800 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-five new homes were constructed in Columbia, down from six hundred fifty-three the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 15 minutes. More than 50.5% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 24.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Columbia is 6.8%, which is less than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.9%, is less than both the national and state average. Sugar Grove Church, Fairview Church and Emmanuel Church are among the churches located in Columbia. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Columbia is home to the Columbia Country Club and the Columbia Plaza as well as Nickell Park and Stephens Park. Shopping centers in the area include Whitegate Shopping Center, North County Shopping Center and Biscayne Mall. Visitors to Columbia can choose from Churchill's, Columbia Super 8 Motel and Arrow Head Motel LLC for temporary stays in the area.