Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies
Types of Degrees Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many parks, recreation and leisure studies graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies Majors Need to Know
In an O*NET survey, parks and rec majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.
Knowledge Areas for Parks & Rec Majors
Parks and Rec majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:
- Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
- Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
- Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Skills for Parks & Rec Majors
A major in parks and rec prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:
- Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Abilities for Parks & Rec Majors
As a parks and rec major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
What Can You Do With a Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies Major?
Below is a list of occupations associated with parks and rec:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Recreation and Fitness Studies Professors||9.7%||$62,620|
Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of parks and rec majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||260|
|Hispanic or Latino||311|
Students from other countries are interested in Parks & Rec, too. About 1.5% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:
- South Korea
How Much Do Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies Majors Make?
Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary
The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in parks, recreation and leisure studies made a median starting salary of $30,500 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $25,950 (25th percentile) and $33,000 (75th percentile).
We don’t know for sure if all of these people took jobs related to parks and rec so take that into consideration.
Salaries According to BLS
The median salary for someone in a career related to parks and rec is $72,190. This median refers to all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.
To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies
Some careers associated with parks and rec require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.
How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to parks and rec have obtained the following education levels.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
Online Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies Programs
In the 2018-2019 academic year, 179 schools offered some type of parks, recreation and leisure studies program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.
|Degree Level||Colleges Offering Programs||Colleges Offering Online Classes|
|Certificate (Less Than 1 Year)||16||2|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||12||0|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||5||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||1||0|
Is a Degree in Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies Worth It?
The median salary for a parks and rec grad is $72,190 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 81% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $645,800 after 20 years!
Majors Related to Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to parks and rec.
|Major||Number of Grads|
|Health & Physical Education||64,271|
|Other Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies||227|
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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