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Entertainment and Recreation Managers

Summary

Group of people outdoors with a fitness instructor.
Quick Facts: Entertainment and Recreation Managers
2022 Median Pay $67,220 per year
$32.32 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Bachelor's degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation Less than 5 years
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2022 26,400
Job Outlook, 2022-32 8% (Faster than average)
Employment Change, 2022-32 2,200

What Entertainment and Recreation Managers Do

Entertainment and recreation managers plan, direct, and coordinate activities and operations related to fitness and leisure.

Work Environment

Entertainment and recreation managers typically work in various office settings, such as in recreational facilities or on cruise ships. However, many also spend time at event sites or outdoors, such as in parks. Most work full time. Work schedules may vary and can include nights, weekends, and holidays.

How to Become an Entertainment or Recreation Manager

Requirements vary for becoming an entertainment or recreation manager. Some workers typically need a bachelor’s degree, while others enter the occupation with a high school diploma. Work experience is also important.

Pay

The median annual wage for entertainment and recreation managers was $67,220 in May 2022.

Job Outlook

Employment of entertainment and recreation managers is projected to grow 8 percent from 2022 to 2032, faster than the average for all occupations.

About 3,100 openings for entertainment and recreation managers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

State & Area Data

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for entertainment and recreation managers.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of entertainment and recreation managers with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about entertainment and recreation managers by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

What Entertainment and Recreation Managers Do About this section

Group of people hiking with a guide.
Entertainment and recreation managers organize and lead a variety of leisure, wellness, or social activities.

Entertainment and recreation managers plan, direct, or coordinate activities and operations related to fitness and leisure.

Duties

Entertainment and recreation managers typically do the following:

  • Plan programs of events or schedules of activities
  • Write, present, and manage strategies and budgets for events or activities
  • Manage the daily operation of an event, activity, facility, or program
  • Engage with customers to convey information about events and activities or to resolve complaints
  • Explain rules and regulations of facilities and programs
  • Ensure that facilities and programs are safe and accessible for participants
  • Hire, train, and direct staff

Entertainment and recreation managers organize and lead a variety of leisure, wellness, or social activities. The types of programs they plan and guide may differ by setting, participants, and other factors. For example, on a cruise ship, they may organize arts and crafts activities for children and yoga classes for seniors; for a community center, they may conduct nature hikes based on ability levels from beginner to advanced.

Entertainment and recreation managers often are tasked with creating a positive experience for participants. They ensure that supplies are in stock and inspect equipment, ordering materials or arranging for maintenance as needed. In addition, they evaluate facility services and programs to create or improve offerings, which may involve soliciting input or analyzing customer feedback.

Entertainment and recreation managers also oversee staff orientation and development. Their responsibilities may include recruiting, interviewing, and hiring candidates; training and scheduling workers; monitoring and appraising work; and reassigning staff to meet facility or program needs.

Work Environment About this section

Entertainment and recreation managers in an office setting.
Entertainment and recreation managers typically work in an office setting and oversee staff.

Entertainment and recreation managers held about 26,400 jobs in 2022. The largest employers of entertainment and recreation managers were as follows:

Fitness and recreational sports centers 18%
Local government, excluding education and hospitals 17
Self-employed workers 8
Performing arts, spectator sports, and related industries 6
Accommodation and food services 6

Entertainment and recreation managers typically work in an office setting. However, they also may spend time outside their office, performing duties such as checking equipment or interacting with customers. Some managers are required to work outdoors or travel to entertainment or recreation sites.

Work Schedules

Most entertainment and recreation managers work full time. Work schedules may vary and can include nights, weekends, and holidays. Managers may need to work extra hours during peak season, such as for summer vacations at a resort. Some entertainment and recreation managers must be on call in case of emergencies, such as power outages during severe weather.

How to Become an Entertainment or Recreation Manager About this section

Personal trainer with a client at the gym.
Entertainment and recreation managers may benefit from having work experience in fitness center operations.

Requirements vary for becoming an entertainment or recreation manager. Some workers typically need a bachelor’s degree, while others enter the occupation with a high school diploma. Work experience is also important.

Education

Entertainment and recreation managers have a variety of academic backgrounds, ranging from a high school diploma to a bachelor’s or higher degree. Requirements vary by organization and the specific work that managers do. For example, a recreation manager might need a bachelor’s degree in park management, recreation and fitness, or leisure studies. An entertainment manager might need a degree in theater, music, or a related visual or performing arts field.

Some college students participate in internships. Through internships, students gain practical experience in their field of study while completing their education.

Licenses and Certifications

Some states may require a license for certain types of entertainment and recreation managers. For more information, contact your state licensing board.

Safety certifications may be required, but professional certification is usually optional. For example, some employers require entertainment and recreation managers to have first aid or CPR certification. Optional credentials, such as the Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) certification available for recreation managers, may demonstrate a particular level of knowledge and experience.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Experience in a related occupation is important for entertainment and recreation managers. Employers often prefer to hire managers who have experience in supervising others, planning programs or events, or providing customer service in a leisure or hospitality setting.

The type of experience needed may vary by position. For example, some workers benefit from experience with recreation programs or fitness center operations. Other managers might need entertainment, theater, music, or cruise industry experience.

Employers may consider students’ internships as part of the work experience they need for entry-level positions.

Important Qualities

Business skills. Entertainment and recreation managers create, present, and oversee budgets and strategies, such as for a facility’s quarterly activities schedule.

Communication skills. Entertainment and recreation managers must be able to clearly convey information both orally and in writing to customers, suppliers, and staff.

Interpersonal skills. Entertainment and recreation managers interact with customers, staff, and vendors. They must be able to establish and maintain positive relationships with a variety of people.

Leadership skills. Entertainment and recreation managers direct workers and oversee facilities. They must be able to motivate staff and be decisive in handling operations.

Organizational skills. Entertainment and recreation managers oversee many responsibilities at once, so they must be able to multitask and pay attention to details.

Problem-solving skills. Entertainment and recreation managers must be able to anticipate potential issues and prepare solutions so that customers have a positive experience.

Pay About this section

Entertainment and Recreation Managers

Median annual wages, May 2022

Management occupations

$107,360

Entertainment and recreation managers, except gambling

$67,220

Total, all occupations

$46,310

 

The median annual wage for entertainment and recreation managers was $67,220 in May 2022. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $38,350, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $130,040.

In May 2022, the median annual wages for entertainment and recreation managers in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Local government, excluding education and hospitals $84,660
Accommodation and food services 77,660
Performing arts, spectator sports, and related industries 77,060
Fitness and recreational sports centers 59,970

Most entertainment and recreation managers work full time. Work schedules may vary and can include nights, weekends, and holidays. Managers may need to work extra hours during peak season, such as for summer vacations at a resort. Some entertainment and recreation managers must be on call in case of emergencies, such as power outages during severe weather.

Job Outlook About this section

Entertainment and Recreation Managers

Percent change in employment, projected 2022-32

Entertainment and recreation managers, except gambling

8%

Management occupations

5%

Total, all occupations

3%

 

Employment of entertainment and recreation managers is projected to grow 8 percent from 2022 to 2032, faster than the average for all occupations.

About 3,100 openings for entertainment and recreation managers are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Employment

Employment growth will stem from public interest in recreational activities, such as golf and tennis. In addition, an increased emphasis on the importance of lifelong well-being is expected to create demand for entertainment and recreation managers in a variety of settings, including country clubs, fitness centers, and parks. 

Employment projections data for entertainment and recreation managers, 2022-32
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2022 Projected Employment, 2032 Change, 2022-32 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Entertainment and recreation managers, except gambling

11-9072 26,400 28,600 8 2,200 Get data

State & Area Data About this section

Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS)

The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The link(s) below go to OEWS data maps for employment and wages by state and area.

Projections Central

Occupational employment projections are developed for all states by Labor Market Information (LMI) or individual state Employment Projections offices. All state projections data are available at www.projectionscentral.org. Information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation to be compared among states or to be compared within one state. In addition, states may produce projections for areas; there are links to each state’s websites where these data may be retrieved.

CareerOneStop

CareerOneStop includes hundreds of occupational profiles with data available by state and metro area. There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. There is also a salary info tool to search for wages by zip code.

Similar Occupations About this section

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of entertainment and recreation managers.

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION Help on Entry-Level Education 2022 MEDIAN PAY Help on Median Pay
Administrative services managers Administrative Services and Facilities Managers

Administrative services and facilities managers plan, direct, and coordinate activities that help an organization run efficiently.

Bachelor's degree $101,870
Fitness trainers and instructors Fitness Trainers and Instructors

Fitness trainers and instructors lead, instruct, and motivate individuals or groups in exercise activities.

High school diploma or equivalent $45,380
fundraisers image Fundraisers

Fundraisers organize events and campaigns to raise money and other kinds of donations for an organization.

Bachelor's degree $61,190
Lodging managers Lodging Managers

Lodging managers ensure that guests have a pleasant experience at an accommodations facility. They also plan, direct, or coordinate activities to ensure that the facility is efficient and profitable.

High school diploma or equivalent $61,910
Meeting, convention, and event planners Meeting, Convention, and Event Planners

Meeting, convention, and event planners arrange all aspects of events and professional gatherings.

Bachelor's degree $52,560
Recreation workers Recreation Workers

Recreation workers design and lead activities to help people stay active, improve fitness, and have fun.

High school diploma or equivalent $31,680
Recreational therapists Recreational Therapists

Recreational therapists plan, direct, and coordinate recreation-based medical treatment programs for people with disabilities, injuries, or illnesses.

Bachelor's degree $51,330
Travel agents Travel Agents

Travel agents sell transportation, lodging, and entertainment activities to individuals and groups planning trips.

High school diploma or equivalent $46,400
Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Entertainment and Recreation Managers,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/entertainment-and-recreation-managers.htm (visited January 27, 2024).

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, September 6, 2023

What They Do

The What They Do tab describes the typical duties and responsibilities of workers in the occupation, including what tools and equipment they use and how closely they are supervised. This tab also covers different types of occupational specialties.

Work Environment

The Work Environment tab includes the number of jobs held in the occupation and describes the workplace, the level of physical activity expected, and typical hours worked. It may also discuss the major industries that employed the occupation. This tab may also describe opportunities for part-time work, the amount and type of travel required, any safety equipment that is used, and the risk of injury that workers may face.

How to Become One

The How to Become One tab describes how to prepare for a job in the occupation. This tab can include information on education, training, work experience, licensing and certification, and important qualities that are required or helpful for entering or working in the occupation.

Pay

The Pay tab describes typical earnings and how workers in the occupation are compensated—annual salaries, hourly wages, commissions, tips, or bonuses. Within every occupation, earnings vary by experience, responsibility, performance, tenure, and geographic area. For most profiles, this tab has a table with wages in the major industries employing the occupation. It does not include pay for self-employed workers, agriculture workers, or workers in private households because these data are not collected by the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) survey, the source of BLS wage data in the OOH.

State & Area Data

The State and Area Data tab provides links to state and area occupational data from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program, state projections data from Projections Central, and occupational information from the Department of Labor's CareerOneStop.

Job Outlook

The Job Outlook tab describes the factors that affect employment growth or decline in the occupation, and in some instances, describes the relationship between the number of job seekers and the number of job openings.

Similar Occupations

The Similar Occupations tab describes occupations that share similar duties, skills, interests, education, or training with the occupation covered in the profile.

Contacts for More Information

The More Information tab provides the Internet addresses of associations, government agencies, unions, and other organizations that can provide additional information on the occupation. This tab also includes links to relevant occupational information from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET).

2022 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics survey. In May 2022, the median annual wage for all workers was $46,310.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

Work experience in a related occupation

Work experience that is commonly considered necessary by employers, or is a commonly accepted substitute for more formal types of training or education.

Number of Jobs, 2022

The employment, or size, of this occupation in 2022, which is the base year of the 2022-32 employment projections.

Job Outlook, 2022-32

The projected percent change in employment from 2022 to 2032. The average growth rate for all occupations is 3 percent.

Employment Change, 2022-32

The projected numeric change in employment from 2022 to 2032.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Employment Change, projected 2022-32

The projected numeric change in employment from 2022 to 2032.

Growth Rate (Projected)

The percent change of employment for each occupation from 2022 to 2032.

Projected Number of New Jobs

The projected numeric change in employment from 2022 to 2032.

Projected Growth Rate

The projected percent change in employment from 2022 to 2032.

2022 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics survey. In May 2022, the median annual wage for all workers was $46,310.