Parks/recreation directors are generally hired by cities and towns. If hiring, local governments seek individuals who can fulfill the duties of overseeing parks/recreation programs. Ideal applicants should have a Bachelor's degree, usually in Park Management, Public Administration, or a related field. A Master's degree is more preferable, but not necessary for the position. Many organizations require at least four years of experience supervising staff in park management or other relevant work. Some cities may require that their parks and recreation director be a resident of the city for a period of time, as well.
Those in this position work primarily in office settings, although occasionally they may need to travel locally for publicity events. They are not only responsible for ensuring that parks are maintained and well-kept, but also for improving facilities and maintaining programs that are available to the community. The parks/recreation director will also have to budget the department's finances and implement plans to improve or update facilities for the benefit of the community.
If problems arise within the parks/recreation system, the director is responsible for resolving such issues in an efficient and timely manner. The director will also meet with a board to discuss policies which can be implemented. They will usually manage a team of department directors, so excellent leadership and communication skills are required.
Parks and Recreation Director Tasks
Develop and implement plans for the parks and recreation system, and direct the collection and analysis of data to support planning.
Under the direction of the city manager operate a city's park system and recreational programs.
Facilitate communication of parks and recreation department activities, programs, and projects to the public.
Oversee parks and recreation staff, assign tasks, supervise work, and provide training.
Administer the parks and recreation budget to ensure that funds are spent efficiently and projects remain within budget.