Best Jobs of 2012 – Recreation & Fitness: What Does This Mean for You?


by Anne Nevel | Posted on March 19, 2012

The U.S. News & World Report recently came out with the annual “Best Jobs” edition.  Among those listed for 2012 is Recreation and Fitness worker.  In the article, they report that, “The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the number of recreation and fitness workers should grow by 21.1 percent in the next several years, adding more than 120,000 new positions. Specifically, there should be approximately 60,400 new fitness trainers and aerobics instructors by the year 2020, and 64,300 new recreation workers.” 


Wow! This is great news for our industry, especially looking at the growth percentage and number of expected for the recreation field – right?!  Sure it is! 


But what does this mean for you?  Depending on where you fall in the spectrum of experience in the Park and Recreation field, this report may send a different message.  You may need to think about getting prepared to set yourself apart or, if you are new to field, prove yourself.  


What it says to me is:  the field is booming, the future looks bright… AND… there will be more competition for jobs! 


How will professionals stand out when applying for jobs?  One of the ways to do this is through certification.  Certification may help set you apart and above other applicants and will validate you as a certified professional; someone any smart employer would want on staff.  We are already seeing an increase in job descriptions that include Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) as a requirement or a preference at the least.


So… What are YOU going to do in response?


What do you think about the predicted boom in the field? Do you have your CPRP or thinking about it? Or if you already are a CPRP, do you need to advance your certification with the Certified Park and Recreation Executive (CPRE)?  How has certification given you a leg up? 


Written by: Anne Nevel, NRPA Senior Certification Manager


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