Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management

School of Applied Sciences, University of Mississippi

Career Outlook

The University of Mississippi Park and Recreation degree program prepares professionals to provide recreational services and guidance to public, for-profit and not for profit organizations that include sport, training and fitness programs, park management, aging and leisure, therapeutic services, agency management and environmental studies. Students who earn a degree in Recreation Administration might find employment in a variety of recreation-related fields, including parks and recreation, recreational therapy or physical fitness. Those who obtain graduate degrees in the field and have years of experience may obtain supervisory, administrative or university teaching positions.

The leisure industry is a growth area and job levels are expected to remain constant or increase for the foreseeable future. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor:

  • Rising incomes, more leisure time, and growing awareness of the health benefits of physical fitness will increase the demand for recreation services.
  • Jobs opportunities for recreation workers will be good, but competition will remain keen for career positions as recreation workers.
  • Average growth is expected.

The National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) certify individuals who meet eligibility requirements for professional and technical jobs. Certified park and recreation professionals (CPRP) and certified therapeutic recreation specialists (CTRS) must pass an exam; earn a bachelor s degree with a major in recreation, park resources, or leisure services from a program accredited by the NRPA or by the American Association for Leisure and Recreation; or earn a bachelor s degree and have at least 5 years of relevant full-time work experience, depending on the major field of study.

Below are salary ranges for some of the positions requiring a college education and/or certification.

Recreation Coordinator (sports)

$37,888 $49,808

Recreation Therapists

$38,730 $49,284

Fitness Instructors

$37,779 – $66,901

Golf Director

$49,878 – $81,911

Ticket Manage (athletics)

$38,211 – $56,289

Assistant Athletic Director- Compliance

$54,906 $87,230

Student Activities Officer

$37,890 – $48,747

Meeting/Event Planner

$46,870 – $65,179

Travel Coordinator

$37,209 – $50,143

Special Event Coordinator (Casino Host)

$31,570 – $43,220

Concierge (Casino Host)

$23,437 – $29,060

Wedding Coordinator

$25,935 – $33,431

Morale, Welfare and Recreation Director (Armed Forces)


Morale, Welfare and Recreation (Afloat Recreation Specialist)

$32,000 – $39,000

Morale, Welfare and Recreation (Fitness Specialist)


Recreation and leisure positions (U.S. Bureau of Labor, 2009)