Leisure Activities Certification and Certificate Program Information

Read about certificate programs and certification options for the leisure activities professional. See program coursework, popular careers and employment outlook statistics.

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Essential Information

Leisure activities is a broad field that includes a wide range of certificate programs. Among the most popular are outdoor recreation and leisure travel. Focusing on topics such as wilderness survival skills, rock climbing and environmental conservation, these certificate programs prepare individuals for entry-level careers in parks and recreation, travel and tourism, general leisure services and recreation management. Graduates might later become travel agents, cruise consultants, park rangers or wilderness leaders. Individuals who hold bachelor's degrees may qualify for professional certifications.


Certificate of Achievement in Outdoor Recreation

The study of outdoor recreation prepares students for employment in many leisure activities fields, including parks and recreation, adventure education and challenge course management. Students learn leadership and education skills as they prepare to work with individuals and groups of all ages. This field of leisure activities requires the study of environmental conservation and resource management. Most programs have no significant educational prerequisites and are open to outdoor enthusiasts regardless of skill level.

Program Coursework

Courses in outdoor recreation certificate programs prepares individuals for leadership positions in the field. Course topics include training in managing and running outdoor leisure activities.

  • Introduction to outdoor recreation
  • Leading adventure education
  • Introduction to leadership theory
  • Fundamentals of environmental conservation
  • Teaching wilderness survival skills
  • Teaching physical fitness
  • Wilderness first responder training
  • Basic rock climbing
  • Kayaking and canoeing
  • Backpacking and hiking

Popular Career Options

Graduates of certificate programs in outdoor recreation are prepared for careers with the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts and many other organizations focusing on outdoor leisure activities.

  • Wilderness adventure organizer or leader
  • Environmental education consultant
  • Park ranger
  • Youth camp manager
  • Outdoor recreation program director

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

From 2010-2020, individuals working in recreation are projected to see a 19% increase in employment opportunities, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The mean annual wages for these workers were $25,430 in May 2012.

Continuing Education Information

To become certified in the field of leisure studies, the National Recreation and Park Association offers a National Certification Examination. Instituted in 1981, the exam assesses the core skills and knowledge necessary for entry-level positions in parks, recreation and leisure services. A bachelor's degree or higher in a related field is necessary for certification. It is possible to become certified in three categories, including Certified Leisure Professional (CLP), Provisional Professional and Certified Leisure Associate (CLA).

Certificate of Achievement in Leisure Travel

Leisure travel is a field encompassing airlines, cruise lines, adventure expeditions, conventions, guided tours and more. Certificate programs in leisure travel prepare students to become travel agents through training in sales, marketing and administrative skills. Additionally, students become thoroughly informed on how the travel industry operates, from how airlines schedule flights to the layout of cruise ships. Leisure travel certificate programs are generally considered beginner-level programs with few educational prerequisites.

Program Coursework

Courses in leisure travel certificate programs cover regions of the world such as North America and Europe, and types of travel, including air travel and group trips.

  • Introduction to the travel industry
  • North American tourism
  • European tours
  • Sales and customer service in leisure travel
  • Air travel sales
  • The cruise industry
  • Adventure travel sales
  • Group travel sales

Popular Career Options

Leisure travel certificate programs prepare students for careers both organizing and leading leisure activities throughout the world.

  • Travel agent
  • Tour manager and leader
  • Convention and meeting planner
  • Leisure vacation consultant
  • Cruise consultant
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    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
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    • California (5)
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    • All degree applicants must have a Bachelors degree or higher
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    • Master
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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 21 years of age or older and have completed some college or 24 years of age or older and a high school graduate for a Bachelor's degree
    • Masters degree applicants must have a Bachelors degree
    • Doctorate degree applicants must have a Masters degree
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  • School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Florida include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Geography and Cartography
      • Human and Social Services
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
      • Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
  • School locations:
    • Michigan (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Michigan State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Geography and Cartography
      • Human and Consumer Sciences
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      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
      • Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies
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      • Public Administration
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
  • School locations:
    • New York (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at New York University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Human and Social Services
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
      • Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
      • Public Administration
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
  • School locations:
    • Iowa (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Iowa include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Geography and Cartography
      • Human and Social Services
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
      • Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Temple University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Liberal Arts and Humanities
      • Cultural Studies
      • Ethnic and Gender Studies
      • Geography and Cartography
      • Human and Social Services
      • Liberal Arts, Humanities, and General Studies
      • Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies
      • Philosophy
      • Political Science
      • Religious Studies
      • Social Science and Studies
      • Social Studies and History

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics