Recreation and Tourism Management

Main Content

What can I do with this major?
Area Employers Strategies

Commercial Recreation/Tourism

  • Travel/ Transportation

  • Hospitality

  • Facilities Management

  • Resort Management

  • Event Planning

  • Local Commercial Recreation

  • Promotions and Special Events

  • Facilities Management

Convention services

Travel agencies

Travel/tourism bureaus

Outdoor outfitters

Guide services

Ecotourism agencies

Cruise lines


Bus lines

Rail travel

Hotels, motels




Motor home parks


Recreation communities

Theme parks

Private industry

Second home communities

Special events companies

Multipurpose sports clubs

Racquet clubs

Dance studios

Health and fitness clubs

Golf courses

Movie theaters

Skating rinks

Party services

Various entertainment providers

Festivals and fairs

Sport events



Develop strong programming, leadership and communication skills. Obtain business skills with business minor or work experience. Acquire foreign language skills and complete a study abroad experience. Travel to different parts of the country or world to gain exposure to various cultures. Join university organizations related to travel or recreation. Obtain experience working at resorts, hotels, recreation departments, or special events companies. Work or volunteer for departments on campus that plan conferences. Spend summers working at tourist attractions. Learn membership sales techniques. Develop in-depth knowledge and ability for skill area. Gain experience through related part-time or summer jobs. Work at on-campus recreational facilities. Participate in event-planning for campus or community activities. Join related campus organizations such as the campus entertainment board, cultural attractions committee, or student union.

Therapeutic Recreation

  • Program Coordination

  • Administration

Rehabilitation hospitals

Nursing homes

Acute care hospitals

Psychiatric facilities

Community mental health centers

Senior centers

Adult daycare centers

Residential facilities for people with special needs

Substance abuse centers

Correctional facilities

Recovery centers

Educational facilities

Camps and outdoor recreational programs

Demonstrate ability to work as part of an interdisciplinary team. Obtain therapeutic recreation emphasis or graduate degree in area. Earn relevant licensure or certification. Learn to be patient, tactful, and persuasive. Possess ingenuity and imagination. Have good physical coordination. Develop an interest in working with all types of people. Gain experience through volunteering in related organizations.


  • Outdoor Recreation Planning

  • Parks

  • Natural Resource Management

  • Recreation Management

  • Program Management

  • Administration

City, county, or regional government agencies including parks and public recreation programs

State and federal government agencies including parks, forests, wildlife areas and water resources

Department of Defense: Military bases in U.S. and foreign countries

Correctional facilities

Conservation organizations

Rehabilitation centers

Learn federal, state, and local job application procedures. Obtain experience with government agencies. Become active in local recreation programs and activities.

Volunteer to lead teams or organize committees in local recreation leagues. Take additional coursework in wildlife, turf management, exercise science or other related field.

Social Service

  • Camp Management

  • Program Management

  • Community Center Management

  • Programming

  • Coaching


Children's homes

Correctional facilities

Senior centers

Youth programs

Special Olympics

Community programs for people with special needs

Nonprofit and social service organizations

Community centers

Religiously affiliated organizations

Obtain experience with camps, youth groups, etc. through summer jobs and volunteer positions. Get involved in campus activities and seek leadership roles.

Learn to work well with a wide variety of people.


  • Health Club Management

  • Fitness Instructing

  • Dance Instructing

  • Coaching

  • Athletic Training

Fitness centers

Corporate fitness centers

Weight reduction facilities

Sports and entertainment centers

Athletic clubs

Adult care facilities

Sports clinics

Self employment

Obtain experience and expertise in various athletic and fitness areas. Work at on-campus recreational facilities. Obtain relevant certifications such as personal trainer or fitness instructor. Develop excellent physical coordination and condition. Get involved in related professional organizations.

Recreation Retailing

  • Management

  • Buying

  • Small Business Ownership

Department stores

Specialty shops

Sporting goods stores

Outdoor outfitters

Minor in business. Learn basic business principles. Gain experience in direct sales and customer service. Develop skills in management and motivation of others. Get experience in promotion and special events. Acquire skills in inventory management including purchasing, stock control, and merchandise display. Develop expertise in a recreational interest such as hiking, fishing, paddling, skiing, or hunting.


  • Teaching

  • Research

  • Coaching

  • Administration


Elementary/secondary schools

Earn a graduate degree for teaching and administration at the college and university level. Learn the process for teacher certification in the K-12 system.

Get involved in recreation sports or intramurals as an undergraduate student.

Strategies for placement in Recreation and Tourism Management

  • Obtain summer, part-time, internship, or volunteer experience in camps, playgrounds, recreation/fitness centers, social service organizations, hotels, tourist attractions, etc.

  • An undergraduate degree is sufficient for entry-level recreation positions. A graduate degree may be required for administrative positions and teaching/research positions at universities and colleges.

  • Obtain a broad liberal arts and cultural background including knowledge/skills in athletics, music, arts and crafts, nature, dance, drama, and club structure.

  • Obtain certification in first aid and safety, CPR, or lifeguarding depending upon your interests.

  • Enjoy the outdoors and/or be willing to work outdoors.

  • Develop physical agility and stamina for your career.

  • Develop good verbal and written communication skills.

  • Join related professional associations. Attend state/national professional association conferences.

    Cultivate the ability to motivate others.

  • Possess the ability to enjoy life and positively interact with others.

  • Obtain competence and skills in special area(s) of interest.

  • Learn to work effectively with people of various ages and backgrounds.

  • Possess a cooperative attitude toward others as well as common sense in understanding and dealing with people and situations.

  • Demonstrate the ability to work as part of a team.

  • Obtain knowledge of U.S. and world geography, history and social customs. Consider taking foreign language depending on your career interests.

  • Develop leadership and supervisory skills in coordinating and directing others in various activities.

  • Consider participating in the Walt Disney College Program.

Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (2005) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section
504/ADA /ADEA Employer.


Jobs and Careers in the Travel and Hospitality Industry
Job Monkey
Therapeutic Recreation Job Bulletin
National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification 
Cruise Lines International Association 
National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association 
International Festivals and Events Association