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What Is an Activities Director and How to Become One

Activities Director

What Is an Activities Director?

As an activities director, you plan and oversee recreational events and programs most commonly in a facility for the elderly or disabled. You create and lead activities like arts and crafts, music, dance, and sports to develop their social skills and promote active, healthy lifestyles. To work with these populations, you need patience, compassion, and excellent communication skills. Your job duties include designing activities programs, training and managing assistants and other staff, interacting with patients, and providing first aid.

How to Become an Activities Director

Many positions for activities directors require that you are a certified recreational therapist. You need a bachelor’s degree in recreational studies, occupational therapy, therapeutic recreation, or a related field. After gaining experience as an activities assistant, you can earn additional qualifications, like the Activity Director Certified (ADC) credential from the National Certification Council for Activity Professionals (NCCAP) to make yourself a more marketable job seeker. You can find activities director jobs with nursing homes, group homes, senior centers, and day centers.

How much can an Activities Director make?

The salary of an Activities Director can vary widely depending on factors such as location, the type and size of the organization they work for, and their level of experience and qualifications. As of September 2021 an Activities Director in the United States typically earns an annual salary ranging from $35,000 to $60,000. However, those in higher-demand industries or in larger cities with a higher cost of living may earn more, while those in smaller towns or non-profit organizations might earn less.

What skills should an Activities Director have on their resume?

An Activity Director should demonstrate a versatile skill set on their resume, including exceptional interpersonal and communication abilities to effectively engage with diverse groups of individuals, strong organizational and planning skills to create and execute engaging events and programs, creativity in designing activities that cater to various interests and abilities, proficiency in budget management to maximize resources, a deep understanding of the physical, emotional, and cognitive needs of their target audience, leadership capabilities to supervise staff and volunteers, and adaptability to quickly respond to changing circumstances and preferences within their community or facility.

What makes a great Activities Director?

A great Activities Director possesses a unique blend of creativity, empathy, and organizational skills that enables them to design and execute engaging programs and events for their community. They excel in understanding the diverse needs and interests of their participants, tailoring activities to cater to various demographics and abilities. Effective communication and interpersonal skills allow them to build strong relationships with residents, fostering a sense of inclusion and community spirit. Their passion for enhancing the quality of life for others is evident in their enthusiasm and dedication, while their ability to adapt and problem-solve ensures that every activity is well-executed, safe, and enjoyable.

Activities Director Job Description Sample

With this Activities Director job description sample, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. Remember, every employer is different and each will have unique qualifications when they hire for a Activities Director role.

Job Summary

Our senior living facility is looking for a creative and dedicated Activities Director to coordinate events and daily activities for our residents. You will be responsible for scheduling a variety of entertainment and programs that promote participation from our residents, creating an upbeat atmosphere and increase community bonding. These activities are an important part of our large-scale effort to keep residents active and content. Our ideal candidate has at least two years of experience coordinating social or recreational programs for the elderly.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Develop weekly and monthly activity schedule
  • Coordinate calendar with staff
  • Seek vendors for outside entertainment bookings
  • Schedule games and other in-house activities
  • Promote participation during each event

Requirements and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent; bachelor's degree preferred
  • 2+ years of developing activities for the elderly
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office, especially Word and Excel
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills
  • Flexible schedule

Activities Director Job Description Sample

With this Activities Director job description sample, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. Remember, every employer is different and each will have unique qualifications when they hire for a Activities Director role.

Job Summary

Our senior living facility is looking for a creative and dedicated Activities Director to coordinate events and daily activities for our residents. You will be responsible for scheduling a variety of entertainment and programs that promote participation from our residents, creating an upbeat atmosphere and increase community bonding. These activities are an important part of our large-scale effort to keep residents active and content. Our ideal candidate has at least two years of experience coordinating social or recreational programs for the elderly.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Develop weekly and monthly activity schedule
  • Coordinate calendar with staff
  • Seek vendors for outside entertainment bookings
  • Schedule games and other in-house activities
  • Promote participation during each event

Requirements and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent; bachelor's degree preferred
  • 2+ years of developing activities for the elderly
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office, especially Word and Excel
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills
  • Flexible schedule