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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 701G
Category: Recreation & Athletics


Plans, organizes, and manages the total recreation program for an institution having a small recreation program; plans, organizes, and directs a major segment of the recreation program for an institution having a large program; or within a Division of Developmental Disabilities residential facility, serves as a member of the interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary team as the representative recreational therapist.

Distinguishing Characteristics

A major segment of the recreation program includes work in one or more skill areas such as: athletics, aquatics, music, curio, club activities, weight lifting, arts and crafts, social activities, drama, etc.

Typical Work

Develops schedule of recreation activities to meet needs, interests, and abilities of individual clients or groups of clients such as patients, students, inmates, or other residents of state institution;

Trains, supervises, and coordinates employees in recreation program;

Plans, organizes, and directs part of recreation program for designated number of clients in institutions;

Works in one or more skill areas, directing, conducting or instructing in program of sports, social activities, drama, music, outings, literature, and arts and crafts;

May perform therapeutic-type activities with individuals; for example, stack wood building blocks.

Assists, or contacts, community resources in planning for special events;

Confers with clinical or other staff members to determine recreation program for individual clients or groups; participates in coordinating meetings and conferences with institutional supervisory personnel;

Prepares oral and written progress and adjustment reports; maintains records;

Initiates requisitions and distributes recreation materials and equipment for part of recreation program;

Supervises and coordinates services of volunteers assigned to recreation programs;

Performs other related work as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: several fields of recreational activities, including specialized knowledge in at least two broad areas, such as sports, dramatics, music, social activities, arts and crafts; principles of supervision; principles and techniques of group and individual therapeutic recreation; techniques of observing clients and making oral and written reports; training techniques; humanities ant behavioral sciences.

Ability to: plan, organize, and lead institution recreation program or direct part of recreation program; adapt recreation policies, methods and techniques to specific operational situations; supervise and train others; establish and maintain effective working relationships with employees; establish and maintain effective records and reporting systems.

Legal Requirement(s)

There may be instances where individual positions must have additional licenses, certification, or registration. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the appropriate licenses/certifications/registrations are obtained for each position.

For positions which include swimming instruction, a valid Water Safety Instructor's Certificate or equivalent issued by American Red Cross or YMCA is required. For positions which include lifeguard duties but not swimming instruction, a valid Lifeguard Certificate or equivalent issued by American Red Cross or YMCA is required.

Desirable Qualifications

A Bachelor's degree involving major study in either (a) recreation or therapeutic recreation, (b) music, drama, or physical education, or (c) psychology, sociology, or education with a minor in recreation, physical education, music, or drama and two years of paid, professional recreation experience.


One year of experience as a Recreation and Athletics Specialist 2.

Note:  Recreational therapy includes providing individualized assessments and treatment which are goal-oriented and directed towards rehabilitation and modification of specific physical, emotional, mental or social behaviors.

Class Specification History

New class adopted May 1, 1963.
Revise class. Revises title (formerly Recreation Leader 2), minimum qualification; adopted
March 1, 1967.
Revise class. Revises definition; adopted March 12, 1981, effective July 1, 1981.
Revise class. Revises title (formerly Recreation Leader 3), definition, minimum qualifications, add distinguishing characteristics; adopted January 13, 1995.
Revise class. Revise class code (formerly 36820), title (formerly Recreation Specialist 3) general revision; adopted May 10, 2007, effective July 1, 2007.