Recreation Leader I

County of San Diego
150 per week $16 - $18 Per hour CA 5500 Overland Ave #410, San Diego, CA 92123, United States



See NOTES below for future wage increases and/or additional compensation opportunities.
Recreation Leader I positions plan, organize, and teach recreation classes; plan and organize special activities/events; prepare publicity; distribute and maintain equipment; maintain discipline; enforce regulations; open and close recreation centers and related facilities; ensure the safety of recreation center patrons; administer first aid; supervise the use and ensure the security of the facility; provide information to the public; register participants in classes; maintain records; assist in the preparation of reports; perform general maintenance work; collect fees; process program registration; and perform other duties as assigned.


  • Employees in job classifications represented by Municipal Employees Association (MEA) are scheduled to receive the following general wage increases:
                4% effective 7/1/24
                2% effective 1/1/25
                5% effective 7/1/25
  • Eligible benefitted employees originally hired on or after July 10, 2021, will be automatically enrolled in the San Diego City Employees Retirement System (SDCERS).
  • Recreation Leader I positions are available on a half-time, permanent basis and a part-time/hourly, limited basis. Part-time/hourly average up to 19 hours per week and half-time work 20 hours per week, primarily during afternoon, evening, and weekend hours. Staff working with older adults typically work between 8:00am and 4:00pm. During holidays, school breaks and summer, hours are generally increased.
  • Recreation Leader I positions may be utilized at recreation centers and teen centers and programming for older adults. Most positions require that you be available to work between 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. during weekdays and between 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on weekends.
  • Recreation Leader I positions may require bilingual skills for which they may receive additional pay.
  • In accordance with California Public Resources Code section 5163, all persons holding Recreation Leader I positions must get tested for tuberculosis (TB) when hired and every four years thereafter as a condition of continued employment.
  • Recreation Leader I employees who obtain and maintain a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) credential or Recreation Therapist Certification (RTC) are eligible for 10% additional pay.


You must meet the following requirements on the date you apply, unless otherwise indicated.

AGE: 16 years of age or older.


  • Applicants less than age 18 must obtain a work permit prior to starting work.
  • Work permits may be obtained through the school system.
  • Applicants who are age 17 and are high school graduates, or have passed the California High School Proficiency Examination (CHSPE) or General Education Development (GED) examination, are not required to have a work permit; however, they must submit a copy of their high school diploma, CHSPE or GED results with their application.

EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE: You must meet ONE of the following options:

  1. 150 hours of recreation leadership experience.
  2. 12 semester/18 quarter units of college-level course work in recreation management, tourism and hospitality, child and family studies, physical education, and/or a related field.


  • Recreation leadership refers to planning, organizing, teaching and/or leading typical recreation center or school activities such as arts and crafts, games, sports, day camps, tiny tots, dance and music. This does NOT include babysitting, working as a personal fitness trainer, weight training, bowling, golf instructor, etc.
  • Qualifying physical education courses MUST consist of participation in typical recreation center sports (e.g., football, volleyball, basketball, soccer, baseball, tennis, softball). Physical education "theory" courses will only be accepted if they are part of a completed Bachelor's or other college degree in Physical Education.
  • Participation in organized team sports is qualifying, but hours of participation MUST be confirmed and documented by the coach of the team or athletic director where you participated. Organized team sports refer to those typically played at a recreation center (e.g., football, volleyball, basketball, soccer, baseball, tennis, softball). NOTE: Qualifying organized team sports participation MUST be at or above the high school level.
  • Volunteer hours are qualifying, but MUST be confirmed and documented by the agency where you acted as a volunteer.

LICENSE:  A valid California Class C Driver License may be required at the time of hire.


  • Proof of degree/transcripts showing completion of the required course work, if utilized to meet the minimum requirements.
  • Proof of documented organized team sports participation hours, if utilized to meet the minimum requirements.
  • Proof of documented volunteer hours, if utilized to meet the minimum requirements.
Required documents should be attached electronically to your application. If you are unable to attach at the time of application submittal, you must submit them as soon as possible via fax: (619) 533-3337; or to the Employment Information Center: City of San Diego Personnel Department, 1200 Third Avenue - Suite 300, San Diego, CA 92101. Include your name and the title of the position for which you are applying.


Please ensure all information is complete and accurate as the responses you provide on the supplemental questions will be reviewed using an automated evaluation system. If you are successful in this initial screening process, your application will be reviewed for applicable education, experience, and/or training to ensure all minimum requirements have been met. Successful candidates will be placed on a list which will be used to fill position vacancies during the next six months (180 days). For each vacancy, only those candidates with the most appropriate qualifications will be contacted by the hiring department for an interview.


PRE-EMPLOYMENT REQUIREMENTS: Employment offers are conditional pending the results of all screening processes applicable to this position, which may include the following: confirmation of citizenship or legal right to work in the United States; completion of a pre-employment medical review and exam (which may include drug and alcohol testing); reference checks; and fingerprinting. Fingerprints will be submitted to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the California Department of Justice for a conviction record report. Certain positions may require additional screening processes, which may include a polygraph examination and/or background investigation. All of these processes must be successfully completed before employment begins. A positive test for alcohol, cannabis/marijuana, illegal drugs, or inadequately explained prescription drugs, or misrepresentation, falsification, or omission of pertinent facts in any step of the screening or selection process, may be cause for disqualification or termination of employment. Nothing in this job posting constitutes an express or implied contract for employment with the City of San Diego. Candidates must notify the Personnel Department of any change in their name, mailing address, email address, or phone number, otherwise they may miss employment opportunities.

Rev. 1 - January 2, 2024 (Updated Pre-Employment Requirements)