Arts and recreation

Arts and Recreation encompasses a wide variety of activities and careers associated with artistic productions, exhibitions and recreational activities. Some careers require higher education and knowledge of particular material, while others don't require formal education as much as specific skill sets or talents. Arts and recreation is a lucrative and artistic industry, however unfortunately it is often heavily affected by the status of the economy and the level of disposable income of the population.

Arts and recreation professionals plan, organise and direct activities in the performing arts, such as dance instruction, drama and opera. They may also teach or facilitate arts and crafts, sports activities, museum or art exhibitions, camping and leisure activities. Some work for city or private parks, coordinating and managing activities and maintaining facilities and services. They work in a variety of environments such as parks, summer camps, playgrounds, sports and aquatics centres, museums, dance studios and theatres. They may also work for governmental organisations or city councils organising community events and productions. Recreational therapists plan and organise activities to benefit individuals recovering or coping with illness, injury or disabilities.

Professionals in the arts and recreation industry seek to benefit the public by performing or displaying works of art and providing enjoyable activities for pleasure and health purposes. Arts and Recreation careers include a large number of seasonal or temporary positions, making this a competitive and sometimes unstable field. Individuals in the profession should enjoy the arts and working with people. They should also be creative, artistic and enjoy coordinating activities.

Related degrees

Related subjects

Careers in Arts and recreation


An Actor/Actress is an individual who performs in film, television, theatre, or radio. Typically an actor will attend auditions, rehearse for their role and deliver this performance to an audience. An actor needs to be self-motivated, confident and enjoy performing in front of people. This occupation requires an individual to have creative flair, talent and commitment to their profession.

Aerobics Instructors

Aerobics Instructors are involved in assisting individuals improve and advance their fitness levels and increase their overall health and wellbeing. Aerobics instructors need to have strong communication and teaching skills as well as an understanding of workplace health and safety.

Amusement Fitness and Sports Centre Managers

Amusement, Fitness and Sports Centre Managers manage all aspects of the day to day operations, including: staff schedules, special events, staff training and recruitment, health and safety, marketing and development.

Artistic Director Media Producer and Presenter

Artistic Directors, Media Producers & Presenters perform a variety of tasks directing and producing media, activities and performances as well as introducing shows and performers. They should have creative and artistic abilities.

Author and Book and Script Editor

Authors, and Book and Script Editors write literary or factual works, and edit books and scripts for publication or production. They should have excellent reading, writing and editing abilities and be able to evaluate works and understand public demand for works at particular times.



Barbers typically provide hair care services to male clients including cutting, shampooing, colouring and styling hair, and shaving and cutting beards and moustaches. They may also recommend and sell a range of grooming products to customers.

Beauty Therapists

Beauty Therapists give professional advice to clients to improve their skin and body condition and perform range of treatments including facials, massage, waxing, manicures, pedicures, tinting, spray tanning and makeup application.

Canvas and Leather Goods Makers

Canvas and Leather Goods Makers work with canvas and leather materials to make and repair products such as boots, bags, shoes and garments. They may use a variety of tools to shape and mould materials and assemble products.

Caravan Park and Camping Ground Managers

Caravan Park and Camping Ground Managers manage the operations and maintenance of caravan parks and camping grounds. They may implement organisational systems and create required rules and procedures for use of areas.

Coaches (Sports, Instructors and Officials)

Sports Coaches impact many peoples lives on a daily basis. Not only do they coach and train their charges about the sport they have signed up for, but they also encourage and support the players as well as teach them about good sportsmanship, proper conduct and to strive to be the best that they can be. Coaches are also trained to spot injuries as well as how to prevent them from happening.


Dancers use movement and body language to entertain, portray a character, tell a story or evoke sentiments to an audience. There are many different styles and traditions of dance including classical ballet, modern stage or contemporary dance, street dance and cultural or traditional styles of dance. Dances are typically accompanied by music that complements the intended mood and effect of the dance.

Director of Film Television Radio and Stage

Film, Television, Radio and Stage Directors control the overall production of radio, film, television and stage creations. They work with artistic and digital effects, as well as content to create quality productions.


Disc Jockeys (Nightclub)

Nightclub Disc Jockeys entertain by playing and mixing music for particular themes and events. They should be able to keep the dance floor crowded by creating a playlist and interpreting the crowd and evening. They may also engage the crowd by taking requests and acting as MC.

Disc Jockey Radio

Radio Disc Jockeys entertain by playing and mixing music for particular radio station genres and special events. They may host a time slot on a radio station and should be able to keep listeners tuned into the station and engage them by taking requests.



Dressmakers work with patterns and free-hand to cut, sew, design and repair dresses and other similar garments. They must have excellent cutting and sewing technique and be able to provide detailed embellishments. Dressmakers may fulfil individual customer orders or large commercial size orders.

Editor Book and Script

Editors evaluate and improve literary and journalistic texts and dramatic scripts in a variety of capacities. Editors may work in the book publication, in the film or television industry, or for radio or stage productions. Whatever the workplace setting, editors make decisions about which products are chosen for publication or performance and will often work with writers to edit the documents to a higher level of quality.



Actors, dancers, singers, magicians, ventriloquists, jugglers, etc, may all be classified as entertainers. Regardless of the specifics of each entertainers skill or profession, all work in public settings to entertain audiences.

Fashion Industrial and Jewellery Designer

Designers work with a variety of media depending upon their field: Fashion Designers create original shoes, accessories, and clothing, Jewellery Designers work with metals and precious stones, and Industrial Designers plan and create items manufactured for everyday use such as automobiles and home appliances. All of these careers require an aesthetic sense as well knowledge of the necessary skills in their craft to realise a concept into an actual product.


Film Producer

Film Producers are responsible for managing performing arts productions, such as movies, television shows, and live theatre shows; a position as a producer may be as an executive producer, a line producer, an associate producer, or an assistant producer. Producers are responsible for the business aspects of a film, as well as its schedule and resulting product.


Film Television Radio and Stage Director

Directors are responsible for managing the creative aspects of performing arts productions, such as movies, television shows, and live theatre shows; a position as a director may be as the head director, or an assistant director. They guide actors in how best to play their characters. They work with producers to manage the production, but ultimately directors answer to the producer.


Fitness Centre Managers

Fitness Centre Managers promote activities and oversee instructors, such as fitness trainers, in health centre's and other fitness-related businesses. It is their responsibility to plan activities, programs, games and competitions for centre members to participate in, and to attract clients. They also train and supervise workers and staff.

Fitness Instructors

Fitness Instructors teach classes and oversee clients in fitness centres; they are there to ensure proper exercise techniques and reduce the risk of injury. Fitness instructors are employed and trained by fitness centre managers. It is their responsibility to guide individuals and groups based on assessments and goals. They are also responsible for setting up, cleaning and maintaining exercise equipment.

Funeral Workers

Funeral Workers perform special services including conducting and arranging funerals, and preparing remains for viewing, burial, and/or cremation. Undertakers and morticians, as they are also called, are employed in funeral homes and crematoriums and may be required to hold certificates in mortuary science and funeral service which are acquired through registered training organisations.

Gallery Library and Museum Technician

Gallery, Library and Museum Technicians manage and oversee art, published materials, and artefact collections; they also assist with library systems, aiding librarians with the task of properly handling files and materials. They design and organise exhibits and shows, and may restore objects and documents.


Gallery Museum and Tour Guide

Gallery, Museum, and Tour Guides work in art galleries, museums, and libraries to greet and show visitors around exhibitions and displays. They also assist curators, artists, and librarians with organising and displaying works of art, historical displays or artefacts, and book selections. They conduct research and mount displays according to their findings, as well as doing inventory and preserving work in archives.


Gym Instructors

Gym or Fitness Instructors work with individuals or groups to help them achieve desired physical fitness. The work involves instruction and direction, such as in fitness classes, as well as hands-on demonstrations of proper fitness techniques.

Hair & Beauty Salon Assistants

Assistant positions in hair and beauty salons work as a receptionist for the salon, and may also work as a shampooer. They assist hairdressers and cosmetologists who provide clients with beauty services. They require good communication and organisational skills, as well as a basic knowledge of the beauty industry.


Hairdressers provide clients with beauty services by styling, cutting, straightening, and treating hair with solutions. They listen to new clients preferences and specifications, or refer to the past styling preferences of their repeat clients; they then select and perform treatments and services. Hairdressers must have an aptitude for colour and design, and an extensive knowledge of the chemicals and procedures used in colouring, straightening, and permanents. They require good communication and organisational skills, as well as an aesthetic sense for styling hair.


Housekeepers are employed by businesses, commercial enterprises, governmental agencies, and private individuals. They are required to clean and maintain the facility to which they have been assigned.


Interpreters interpret and translate speech from one language into that of another. They must be fluent in the language they are interpreting to and from, and must be able to convey the meaning and feeling of material from one language to the other. They ensure clear communication between two parties that cannot otherwise fully communicate in a variety of settings.


Journalist and Other Writers

Journalists and other writers research, compose and edit news stories, reports and opinion pieces for print or electronic publication. They may write for news, travel or entertainment purposes or for the advertisement of products.



Librarians perform a variety of tasks associated with researching, categorising and managing information, resources and collections in library settings. They may utilise manual and online database systems as well as assist the general public in research strategies and basic information.


Library Assistant

Library Assistants assist Librarians in the proper organisation of library materials. They may assist in checking out material and processing intake of library items, as well as re-shelving resources. They should be able to work in organised, quiet environments performing repetitive tasks.


Make Up Artists

Make Up Artists are considered a subset of a larger group of performing arts technicians. Make up artists work with actors, singers, newscasters, and other public figures to apply makeup before shows or before going on camera.

Massage Therapists

Massage Therapists use massage and other body treatments for health, fitness, and therapeutic purposes. They utilize a variety of techniques to deliver maximum benefits for clients.

Media Producer

Media Producers oversee, design, and implement media projects. They work on strict schedules and may be responsible for keeping a media/film crew on our under a certain budget and on schedule. Sometimes, media producers have creative input as well.



Nannies reside in employers homes and provide assistance to parents in caring for and supervising their children.

Painter Visual Arts

Painting as a visual artist is about much more than filling a canvas with color. As a visual artist, putting ones own feelings or emotions into a painting is a large part of what makes art so engaging for its audience. Also, while traditional visual artists may use mediums such as canvas to paint scenes or portraits, other artists prefer to use entire buildings or other usual mediums to share their stories. Painters should have a great deal of creativity, good hand-eye coordination, and a large amount of patience to create the perfect pieces!

Painting Trades Workers

Painting Trades Workers decorate, protect, and maintain the surface of buildings and other structures by applying finishes such as paint, wallpaper, or varnish. Special licensing or registration could be required to find a position in this field.


Photography jobs are all over the map in terms of what they involve, but the one aspect that is certain is that being a photographer is about much more than snapping pictures. Some photographers freelance for magazines, newspapers or are employed full-time with these companies, while others run their own studios. Photographers may specialise in certain types of photography such as photojournalism, commercial photography, children, or weddings.

Photographers Assistants

The positions Photography Assistants hold change quite drastically depending on where the photographer they are working for is employed. Some photographers freelance for magazines or newspapers, while others are employed full-time with these companies. Other photographers run their own studios. Photographers may specialise in certain types of photography such as photojournalism, weddings, commercial photography, etc. Photography assistants are often employed on a freelance basis, but they may work full0time with large name photographers or those who own their own studios.

Piano Tuners

Piano Tuners usually work for small varieties or do freelance work for individuals in which they regulate, tune, and repair grand, upright, and player pianos. Both full-time and part-time positions are available, and working conditions are comfortable. Being a musician is not required, but piano technicians should have the ability to hear and adjust pitch.

Picture Framers

Picture Framers work to assemble and cut out mouldings to create picture frames. They may frame photographs, paintings, needlework, and other artwork. No formal education is required.

Potters and Ceramic Artists

Potters and Ceramic Artists (Visual Arts and Crafts Professionals) use pottery materials such as stoneware, earthenware, porcelain and ceramics to create a variety of items such as bowls, pots, cups and works of art. Potters and Ceramic Artists must be skilled at working at a pottery wheel and at various stages of production, and be able to follow drawings and measurements to complete order specifications. They should have strong hand-eye coordination and be able to visualize a product from the beginning stages to completion.


Presenters, also called hosts (or occasionally hostess when the presenter is female) are responsible for running and being the "face" of a public event. Presenters work at universities, museums, host concerts, award shows, or, in broadcast media, is the person who narrates, hosts, or takes the main role in leading a radio or television programme.

Producers Media

Media Producers oversee, design, and implement media projects. They work on strict schedules and may be responsible for keeping a media/film crew on our under a certain budget and on schedule. Sometimes, media producers have creative input as well.


Proofreaders do final checks on written work before it goes to print or becomes live on a website. Proofreaders work for newspapers, magazines, websites and publishing companies. They may specialise in specific fields or publications, such as business reports and academic works.


Radio Producers and Presenters

Radio Producers and Presenters, part of a larger industry group of all media producers and presenters, are responsible for much of the administrative work involved in radio production. They also often speak on-air, host radio shows, and interview guests.

Sail Makers

Sail Makers perform the task of making a variety of different kinds of sails from a variety of different kind of materials. To perform their job, a skilled sail maker needs to know how to work with patterns and drawings and must be able to use a variety of tools. The use of sewing and sewing machines is prominently featured in this career.


Singers are professionals in the music industry that perform songs. Additionally, singers may also write their own songs. These individuals often use musical instruments, and serve as music producers and consultants.

Sports Centre Managers

Sports Centre Managers organise and manage fitness and sports centres. In this capacity, they may be taxed to oversee how facilities are used and organise activities. Additionally, sports centre managers need to make sure that all aspects of their facilities are in working order and that their facility functions at optimal levels.

Sports Coach Instructor and Official

Sports Coaches, Instructors and Officials work with athletes in terms of teaching, training and officiating at games. Coaches and instructors help participants learn and understand rules of sport and help them develop their skills.



Sportspersons are professional athletes who are paid to work as individuals or on a team for the purpose of entertaining fans. They usually specialise in one sport. Depending on the sport, the position may be part-time or full-time.

Technicians (Performing Arts)

Working in the background for productions and performers, a Performing Arts Technician may need a host of technical and practical skills.

Television Producers and Presenters

Television Producers and Presenters include art and media directors as well as producers and administrators. The ultimate goal is to work within the frameworks of the media format to create and produce quality media which includes news, sports, weather, and entertainment television.

Ticket Salesperson

A Ticket Salesperson is versed in selling tickets to the general public for events or services as needed or when available.


A Translator interprets one written or spoken language into another written or spoken language. A translator may translate simultaneously or consecutively and may be bi- or multi-lingual.

Writer Author

Writers come up with, plan, and write novels, stories, plays, poems, articles, and other creative written works. They are responsible for the content of their works and sometimes findings outlets for publishing. There is also a heavy amount of editing and polishing involved in this profession.

Writer Journalist and Other

Journalists and other writers primarily work in the nonfiction realm. They do not create stories; instead, they report on news that has happened or write in-depth articles about current cultural, social, or political trends. They also edit their pieces for quality and coherence.

Professional associations and industry bodies

Arts and Recreation Services Industry

Australian Amusement, Leisure and Recreation Association

Council for the Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences

Department of Planning and Community Development

Department of Sport and Recreation (Northern Territory)

Department of the Arts, Sport and Recreation (New South Wales)

Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance

Museums Australia

Skills and personality

  • Ability to plan and coordinate people, equipment and activities
  • Creativity and artistic abilities to perform and/or instruct activities
  • Effective coordination and organisation capabilities
  • Enjoy recreational and sports activities as well as the outdoors
  • Enjoy working with people, including children for specific activities
  • Event planning skills
  • Leadership skills directing activities and events
  • Performance abilities acting, singing and dancing for an audience
  • Problem solving capabilities while administering activities and performances
  • Public speaking and communication skills working directly with the public