Working in sport and leisure

This industry is all about people enjoying themselves, whether you work in sport, health promotion, fitness or leisure.

Jobs can be in professional sport, either playing or coaching at different levels. You could work in health promotion, through sport and the study of sports science. Fitness jobs in gyms include delivering one-to-one sessions and exercise classes. There are jobs in cinemas, casinos and theme parks. Remember that even sports coaches and activity instructors have to do paperwork! 

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Approximate pay levels

Figures supplied as a guide only

Some fitness instructors are self-employed and are often paid by the hour.

Pay levels graph

Employer case study

Hyun-Ju Lee

"People with qualifications to teach different types of classes are much more likely to get the job. We have a big range of classes on offer here, so that’s a real selling point for the club..."

Future careers

Sports are becoming more international, so top coaches can work abroad. There are many leisure opportunities on cruise ships and at international holiday centres. Health education and healthy lifestyles are increasingly popular and important to people, so there is likely to be more demand for personal trainers and fitness instructors.

Things to consider

Things you may need to know:
  • Some leisure jobs are seasonal.
  • You are there to help people enjoy their day out or sports activity. Customer service is part of every job.
  • You have to be over 18 to work in a betting shop, bingo club or casino.
  • To coach a sport or activity, you need to reach a high level yourself.

Useful links

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Institute of Outdoor Learning

Hospitality Guild