Are you fit and interested in sport or leisure activities? Fancy a career in Sport and Recreation? What about Health and Fitness or working outdoors? Thought about Playwork? Or about the camping and caravan industry? This is a rapidly expanding sector as more people have more money to spend on things they like to do when they’re not working.
There are many different jobs on offer in a wide range of areas. It’s also one of those sectors where you can work your way to the top, if you work hard and keep updating your knowledge and skills.
Most jobs involve working with, and helping other people in their sporting or leisure activities, but there are some related jobs as well.
The sport and leisure industry values any experience you may have in after-school clubs, at local sports or athletic clubs, or working in an outdoor adventure centre.
Routes into this sector
There are various types of qualifications available:
- At 14 GCSEs in English, maths will help get you into this sector. Your school might also offer vocational qualifications such as BTECs, OCR Nationals, etc. related to this specific job sector.
- At 16 you have more options, you could do A Levels, which are general academic subjects or develop your knowledge and skills for this sector through an apprenticeships/ traineeships, vocational qualifications,
- At 18 or 19 your options open further - you may wish to do a higher education/university course, with 8 out of 10 A Level students choosing this pathway and half of all BTEC National students. However there are other routes into your chosen career - through apprenticeships and vocational qualifications
The sport and leisure sector values qualifications such as first aid, health and safety, introductory coaching awards, the Sports Leadership awards and lifeguard qualifications. So these are worth thinking about if you have the opportunity to take them through any clubs, organisations or part-time jobs you may be involved with while still at school or college.
The range of career opportunities are very wide from management to coaching, sport journalism to outdoor activity specialists.
A key decision is the type of environment and possibly age range you want to work in and with. For instance
For instance if you wanted to become a sports coach you would be expected to complete professional qualifications for your chosen sport as well as other sports related qualifications, either on a vocational or academic route.
If you wanted to go into leisure management again there are vocational routes and academic routes and you could transfer from other business areas as there is a lot of cross over.
To find out more about the apprenticeships and qualifications needed in this sector visit the Sector Skills Council’s website: Skills Active
Spotlight on Sports Coaching
Sports coaches work at helping people participating in sports to work towards achieving their full potential. They may support professional sportspeople, sports teams, community teams or school groups, working with them closely to improve performance. They may have a role in encouraging underrepresented groups or young people to participate in sporting activities.
Many of the sports coaches working in the UK are volunteers and this is an excellent route into the career. See Sports Coach UK for more details.
Relevant degree and HND/ Foundation degree subjects are:
- Health Science
- Sports Coaching
- Sports Management
- Sports Science
To become a qualified coach you will need to achieve the appropriate coaching qualification offered by the National Governing Body (NGB) of your chosen sport. You can find a list of NGB's by clicking on this link UK Sport - Links
Sport England's This Girl Can media campaign in 2017 highlighted the need for more female sports coaches, as women only account for 30% of the coaching workforce, which drops to 17% for qualified coaches. Click here for more information
This job profile on Sports Coach has lots of detailed information on what you can expect as a sports coach.
Websites with vacancies in this sector
- Leisure vacancies
- Leisure Jobs
- Guardian jobs in sport
- Careers in sport
- Sport England
- Outdoor Staff
- Camp America
Why not try a free, online course (MOOC) in this job area?
Future Learn have lots of free, online courses that will improve your knowledge of this job sector and improve your chances of landing your dream job. e.g. The University of Kent has developed a 6 week course about The Science of Endurance Training and Performance. Click on the following link for more information