Careers in Leisure, Sport and Tourism - CV Plaza

Careers in Leisure, Sport and Tourism


Do you like working with all kinds of people?
Are you an active and energetic person?
Then a career in Leisure, Sport and Tourism could be just right for you!

The effect of globalisation and the rapid expansion of the world economy have dramatically increased the demand for recreational pursuits; people can now travel faster, cheaper and to more places than ever before.

It is this sector that caters for their needs and job roles in this sector range from Travel Agents and Tourism Managers to Fitness Instructors and Gym Managers. These professionals are primarily concerned about the happiness and well-being of themselves and the people around them.

Common themes of this sector include:

  • Training, exercising and achieving goals;
  • Travelling and seeing new places;
  • Meeting new people;
  • Helping others to achieve their dreams and ambitions, and;
  • Having a good time all the time!

Specific areas of work

This sector can be broken down into three areas:

1) Fitness Management


Fitness Management is often associated with fitness facilities such as Gyms. This is a specialised role and requires not only exceptional personal health and fitness and sound fitness knowledge, but also excellent managerial skills.

The role of a professional working in this environment can be very broad; however they can include the follow tasks:

  • The designing and promoting of events taking place at the facility;
  • Running fitness classes and sessions;
  • Advertising and promoting the clubs facilities in order to increase usage by customers;
  • Recruitment and looking after staff at the facility;
  • Ensuring frequent health and safety checks are completed on equipment.
    • 2) Sport, Coaching and Support


      Working within this area of the sector normally involves having a specialised knowledge of a particular sport (e.g. football, tennis, etc) and teaching that to others.

      These instructors or coaches often offer one to one advice and tend to work for large professional clubs and their main aim is to offer the correct physical and psychological support for their customers to ensure that they perform at their best and realise their full potential.

      3) Tourism


      The Tourism area of this sector is very similar to both Leisure and Sports but those who work within this area are often working with people who are taking part for fun, rather than for professional development.

      Individuals working in the tourism industry tend to work in hotels, museums, travel agencies and other related venues. They also tend to work regularly during the holidays.

      Their role is to facilitate and organise the trips and activities for the tourists that have come to visit the country. This can include; booking travel and hotels, organising fun activities and ensuring that everyone feels welcome and happy during their stay.

      Education and qualifications

      This sector is very much driven on determination and passion and therefore the majority of employers believe that these qualities are just as important as formal qualifications.

      Depending on which area an individual would prefer to work in will also depend on what qualifications they require. A breakdown of this information is as follows:

      • Fitness Management: There is a not specific degree requirement for this role; however a specialised degree in sport or management would support a strong application. It is also possible to obtain this role through the relevant experience and commitment.
      • Sport, Coaching and Support: Many employers will look for a relevant coaching qualification which can be achieved either through a qualify degree or via the appropriate National Governing Body. A degree is not necessarily a requirement; however it may support a strong application.
      • Tourism: Relevant work experience or a degree in Tourism Management, Marketing, Business or Management would support a strong application.

      Skills and personal attributes

      • Communication skills: Professionals in this environment are often expected to either work within a large team or with a large group of people and therefore excellent interpersonal skills are a must in order to effectively communicate with other people.
      • Dedication and drive: It is a vital requirement that a professional has dedication and drive to succeed. This is a very competitive area and workers must be able to encourage their customers to stay happy, motivated and driven.
      • Organisational skills: This is very important within this sector, especially in regards to any managerial positions an individual may hold; a Manager is often expected to organise training or activity programmes as well as ensuring that everything goes according to plan.
      • Active: It is the role of the professionals in the sector to encourage people to be active and committed to what they are trying to achieve or least to try and encourage them to have fun in the process!
      • Flexible: Professionals in this environment need to be extremely flexible with working hours as they will be often be expected to work weekends or late nights.

      Pay and benefits

      The salary which a professional will receive in this sector will ultimately depend on the area of their work and the qualifications and experience they have:

      • Fitness Management: Starting salary of £17,000 to £25,000 per year increasing to around £40,000 with extensive experience.
      • Sport, Coaching and Support: Starting salary of £15,000 to £25,000 per year; increasing to £30,000 with experience. Some senior coaches earning up to and in excess of £50,000.
      • Tourism: Starting salary of £15,000 to £19,000 per year; increasing to £28,000 with experience and £40,000 for managerial positions.

      Figures are intended as a guideline only.

      Likes and advantages

      1. Not a desk job: This industry has a ‘get up and go’ attitude and it is very rare in this sector that a candidate will be expected to work behind a desk for long hours.
      2. Travel: There are great opportunities to travel in this sector. Sports professionals may be required to compete abroad during games or competitions and others who work in the Tourism industry may be required to work across many cities.
      3. Self-employed: Many in this sector, especially those working it Fitness or Sport, choose to become self-employed as it gives them the flexibility to manage their own time, working hours and salary.
      4. Fitness: Working in an active and fast-paced working environment such as this sector has the added benefit of becoming fitter and healthier in the process.
        1. Challenges

          1. Long Hours: Professionals in this sector will often be expected to work during holidays, weekends and evenings (depending on the job role).
          2. Pressure: Working in this sector can put professionals under a lot of pressure to ensure that their customer’s needs and expectations are met and that their overall customer experience is excellent.
            1. More and more people are going on holidays, participating in recreational activities and going to the gym to get fitter. 2013 was a record year for UK tourism Industry as overseas visitors spent more £21 billion in the UK and the growth hasn’t reversed since.

              This is undoubtedly a thriving sector with excellent prospects for the future.

Written by Sobhan Mohmand
Sobhan is a qualified Careers Advisor and Professional CV Writer with over 10 years of experience in helping job seekers get a job. He is a Member of the Careers Development Institute (CDI) and is listed on the official UK Register of Career Development Professionals. He holds a Level 6 Diploma in Career Guidance and Development (QCF).

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      £14.000 – £40.000
    • ENTRY
      Relevant Work Experience
      37 – 40 hours per week


    • Fitness
      The condition of being physically fit and healthy
    • Negotiating
      Using appropriate techniques to move others to action or to gain agreements
    • Teamwork
      Working with people with diverse skill sets and different backgrounds
    • Strength
      Physical strength for travelling and participating in sports and events
    • Planning
      Planning ahead and preparing for upcoming events
    • Determination
      Being ambitious and determined at all times and not giving up
    • Time Management
      Identifying critical and less critical activities and tasks and prioritising accordingly