Sport and leisure is a thriving sector and health and fitness centres can be found all over the country. Career opportunities range from hands-on fitness to managerial roles. You could be involved in organising or running fitness activities, training staff, maintaining equipment, managing budgets, undertaking administrative tasks, or promoting and marketing the business. In any position, you’ll work with people, be responsible for keeping customers happy and ensure the business is running smoothly.
This article was last updated before the beginning of the pandemic. As a result of Covid-19, you may well find it difficult to find work or experience in this area. However, it's important to remember that potential recruiters won't look unfavourably on you in future as a result of this, just as our advice on filling a coronavirus-shaped gap in your CV makes clear. For more guidance on searching for work during these unprecedented times, take a look at our article on job hunting during the pandemic.
Dedicated fitness centres are the most obvious workplaces, but there are also job opportunities in other working environments. The health and fitness industry has become big business and is often integrated into other aspects of people’s lives – for example, a gym could be part of a luxury housing development, hotel or other leisure facility. Some large companies, particularly in London, have fitness suites in their office complexes and employ managers in these. The number of health and fitness centres is still growing and work can be found in rural areas as well as in cities.
Getting in and getting on
Relevant work experience is vital: you can often gain initial experience through part-time, seasonal or voluntary work. A related degree can also be useful. To get ahead in this competitive industry you’ll need to show commitment and demonstrate sound business, management, sales and marketing skills. Although it’s important to be a team player, you should also be capable of using your own initiative. As with any job in the leisure industry, people skills are essential and you’ll need mental and physical energy to motivate those around you.