Visitor attractions are a key part of the tourism industry and there are thousands of them in the UK, including museums, galleries, gardens, historic properties, country parks, steam railways and theme parks. Jobs are available for full-time, part-time and seasonal staff, and roles vary from operations manager to human resources co-ordinator.
Depending on the type of operation, there may also be a number of unpaid volunteers. The size of the attraction will determine your responsibilities: you could be in charge of the whole site at a small venue, whereas at a large theme park you would probably only be responsible for one discrete part of the process.
This article was last updated before the start of the pandemic in 2020. As a result of Covid-19, causing closures of visitor attractions and financial difficulties for many employers, you may find it tough to find work or experience in this area for the time being. If this is the case, however, you can be sure that potential future employers will not look unfavourably on your application as a result of this – as our advice on filling a coronavirus-shaped gap on your CV makes clear. If you would like further guidance on searching for work during this time, take a look at our advice on job hunting during the coronavirus pandemic.
Your working environment will vary a great deal depending on the type and size of the attraction. You can choose between a more hands-on role or an office job, depending on your skills and preferences.
Getting in and getting on
Motivation and passion are important in this area of work and will make you an attractive prospect to potential employers. You’ll also need strong communication and interpersonal skills to work successfully with colleagues, temporary staff and volunteers as well as dealing with the thousands of visitors you’ll come into contact with. Qualifications in business, finance, management or other relevant subjects may be beneficial for office-based roles. Make sure you mention any relevant work experience in your applications to demonstrate your commitment to the sector.