How to become a leisure centre manager
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- a graduate training scheme
You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in:
- sports and leisure management
- leisure studies
- sports science
- recreation management
- business management
You'll usually need:
- 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills and knowledge you need in this job. Relevant subjects include:
- Level 3 Diploma in Leisure Management
- Level 3 Diploma in Sport and Physical Activity
You'll usually need:
- 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
You could get into the leisure industry through an advanced apprenticeship as a leisure duty manager.
This will usually take 18 months to complete. You'll do on-the-job training and spend time with a college or training provider.
You may be able to start off as an intermediate leisure team member apprentice and then apply for trainee management positions leading to the advanced apprenticeship.
Most people following this route have:
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
You could start as an admin officer, fitness assistant or management trainee in a leisure centre, and work towards professional qualifications to become a manager.
You could improve your chances of employment by getting practical experience in a leisure centre, either through seasonal work or by volunteering.
You could apply for a graduate management trainee scheme with one of the large leisure companies if you've got a degree.
You would work in different areas of the business while completing professional qualifications to become a manager.
Professional and industry bodies
You may find it useful to join the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.
You can find out more about working in leisure from the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity.