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

University

You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in:

  • sports and leisure management
  • leisure studies
  • sports science
  • recreation management

Entry requirements

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

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College

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 Extended Diploma in Sport

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course

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Apprenticeship

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.

Entry requirements

Most people following this route have:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

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Work

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.

Volunteering

You could improve your chances of employment by getting practical experience in a leisure centre, either through seasonal work or by volunteering.

Other Routes

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.

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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.

Further information

You can find out more about working in leisure from the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • business management skills
  • leadership skills
  • customer service skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • maths knowledge
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your duties will vary depending on where you work, but would typically include:

  • arranging leisure activity timetables
  • organising and promoting special events
  • recruiting, scheduling and managing staff
  • controlling budgets
  • taking responsibility for health and safety
  • visiting organisations, like local authorities, to promote your centre

Working environment

You could work at a fitness centre or in an office.

Career path and progression

You're likely to have more opportunities for promotion in larger organisations. With experience you may be able to become an area or regional manager, with responsibility for service development among a group of centres.

You could use your experience in leisure centre management to move into related areas like sports promotion and development, or building partnerships with local authorities and national governing bodies.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Leisure Duty Manager Appentice

  • Wage: £12,000.00 - £14,750.00 Annually
  • Location: Romford

Courses In England

Sport and Active Leisure Diploma

  • Provider: ISLE OF WIGHT COLLEGE
  • Start date: 01 September 2021
  • Location: Newport

Sport & Leisure Instructor - Level 1 (Diploma)

  • Provider: THE COLLEGE OF WEST ANGLIA
  • Start date: 06 September 2021
  • Location: King's Lynn

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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