How to get a job in the world of sport

Fri, 07/09/2012 - 11:59 -- nick

UnemployedNet supports The Mirror's Get Britain Working campaign. This article centres on working in the world of sport, and gives a range of contacts and information sources to help you get in to it. With over 7,000 jobs available in the week the campaign started, there are plenty of opportunities, so if you are the kind of person who likes to stay fit and work physically, why not check out the article below?

'The Olympics and Paralympics have inspired many of us to get fit and that’s helping create more jobs in sport.

And we’ve found 7,093 jobs up for grabs as part of our Get Britain Working campaign.

Nigel Wallace, of training provider Lifetime, says one of the big pluses of being part of the leisure and fitness industry is being able to inspire thousands of people to become more ­physically active and improve the health of the nation.

And despite the gloomy economic times there are loads of ­opportunities in the industry.

“The sector has experienced steady growth over the past year,” he says.

“There are plenty of ­apprenticeship programmes for school leavers as well as flexible learning programmes for adults wanting to gain further ­qualifications.”

Jobs range from fitness clubs to county council school schemes and even if you don’t consider yourself active there are loads of other roles from office work to hospitality.


Pilates transformed Jo Lee’s life and now it has helped her establish a new career.

Jo, 28, has hypermobility, a common condition that left her with bad posture, niggling aches and pains and little energy.

Dislocated hips and a bad car crash as a child caused the problems but she decided to just put up with it until her chiropractor and doctor suggested she try pilates.

  “I read up on it and started practising it regularly and was soon hooked,” she says.

“It is very ‘posture conscious’ – always training the body with the spinal alignment in mind.

“After about six months I had completely changed the shape of my lower spine. The aches and pains started to go and my posture improved dramatically.

"It was then that I decided I wanted to help other people in the same way.”

Jo, from Plymouth, used all her savings to get her instructor qualifications and then decided to look for some advice on how to set up and launch her own business.

She had been unemployed for several months and her local Jobcentre referred her to employment and skills experts Working Link.

“I knew almost nothing about how to run a business and even for a small one like mine there was a lot to arrange,” she says.

Working with Enterprise Coaching partner Outset Plymouth, Jo took part in detailed sessions on market research, finance and networking.

“Before I knew it I was holding my first class.” she says.

“I’ve never felt anything so rewarding. Nothing beats the feeling that you are making a real difference to people’s lives and helping them drastically improve their health and fitness.

"It’s wonderful.”

To find out more about Jo’s business, visit

For Working Links visit or call 0800 917 9262.


At Jobcentre Plus ( there are 2,844 jobs including 921 for sports coaches and officials, 832 for fitness instructors, and 699 for sports and leisure ­assistants.

A fitness instructor is wanted in Peterborough (from £6.50 per hour) and a fitness club receptionist in York (from £6.50).

At there are 329 jobs including dance teachers and personal trainers in Kingston-upon-Thames (from £2,000 a month) and fitness instructors in Bournemouth (from £250 a week).

There are another 3,920 jobs at including 689 fitness instructors and trainers, 338 fitness managers and 172 sports coaches.

Jobs are available with many of the large groups such as LA Fitness ( which include a vacancy for a deputy club manager in Kettering (up to £20,000), FitnessFirst ( and Virgin Active ( Jobs range from life coaches and sports therapists to managers.


The usual route into a career in fitness is to complete a course with a leisure training provider.

Careers in Sports ( lists every type of job in the industry and explains the training options. A Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing is usually required.

Look out for apprenticeships to help you earn and learn as you work towards qualifications such as NVQs (

If you are interested in coaching jobs specific sporting associations will help.

The Football Association ( have their own qualifications for football coaching, while for athletics check out

The Amateur Swimming Association ( is the umbrella organisation keeping tabs on teachers and coaches. The Lawn Tennis Association ( also does a similar job.


With such a huge range of jobs, salaries are wide ranging. Fitness instructors can earn between £10,000 and £14,000, while fitness managers receive up to £25,000.

Community football coaches earn between £16,000 and £24,000 while sports development officers get £16,000 to £40,000 depending on the job and experience.

Freelance trainers can earn £25 to £50 to an hour while those employed by a club will earn less – usually 50% of the hourly rate.


Lifetime Training


Sport England

Fitness Industry Association

Sports Coach UK

Sports Leaders'

Via The Mirror