Are you interested in helping people to stay fit and lead a healthy lifestyle? Maybe your dream is to take part in sport at a professional level, or coach and advise those who do? If this sounds like you this career area may be just what you’re looking for.
Those who aspire to become sports professionals, whether that be an athlete, golfer or football player, amongst others, must be dedicated and show commitment by putting in a lot of hard work! Even those who do not work in sports performance itself have a real passion for sport, fitness or a healthy lifestyle.
There are many different types of work in sport, including: coaching and instructing, sports development, leisure centre operations and management, sports science and therapy and, of course, professional sport performance.
There are also sport-related jobs in other career areas, for example: sports journalism, retailing (clothing, footwear and equipment), administration, facilities management and event management.
To see the routes to getting into each of these sectors, take a look at our Career Pathway.
Possible employers include:
The most recent figures show that in 2021, around 458,500 people worked in the UK sport sector. The most common roles included sports coaches (95,000); fitness instructors (65,300); leisure and sport managers (56,700); and leisure attendants (55,400).
In Scotland, growth in this sector in recent years has been driven by factors such as Scottish Government
initiatives to encourage people to take part in sport, investment in new sporting facilities and an increase in the number of people with an awareness of the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle.
Job opportunities are throughout Scotland, particularly in and around major cities and towns with large
populations. In rural areas there are opportunities in outdoor activities, such as climbing, canoeing, riding or skiing, although these can be mostly seasonal.
It is important to remember that young people joining the industry often start in low-skilled, entry-level jobs
that are low paid. You have to be prepared to work your way up by developing your skills and knowledge of the industry. There are many opportunities to volunteer in this sector to get the necessary experience.
Sportscotland is the national agency for sport in Scotland and provides a wide range of information on issues such as funding in sport, getting involved in volunteering, individual sports and sporting developments in your local area.
• Workforce jobs by industry section, Nomis Labour Market Profile (December 2021)
• Glasgow Life website (June 2022)
• What do graduates do? Prospects in association with AGCAS (2021/22)