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.
The sport industry in Scotland is still enjoying a high profile, thanks to the success of major international sporting events in recent years, including the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2015 Open Championship at St Andrews. Still to come, in 2018 Glasgow hosts the European Championships, in 2019 the Solheim Cup is held at Gleneagles and in 2020 Glasgow is one of 13 cities to host the European Football Championships.
The latest figures report that around 371,800 people work in the UK sports and fitness industry, across 176,000 businesses and organisations.
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.
Possible employers include:
Employment levels are expected to rise in the following years, however, these may vary across the different sectors in the industry.
Growth is being 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’s awareness of the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle.
There are job opportunities 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.
SkillsActive is the Sector Skills Council for Active Leisure, Learning and Well-being. You can find more information about the sectors it covers and related careers and training pathways on the SkillsActive Careers website.
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.