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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.

What areas can I work in?

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.

What kind of companies can I work for?

Possible employers include:

What’s the job market like?

In 2024, 18 community sports projects across Scotland will receive a share of over £1.5 million from sportscotland’s Sport Facilities Fund. This will help develop existing or new facilities. 1

The most recent NOMIS UK figures in December 2023 show the most common roles include sports coaches, instructors and officials (98,300), fitness and wellbeing instructors (65,300) and sport and leisure assistants (63,300). 3

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.

Facts and figures

Want to find out more?

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.


1 sportscotland website

2 What do graduates do? Prospects in association with AGCAS (2023/24)

3 Annual Population Survey - Occupation by sex, employment status and full/part-time, Scotland NOMIS (December 2023)

4 UEFA website (



Career Pathway

Sport Career Pathway
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