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Leisure centre manager Sports centre manager, gym manager

Sports centre managers look after the day-to-day running of leisure and sports centres.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £18,000 to £35,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 35 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set requirements. You can become a leisure centre manager by working towards professional qualifications as an assistant or management trainee, or by gaining higher education qualifications in a relevant subject before you start. Relevant subjects include sports and leisure management and sports science.

Some large private sector employers run graduate management trainee schemes. 

Becoming a member of the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) may help your career.

You can get into this job through an apprenticeship.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • customer service skills
  • administrative and management ability
  • marketing and presentation skills

3. What you'll do

You'll be responsible for the day-to-day running of centres and their facilities, including managing staff and keeping customers happy.

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

  • arranging activity timetables
  • organising and promoting special events
  • recruiting, scheduling and managing staff
  • controlling budgets
  • taking responsibility for health and safety.

You may also visit external organisations, such as local authorities, to promote the centre.

4. Salary

Starter: £18,000

Experienced: £20,000 to £25,000

Highly Experienced: £35,000 or more

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work 37 hours a week, which could include early mornings, evenings, weekends and bank holidays.

You'll need to be flexible as you may need to be at the centre for special events and emergencies, or to cover for absent staff.

Although you'll be office-based, you'll also spend time around the centre, talking to staff and customers and monitoring the way the centre is run.

6. Career path and progression

You're likely to have more opportunities for promotion in larger organisations. With experience you may be able to progress to 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 such as sports promotion and development, or building partnerships with local authorities and national governing bodies.

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Last updated: 11 April 2017