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You will look to be an all-rounder and not just in the sporting sense – having to turn your hand to anything from equipment repair to running exercise classes; from poolside duties to cleaning the toilets and serving in the cafeteria. A role in leisure can be physically demanding since you'll be expected to be on your feet for most of the day. Chlorine and other chemicals used in pools may irritate your eyes, nose and throat after prolonged exposure to it, so you will need to be careful.

Who can I work for?

Hotels, large firms and universities are increasingly getting in on the leisure centre boom, joining the traditional local authority-run and privately owned leisure centres.

Where and when can I work?

The UK now has 6,000 leisure centres, which employ full-time staff on 37-hour weeks, including evenings and weekends. Part-timers are also welcome within this industry.

What qualifications do I need?

A BTEC in Leisure and Tourism or Sport is the usual route for many, though GCSEs in maths, English and science and a packed trophy cabinet at home may suffice. A NPLQ lifesaving qualification may be required in many cases where the centre has a pool. On-the-job training is provided - you may even get day release to study a relevant NVQ.

Do I need any experience?

None needed, though a healthy, sports-facing CV dotted with achievements on the playing fields would be a plus, as would unpaid work experience.

What attributes are needed?

Being healthy and fit; enthusiasm; willing to be part of a small, close-knit, hard-working team; friendly and good with the public; able to keep your cool in emergencies and administer first aid in a crisis; ability to communicate instructions in a clear, friendly and personable manner and have the physical strength to move furniture.

What can I earn?

Starting from £11,000-£14,000, rising to £15,000-£17,000, with London rates being as high as £20,000. Many centre assistants working on a casual basis can expect to earn £5.10-£6 an hour.

What are the benefits?

The UK employs over 200,000 in the leisure centre business so job opportunities are growing. There is also often free use of the centre's gym and swimming facilities, along with flexibility – over half of all leisure centre assistants are part-time, which would help those with children or elderly parents to care for.

Are there chances of promotion?

You can branch out into specialist fitness instructors or personal trainers, or, higher still, duty manager, operations manager or leisure centre manager.

What will I be responsible for?

First aid; swimming pool maintenance and supervision; keeping the centre clean and tidy; carrying out repairs on equipment; putting up and taking down equipment and making the public aware of safety guidelines.

Leisure Jobs