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How to Become a Leisure Centre Manager

If it interests you to work with lot of people in a leisure environment and you enjoy many activities happening around you, you may consider becoming a leisure centre manager.

Leisure centre managers are responsible for the daily activities of the centre, managing the staff and place. They are the persons responsible for making sure customers are having an enjoyable time at the centre.

Job Description

Your duties as a manager may vary depending upon the workplace and may include:

  • Making timetable
  • Organising special events and promotional events
  • Recruitment and management of staff
  • Supervision activities
  • Budget control activities
  • Health and safety management
  • Outdoor activities such as organisation of promotional events

Working Hours and Environment

Your working hours are generally around 37 hours a week. Your job may include mornings, evenings, weekends and bank holidays. You normally work in an office but you need to be well informed of the activities going on in the centre. You may have to walk around and spend time to stay in personal touch with staff and customers.

You are expected to be flexible in your work attitude as you may have to make up for absent staff and handle emergencies, etc.


Your earnings may vary depending upon the location and size of leisure centre. The annual pay for the following levels are:


£17,000 to around £25,000

 Senior managers

 Over £35,000



You may become a leisure centre manager through educational path or by starting as an assistant or trainee.

Qualifications that may help you build your career include degrees in:

  • Sports and leisure management
  • Leisure studies
  • Sports science
  • Recreation management

To gain experience in the field and further improve your chances of employment, you should do paid internships and voluntary work.

You may also consider getting into job through an advanced apprenticeships scheme in Leisure Management.


Once employed, you may work towards one of the following industry qualifications:

  • Level 3 Certificate in Leisure Management
  • Level 3 (NVQ) Diploma in Leisure Management
  • Foundation degree, HND or degree in sports and leisure management

You may enroll for various short courses at The Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (IMSPA). It also provides numerous opportunities for continuing professional development.

Skills and Interests Needed

To become a leisure center manager, you need to demonstrate the following:

  • Interest in sports and physical fitness
  • Good administrative skills
  • Impeccable communication skills
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Effective management skills
  • Team working skills
  • Leadership qualities
  • Organizational skills
  • Proficiency in working with computers
  • Cash handling skills
  • Marketing skills

Career Prospects

As a leisure centre manager, you may find employment with:

  • Privately-owned leisure centre
  • Health club chains
  • Local authority centre
  • Workplace clubs
  • Hotels
  • Outdoor activities centre

With experience, you may be provided numerous opportunities to move to larger companies where you are given more senior roles such as those of area or regional managers. You may be given the role to manage a group of such centers. You may consider moving to another field such as sports development.

It is important to note that this job is only for serious individuals as the success and revenues generated from the centre are primarily dependent upon them.

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