Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Brian Howard from Department of Education and Skills to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Brian Howard

Guidance Counsellor

Department of Education and Skills

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  Brian Howard

This career involves working with people in a caring capacity. If you have no interest in helping people personally or educationally then this may be the wrong profession for you.

Empathy, patience and respect are important qualities for this job, in addition to be able to relate well to the person you are dealing with. As there is also a large amount of information to be handled in the job, good organisational, IT and time management skills are also quite important.

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Administrative 
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their best operating under supervisors who give clear guidelines, and performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
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Sectors Information

Leisure, Sport & Fitness
   

Information from National Skills Bulletin 2009, compiled by FAS and the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs
Arts, Sports & Tourism Occupations
 
Skills shortages
More information on skills shortages can be found in the Labour Market Information section of this site.

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  Beauty,Hair Care,Leisure & Sport
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  Sport / Leisure / Beauty

 
 
Leisure, Sport & Fitness icon

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The Leisure, Sport and Fitness sector encompasses a wide range of activities from themeparks, cinemas and outdoor pursuits, to competitive sport, recreational sport, health and fitness. Sports media and sports tourism can additionally be included.  The industry has expanded as people continue to become more health conscious and have more leisure time than in the past.  

LEISURE 

The Leisure industry is the segment focused on entertainment and recreation, and related products and services. It includes a long list of entertainment activities such as cinema, horse racing, theme parks, betting shops, and gaming casinos. Leisure is a labour intensive service industry.

SPORT & FITNESS

The level of interest in both following sport, and in participating in sport has never been greater. There are more than 38,000 people employed in the sports sector alone in Ireland, according to the Irish Federation of Sport, representing approximatley 2% of the total national workforce. 

The commercial side of the sport sector accounts for 8,134 jobs (21%) of the total. There are a futher 8,826 jobs (23%)  in the voluntary sport sector. The supply of goods and services into the sports sector accounts for close to 15,000 jobs. 

The Sport and Fitness segment can be divided into two broad areas:

Competitive sport – includes all forms of physical activity aimed at improving physical fitness and at obtaining improved results in competition at all levels - amateur and professional, local, national and international.

Recreational sport – includes all forms of physical leisure and fitness activities, i.e. sporting activities aimed at improving physical fitness and mental wellbeing, as well as forming social relationships. Recreational sport can include organised sporting activities along with recreational walking, exercise, gym-based activities, jogging, yoga, golf, skiing, sailing, bowling and many more.

The number and variety of leisure and sports centres has increased significantly in recent years, with huge diversity in the types of services offered. Smaller facilities typically offer a gym and changing rooms, but bigger operations may provide a full suite of sports and leisure activities, equipment, swimming pool, treatment rooms, classes and training courses and even a bar and catering facilities.


CAREERS IN LEISURE, SPORT & FITNESS

The range of career opportunities available in this sector of the economy is wide and diverse. Most people who opt to work in this area have the shared aim of helping others to enjoy their leisure time.

Potential areas of work include:

  • Leisure centre or gymnasium - as a manager, assistant manager, lifeguard, personal trainer, fitness instructer or spa therapist
  • Coaching and instructing - health and fitness consultant, sports manager, horse riding, football clubs, outdoor activities, yoga or a specific sport
  • Professional sport - e.g. footballer, jockey, golfer, caddie, rally driver, promoter
  • Entertainment -  e.g. work in cinemas, horse-racing, theme parks, betting shops, casinos
  • Voluntary & Social - youth clubs, community workshops 

Employers in this sector include large leisure companies, leisure centres, theme parks, health and fitness clubs, hotels and sports clubs, sports arenas, colleges, cultural organisations, tour operators, local authorities, community centres, cinemas and music venues. 

Working conditions vary according to the particular role. Some jobs are based indoors, in hotels, sports shops, gymnasiums, sports halls or cinemas, while others, such as horse riding instruction, outdoor activities in sports clubs or adventure centres are largely based outdoors. Some jobs will call for large amounts of physical training and activity. Many jobs in this sector will involve working irregular hours, shift work, evening work, weekend and bank holiday work.

The sector can offer the opportunity for promotion to supervisory or managerial levels. Sports people often move into business, or to jobs in media, broadcasting, or communications on retiring from their professional sport.  The sector offers plenty of opportunities to travel and work abroad (e.g. cruise ships) and in some jobs, it is possible to become self-employed.

Skills and Abilities
An ability to communicate well with people and a helpful attitude are important in most jobs found in this sector. Organisational and teamwork skills are often required, together with problem-solving and sometimes good business skills.  A professional sportsperson needs to have an exceptionally high level of skill and be totally dedicated to their sport.

Getting into Sports and Leisure
Jobs in these industries have very different entry requirements. Some demand specific qualifications, while others require no formal qualification.

With the increasing professionalisation of sport, together with the regulation of the sector, experience of fitness techniques alone is not usually enough. Level 5 and 6 qualifications are an excellent entry route to the sector, for exmple, where a specific set of skills is required in order to do the job (i.e. Health and Fitness instructor) and third level degrees are increasingly valuable, such as where business and mangement aspects of the activity are called for.

Generally, there is a wide variety of courses that can help prepare for entry to these areas of work, ranging from Post Leaving Cert (PLC) courses for careers in Leisure Centres to Level 8 Honours Degree courses in Sports Science, Sports Engineering or Business and Sports Management.

All people who are working with children or vulnerable persons, including the provision of leisure, sporting or physical activities, require Garda Vetting. This is typically part of the recruitment process.

SECTOR OUTLOOK
In the current economic climate, and with reduced disposable income, people are tending to spend less on leisure activities, and on certain sporting activities such as gym memberships. However, people still want to go out to enjoy their leisure time and be entertained, but they will do it on a tighter budget and be more aware of value for money, putting the demand on quality of service.

On the sport and fitness front, the increased professionalism of sport and the growing scientific approach to fitness, together with the incredible growth of events like the Olympic Games, Special Olympics, The World Cup and other such sporting events, will ensure continued demand for a wide range of job roles in this segment.

Current government policy on promoting healthier lifestyles and increasing participation in sport, will also contribute to ensuring some level of demand for appropriately qualified instructors and professionals, although Government funding cuts are impacting on the number of publicly-funded roles.






  
Useful Links
Total Records:
Name Full Address Phone Number
Association for Adventure Sports Association for Adventure Sports, Secretary of Centre Standards Board, Carrowcashel, Ramelton, Co Donegal

074 - 915 2800

Association of Irish Riding Establishments Beech House, Millenium Park, Naas, Co. Kildare

045 - 854 518

Athletics Ireland Unit 19, Northwood Court Northwood Business Campus Santry, Dublin 9

01 - 886 0033

Coaching Ireland University of Limerick, Ireland

061 - 202 895

Cycling Ireland Cycling Ireland, Kelly Roche House, 619 North Circular Road, Dublin 1

01 - 855 1522

Dept. Transport, Tourism & Sport 44, Kildare St., Dublin, 2

01 - 670 7444

Football Association of Ireland F.A.I., National Sports Campus, Abbotstown, Dublin 15

01 - 899 9500

Institute of Leisure & Amenity Management I.L.A.M., Allenwood Enterprise Park, Allenwood North, Naas, Co. Kildare

045 - 859 950

Irish National Stud Irish National Stud, Tully, Kildare

045 - 521 251

Irish Sports Council Irish Sports Council, Top Floor, Block A Westend Office Park Blanchardstown, Dublin 15

01 - 860 8800

Irish Underwater Council 78A Patrick St., Dunlaoighre, Co. Dublin

01 - 284 4601

National Community Games National Community Games, 13 Joyce Way, Park West, Dublin 12

01 - 625 1180

Olympic Council of Ireland Olympic Council of Ireland, Olympic House, Harbour Road, Howth, Co. Dublin

01 - 866 0555

Professional Golfers' Association Professional Golfers' Association, Blackrock, Dundalk, Co. Louth

042 - 932 1193

Racing Academy R.A.C.E., Racing Academy & Centre of Education, Curragh House, Dublin Road, Kildare town, Co. Kildare

045 - 522 468

The Irish Institute of Sport Irish Sports Council, Westend Office Park, Dublin 15

01 - 860 8800

 

 
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63 CAO / HETAC Courses
Central Applications Office 63 courses found.
View full list

Some example courses in this sector...

Adventure Tourism Management
Tralee IT
Adventure Tourism Management
Tralee IT
Athletic Therapy and Training
DCU
Business (Sport and Recreation)
Athlone IT
Business with Sports Management
Limerick IT
Equine Business
NUI Maynooth
Equine Science
University of Limerick
Equine Science
University of Limerick
Event Management
Dundalk IT
Exercise and Health Studies
Waterford IT
Gym Instructor & Personal Trainer
Portobello Institute
Health and Leisure
Tralee IT
Health and Leisure
Tralee IT
Health and Leisure with Massage
Tralee IT
Health and Leisure with Massage
Tralee IT
Health and Performance Science
UCD (NUI)
Health Science and Physiology
IT Sligo
Horticulture and Agri-Environmental Sciences
UCD (NUI)
Hospitality Management
Waterford IT
Hospitality Management
Griffith College. Limerick
Hospitality Management
American College
Hotel and Catering Management
Galway-Mayo IT
Hotel Management
Tralee IT
International Hospitality Management
DIT
Leisure Management
DIT
Occupational Therapy
TCD
Outdoor Education and Leisure (Castlebar)
Galway-Mayo IT
Outdoor Education and Leisure with Geography (Castlebar)
Galway-Mayo IT
Physical Education with Biology
DCU
Physical Education with concurrent Teacher Education
University of Limerick
Physical Education with Mathematics
DCU
Physiology and Health Science
IT Carlow
Physiotherapy
UCD (NUI)
Recreation and Leisure (incl Business Skills)
IT Sligo
Recreation and Leisure Management
Cork Institute of Technology
Recreation and Sports Management
Waterford IT
Sport and Exercise (GAA)
IT Carlow
Sport and Exercise (Soccer)
IT Carlow
Sport and Exercise - Rugby
IT Carlow
Sport and Exercise Sciences
University of Limerick
Sport Coaching & Performance
Letterkenny IT
Sport Science
IT Carlow
Sport Science and Health
DCU
Sport, Excercise and Enterprise
Dundalk IT
Sports and Exercise Management
UCD (NUI)
Sports Coaching and Development
Limerick IT
Sports Coaching and Performance
Waterford IT
Sports Management
UCD (NUI)
Sports Management and Coaching
IT Blanchardstown
Sports Management and Coaching
IT Blanchardstown
Sports Management and Coaching (GAA, Rugby or Soccer)
IT Carlow
Sports Rehabilitation and Athletic Therapy
IT Carlow
Sports Science and Health
IT Tallaght
Sports Science and Health
IT Tallaght
Sports Science with Exercise Physiology
Athlone IT
Sports Strength and Conditioning (Thurles)
Limerick IT
Sports Strength and Conditioning (Thurles)
Limerick IT
Sports Studies
Letterkenny IT
Sports Studies and Physical Education
UCC (NUI)
Sports Studies with Marketing - Cancelled
Letterkenny IT
Sports Therapy with Rehabilitation
Athlone IT
Strength & Conditioning
Setanta College
Strength and Conditioning
IT Carlow

119 PLC / FETAC Courses
PLC/FETAC Courses 119 courses found.
View full list

Sample courses...

Advanced Cert in Sports Development
Galway Community College
Business Studies with Sport & Recreation Options
Abbey Community College - Boyle
Coach Education 1
Colaiste Stiofain Naofa CFE
Coach Education 2
Colaiste Stiofain Naofa CFE
Complementary Therapies - Including Remedial & Sports Massage
Senior College Dun Laoghaire
Exercise & Fitness Instructor - Sports Coaching
Portlaoise College
Exercise & Health Fitness
Ormonde College of Further Education
Exercise and Fitness Instructor - Leisure Management
Portlaoise College
Exercise. Fitness & Nutrition Studies
Galway Community College
Exercise. Fitness & Nutrition Studies
Crumlin College of Further Education
Fitness & Health
Waterford College of Further Education
Football - Association
Colaiste Ide College of Further Education
Golf and Sports Turf Management
Templemore College of Further Education
Greenkeeping
Plunket College
Greenkeeping & Sportsturf Management
Colaiste Stiofain Naofa CFE
Health Science - Physiology and Sport
Colaiste Dhulaigh College of Further Education
Horsemanship
Listowel Community College
Horsemanship (Equitation or Stud Management)
Kildalton Agricultural & Horticultural College
Horsemanship - Equine Studies & Business Management
Cavan Institute
Horsemanship - Stud Management - Advanced
Kildalton Agricultural & Horticultural College
Leisure & Beauty
Colaiste Ide College of Further Education
Leisure & Recreation Management
Inchicore College of Further Education
Leisure & Recreation Studies 1
Colaiste Stiofain Naofa CFE
Leisure & Recreation Studies 2
Colaiste Stiofain Naofa CFE
Leisure Management
Carlow Institute of Further Education
Leisure Management
St. Louis Community School
Leisure Management
Muinebheag Vocational School
Leisure Management
St. Kevin's College Crumlin
Leisure Management & Fitness Instructor
Sallynoggin College of Further Education
Leisure Management - Advanced
Central College Limerick
Leisure Studies
Enniscorthy Vocational College
Outdoor Adventure Education - Leadership Training
Kinsale College of Further Education
Outdoor Adventure Management
Colaiste Dhulaigh College of Further Education
Outdoor Pursuits
Lough Allen College
Outdoor Recreation
Drogheda Institute of Further Education
Outdoor Recreation
Bray Institute of Further Education
Outdoor Recreation
Cavan Institute
Outdoor Recreation
Monaghan Inst of FE & Training
Outdoor Recreation
St. Kevin's College Crumlin
Outdoor Recreation
Lanesboro Community College
Outdoor Sport & Recreation
Schull Community College
Personal Trainer & Leisure Management
Bray Institute of Further Education
Personal Trainer & Sports Therapist
Sallynoggin College of Further Education
Physical Fitness & Conditioning + ITEC Gym Instruction Certificate
Setanta College
Physical Fitness & Conditioning for Sport
Setanta College
Physiology & Health Science
Enniscorthy Vocational College
Physiology & Sport
Ennis Community College
Physiology & Sports Injury Management
Carlow Institute of Further Education
Resistance Training & Weight Training for Sport
Setanta College
Soccer & Gym Instruction
Bray Institute of Further Education
Soccer Career & Development - Year 1
Pearse College of Further Education
Soccer Career & Development - Year 2
Pearse College of Further Education
Soccer Education & Coaching
Colaiste Stiofain Naofa CFE
Spa & Complimentary Therapies
Carlow Institute of Further Education
Spa Therapies - Advanced
Senior College Dun Laoghaire
Sport & Exercise Science
Colaiste Stiofain Naofa CFE
Sport & Exercise Science, Health & Fitness Diploma
Inchicore College of Further Education
Sport & Gym Instruction Studies
Bray Institute of Further Education
Sport & Leisure - Soccer Skills
Galway Technical Institute
Sport & Leisure Management
Monaghan Inst of FE & Training
Sport & Leisure Management - Coaching
Colaiste Ide College of Further Education
Sport & Physical Therapy Studies
Monaghan Inst of FE & Training
Sport & Recreation
Listowel Community College
Sport & Recreation
Errigal College
Sport & Recreation
Waterford College of Further Education
Sport & Recreation
Moyne College
Sport & Recreation
St. Joseph's Secondary School Ballybunion
Sport & Recreation
McEgan College
Sport & Recreation
St. Conleth's Vocational School
Sport & Recreation
Limerick College of Further Education
Sport & Recreation
Banagher College - Colaiste na Sionna
Sport & Recreation
Ramsgrange Community School
Sport & Recreation
Ardscoil Phadraig
Sport & Recreation
Mercy College Sligo
Sport & Recreation
St Patrick's Comprehensive School Shannon
Sport & Recreation
Tralee Community College
Sport & Recreation
Carlow Institute of Further Education
Sport & Recreation
Nenagh Vocational School
Sport & Recreation
Drogheda Institute of Further Education
Sport & Recreation Coaching Studies
Galway Community College
Sport & Recreation Studies
St. Louis Community School
Sport Coaching
Monaghan Inst of FE & Training
Sport Coaching & Leisure Management
Cavan Institute
Sport Development & Health Promotion
Monaghan Inst of FE & Training
Sport Development - Advanced
Listowel Community College
Sport Development - Advanced
Drogheda Institute of Further Education
Sport Development - Advanced
Limerick College of Further Education
Sport, Exercise & Coaching
Colaiste Chathail Naofa
Sport, Recreation & Exercise
Moate Business College
Sport. Health & Fitness Studies
O'Fiaich Institute
Sports & Exercise Performance
Colaiste Stiofain Naofa CFE
Sports & Leisure Management
Colaiste Ide College of Further Education
Sports & Recreation
Central College Limerick
Sports & Recreation
Colaiste Mhuire Thurles
Sports & Recreation
St. Fanahan's College
Sports & Recreational Studies
Columba College
Sports Coaching
Inchicore College of Further Education
Sports Coaching
Colaiste Chiarain Croom
Sports Coaching & Leisure Facility Management
Greenhills College
Sports Development
Lough Allen College
Sports Development & Coaching - Advanced
Cavan Institute
Sports Development - Advanced
Colaiste Mhuire Thurles
Sports Development - Advanced
O'Fiaich Institute
Sports Injuries & Therapy - 1
Colaiste Stiofain Naofa CFE
Sports Injury Management
Limerick College of Further Education
Sports Injury Treatment
Drogheda Institute of Further Education
Sports Injury Treatment
Mallow College of Further Education
Sports Management & Coaching
Dunboyne College of Further Education
Sports Therapy & Injury Management
Waterford College of Further Education
Sports Therapy & Physiotherapy Assistant
Cavan Institute
Sports Therapy - Year 1
Crumlin College of Further Education
Sports Therapy - Year 2
Crumlin College of Further Education
Sports, Physical Fitness & Massage
Waterford College of Further Education
Sports, Recreation & Exercise
Colaiste Eoin Hacketstown
Sports, Recreation & Exercise
Colaiste Chiarain Croom
Sports, Recreation & Exercise
Muinebheag Vocational School
Sports, Recreation and Exercise
Templemore College of Further Education
Strength & Conditioning
Setanta College
Tourism & Travel Studies - Option Three - Environmental & Adventure Tourism
Crumlin College of Further Education

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Post Grad Courses (from Qualifax)

SOLAS Courses (from Qualifax)