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Job Description

As a Leisure Centre Manager you will responsible for the day to day running of a leisure or sports facility, duties could include recruiting and managing staff, controlling budgets, arranging time tables of activities, ensuring the centre is compliant with regulations, making sure the equipment is maintained and in good working order, taking responsibility for health and safety of clients and staff, promoting the centre through social media and events.

Entry Requirements

There are various ways that you could get into this role:


You could do an advanced apprenticeship as a leisure duty manager.

This will usually take 18 months to complete and you will do on the job training as part of the apprenticeship as well as learning through a college or training provider.

Entry requirements for the apprenticeship are usually 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths.


You could do a college course which will give you some of the skills and knowledge required for this role.  Relevant subjects include:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Leisure Management
  • Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport

You will usually need 4 or 5 GCSE's at grades 9 to 4 or equivalent for a level 3 course

The following local colleges may offer relevant courses or you could see if your local 6th form offers relevant A Levels


You could do a foundation degree, higher national diploma or degree in:

  • sports and leisure management
  • leisure studies
  • sports science
  • recreation management

You will usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels, or equivalent, for a foundation degree or higher national diploma
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

University Course Search

Once you have a degree you could apply for a graduate management trainee scheme with one of the larger leisure centres

Work Based Route

You could start as a fitness assistant or management trainee in a leisure center and take professional qualifications to become a manager.

Career Tips

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

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.

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Leisure centre assistant
  • Fitness instructor
  • Football referee
  • Hotel manager
  • Sport and exercise psychologist

We highly recommend that you try to achieve at least a grade 4 (C) in English & Maths. Achieving this minimum grade in these subject will increase opportunities in the future and help with your career development and prospects.

If you don't achieve the minimum grades, you will be supported to continue to study English and Maths throughout your full-time education or an apprenticeship.

Required Skills

  • A good interest in physical fitness and sport
  • Good customer service skills
  • The ability to work within budgets
  • Good marketing and promotional abilities
  • Able to lead and manage a team effectively
  • Good IT skills

Salary Range

£18,000 to £35,000

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