A website maintained for the Sheffield City Region by the HEPP

Helping apprentices progress into Higher Education

Career Pathways

Sport & Active Leisure (including Hair & Beauty)

Working in the sport and leisure sector can be tough; expect long hours and relatively low wages in the beginning. Career prospects are good and often progression to management level is possible. There are strong links to the Travel and Tourism sector, plus aspects of health (for jobs such as Physiotherapist and Fitness Workers).

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Types of Job

Fitness trainer
Nation Average Salary: £19,368
Leisure centre attendant
Nation Average Salary: £17,309
Sports coach
Nation Average Salary: £24,387
Sports physiotherapist
Nation Average Salary: £34,647
Sport & exercise psychologist
Nation Average Salary: £40,812

Do you like working with people and providing a service? Are you interested in fitness as a career?
Are you good at coaching others? Do you dream of being a beauty therapist and travelling?

This broad work sector has a wide number of different apprenticeship opportunities and levels, depending on where your interests lie. There are opportunities in Sport and the Leisure industry (including Hair and Beauty).

The apprenticeship areas covered by Sport and Leisure include; Sports Development, Exercise and Fitness, Nail Services, Barbering and Beauty Therapy.

If you’re studying a Sport related apprenticeship, you may study areas including; promoting health, safety and welfare in active leisure and at Level 3 (Advanced) provide leadership in sport and active leisure.

For areas included in Hair and Beauty, you could be developing a range of creative nail images (Nail Services), style and finish hair (Hairdressing), carry out massage using pre-blended aromatherapy oils (Beauty Therapy – Massage), cut facial hair using basic techniques (Barbering).

Remember to look at entry requirements and progression routes with your chosen providers as part of your decision making process. Talk to as many people as possible and do your research.

Regional Facts

There were around 11,500 jobs in this sector in South Yorkshire in 2014, up from 11,000 in 2011.

Venues such as Doncaster Racecourse, Yorkshire Wildlife Park and Ponds Forge contribute to increased jobs in leisure, tourism and sport.

The region is well known as a centre for sporting excellence. This has been boosted by its association with Olympic and World Champion Gold medal winner Jessica Ennis-Hill.

For this sector (along with many others), it’s important to gain not only qualifications but also experience. Look at doing a relevant coaching course, volunteering/helping younger students.

12 per cent of the UK population are registered members of a health and fitness club or publicly-owned gym. And almost 90 per cent of people live within two miles of one.

Career Facts


  • Teamworking
  • Customer Focus
  • Commitment to exercise
  • Specific sporting skills
  • Communication skills
  • Problem solving
  • Negotiation skills
  • Patience

Useful subjects include:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Sciences
  • Business admin
  • ICT
  • Physical education

Interested? For more information...

Some local employers