Trends & Features

CIMSPA study reveals the most in-demand roles in sport and physical activity

The data has been put into this interactive tool.

The Most In-Demand Roles

The data reveal a large increase in demand for some key roles over recent years, with vacancies for yoga, swimming and martial arts teachers seeing some of the sharpest increases since 2019.

Nutritionists, health and wellness coaches, cycling coaches, activity support workers and sports physiotherapists have also seen a rapid rise in demand for their professional skills.

As we head into the summer, a shortage of qualified lifeguards is likely to be a real issue in many parts of the country. In 2021, there were over 15,000 lifeguard vacancies posted, making it one of the most in-demand roles in the sector, and 2022 is expected to see a similar level of demand.

Jo Talbot, commercial director of the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), said: “Lifeguarding is one of the most important and rewarding roles in sport and physical activity. Without qualified lifeguards, many swimming pools and other water sports activities simply couldn’t take place. There are many options for becoming qualified at lifeguard courses across the country. Once qualified, we know from our recent survey that a lifeguard role provides excellent rewards including job satisfaction and future career opportunities.”

English Counties with the highest Demand

The greatest demand for sport and physical activity professionals in England comes from the West Midlands, where job listings for personal trainers, sport physiotherapists and lifeguards have boomed since 2019. Overall, listings for roles in the sector have increased 251 per cent more in the West Midlands than in the average county.

Around the country, other places seeing sharp rises over the past three years are Kent, Hampshire, Cambridgeshire and Berkshire, where vacancies have increased by 123 per cent, 113 per cent, 110 per cent and 97 per cent respectively.

Unprecedented Level of Demand

Tara Dillon, CEO of CIMSPA, said: “This analysis of the data highlights the unprecedented level of demand for qualified sport and physical activity professionals in a wide range of roles, right across the country. It also shows that this can be a financially rewarding sector to work in, with an abundance of entry points via professional qualifications, apprenticeships and degree courses. As the importance of sport and physical activity becomes increasingly recognised, there’s never been a better time to develop a career in the sector.”

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