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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

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Role of a fitness centre manager

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hands-on approach: An interest in physical fitness is just one aspect of a health centre manager’s role

A FITNESS centre manager is responsible for managing a centre for the promotion of activities related to physical fitness.

Managerial responsibilities usually include attracting new clients and retaining members, generating revenue, recruiting, managing and training staff, organising and publicising events, ensuring compliance with health and safety regulations, and overseeing maintenance of equipment.

Typical work activities usually include:

  • designing and promoting activities to meet customer demand and generate revenue
  • advertising and promotion;
  • training and supervising staff;
  • health and safety checks;
  • maintaining high levels of customer care and handling complaints, as necessary;
  • delivering fitness training;
  • preparing and checking budgets, stock and cashing up money.

Salary and conditions

Range of typical starting salaries: £14,850 to £26,500. Range of typical salaries at senior level with experience: £29,000-£43,000. Salaries vary widely depending on the size and type of facility and the pay scales offered in a particular organisation.

Organisations with a policy of graduate recruitment, who may target a wealthier clientele, tend to pay better. Bonuses related to targets, such as membership retention or attracting new members, are frequently paid.

Working hours typically include regular unsocial hours, with early and late shifts and weekend working.

Self-employment and freelance work are uncommon, except as a personal trainer or, occasionally, as a consultant. Part-time work is common.

Just over half are female entrants.

Entry requirements

THIS area of work is open to all graduates, but the following degree subjects may increase your chances: sports science or sports management; leisure management or recreation management; physiology; psychology; education.

Although this area of work is open to all diploma holders, the following HND/foundation degree subjects may increase your chances: sports science or sport and leisure management; recreation management; travel, tourism or leisure studies; business, management or other business-related subjects.

Personal qualities, business and management interests and skills, and relevant fitness qualifications can be as important as the subject you have studied at university or college.

Entry without a degree or HND/foundation degree is fairly common, although entrants are increasingly educated to degree level.

Pre-entry experience in a fitness or leisure centre is almost always essential. Fitness instructor qualifications and first aid or pool lifeguard certificates can be useful.

Candidates will need to show an interest in physical fitness and sport, although active ability is not essential. They will also need good inter-personal, time management and organisational skills; an ability to work within, as well as to lead and motivate, a team; and proven business and commercial acumen.

The first step is to gain experience in a fitness centre. Part-time and casual staff are often employed, particularly for evening and weekend shifts, in roles such as swimming pool attendant, membership sales adviser or fitness centre assistant.

Learn as much as you can about the management of the centre and start to establish a network of contacts.

Courses are run at local FE colleges, through charities and by university counselling services, and specific counselling for sport courses are run by The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES).

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