Recreation, Sport, and Fitness Program Leaders and Instructors

(NOC 5254)

in All Art, Culture, Recreation and Sport

Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness lead and instruct groups and individuals in recreational, sports, fitness, or athletic programs. They work for community centres, sports and fitness clubs, outdoor centres, resorts, recreational facilities, health care facilities, retirement homes, correctional institutions, government departments, private businesses, tourism associations and similar organizations.

Job Outlook

average

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  • Estimate Strong growth employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 265 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2022

Compared to: All Art, Culture, Recreation and Sport

  • Estimate 840 employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 1495 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a fairly large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities occur fairly regularly. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow significantly over the next few years, which will provide additional opportunities for employment. With a small percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are not expected to be a major contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Program Leaders and Instructors in Recreation, Sport, and Fitness may either be working full-time or part-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs may either be permanent or temporary positions, as both are common.

Public interest in fitness and health should continue to create a demand for these types of positions although there is some dependency on government funding for facilities, programs, and staffing. Job opportunities are often part-time or seasonal, lower-paying, and filled by students during the summer months.

Hourly Pay

$13.60

Minimum

$14.00

Median

$23.08

Maximum

Annual Pay

$915

Minimum

$5,177

Median

$26,922

Maximum

Compared to: All Art, Culture, Recreation and Sport

Hourly Pay

$13.00

Minimum

$21.00

Median

$40.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$945

Minimum

$11,712

Median

$60,447

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness lead and instruct groups and individuals in recreational, sports, fitness, or athletic programs. They work for community centres, sports and fitness clubs, outdoor centres, resorts, recreational facilities, health care facilities, retirement homes, correctional institutions, government departments, private businesses, tourism associations and similar organizations.

Job duties

Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport, and fitness:

  • Plan and carry out recreational, athletic, fitness and sports activities.
  • Assemble supplies and sports and game equipment.
  • Demonstrate and instruct athletic, fitness or sports activities and techniques.
  • Instruct groups and individuals in arts, crafts and similar activities and lead groups and individuals in recreational or leisure programs.
  • Attend to clients with special needs.
  • Provide lifestyle awareness information.
  • Conduct therapeutic recreational or athletic activities.
  • Monitor recreational, sports or fitness activities to ensure safety and provide emergency or first aid assistance when required.
  • Enforce safety rules and regulations.
  • Help with special event coordination.
  • Schedule activities, keep logs, maintain records, and prepare reports.
  • May train and supervise staff.
  • May maintain and repair sports equipment.

Sample job titles

  • camp counsellor
  • camp leader
  • fitness instructor
  • lifeguard
  • personal trainer
  • recreation instructor
  • recreation program leader
  • sports and recreation leader
  • sports instructor
  • yoga instructor

Skills

  • You should be determined, patient, and self-confident. You must be able to organize and plan activities as well as motivate and encourage others to perform at their best. Leadership and decision-making skills may be needed in teaching and training. Both spoken and written communication skills are essential for teaching and instructing. Good physical stamina and an interest in sports and physical fitness are also advised.

Job requirements

  • High school is usually required.
  • A college program in recreation or physical education or extensive experience in a specific recreational or sports program activity is usually required.
  • Certification is usually required in a specific area of recreational, sports or fitness activity like ski instructor or personal trainer, or in first aid or emergency care.
  • Fitness appraiser certification may be required for fitness appraisers.

Other considerations

  • Depending on the job, workers may work only part of the year and be unemployed in the fall and winter. Demonstrated ability in a particular recreational, sports or fitness discipline is required.

By the numbers

Quick look

4,065

employed in 2016

35.9%

employed full-time

9.0%

self employed

62.5%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
37.5%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
20.5

median age

Compared to: All Art, Culture, Recreation and Sport

11,000

employed in 2016

53.3%

employed full-time

29.3%

self employed

55.6%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
44.4%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
38.2

median age

Where will I likely work?

54.7%

Halifax

$5,803 median annual income
14.5%

North Shore

$5,332 median annual income
13.3%

Annapolis Valley

$4,224 median annual income
8.8%

Southern

$4,446 median annual income
8.7%

Cape Breton

$6,067 median annual income

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

51.8%

Arts, entertainment and recreation

21.8%

Educational services

10.9%

Public administration

5.7%

Health care and social assistance

4.6%

Other services (except public administration)

What is the age of Employment?

68.0%

15-24

9.0%

25-34

7.0%

35-44

7.0%

45-54

6.0%

55-64

2.0%

65+

Compared to: All Art, Culture, Recreation and Sport

29.7%

15-24

15.9%

35-44

15.7%

45-54

15.4%

25-34

14.9%

55-64

Top levels of education

35.8%

High school

$5,680 median annual income
30.3%

Less than high school

$2,385 median annual income
15.0%

Bachelor

$10,952 median annual income
11.6%

College Diploma

$11,776 median annual income
2.7%

Trade Certification

$12,035 median annual income

Compared to: All Art, Culture, Recreation and Sport

26.4%

Bachelor

$17,829 median annual income
24.9%

High school

$7,552 median annual income
19.5%

College Diploma

$22,120 median annual income
13.7%

Less than high school

$2,922 median annual income
7.9%

Master

$36,173 median annual income

Education & training

Health and Physical Education

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs focus on activities and principles that promote physical fitness, achieve and maintain athletic prowess, and accomplish related research and service goals. They include courses in human movement studies, motivation studies, rules and practice of specific sports, exercise and fitness principles and techniques, basic athletic injury prevention and treatment, and organizing and leading fitness and sports programs.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Health and Wellness

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs prepare students to assume roles as health/wellness professionals in private business and industry, community organizations, and health care settings. They include courses in personal health, community health and welfare, nutrition, epidemiology, disease prevention, fitness and exercise, and health behaviours.

Institutions providing this program

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

High School Diploma or Equivalent

High School Program

Adults without a high school diploma can contact the Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) for tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL oversees adult education programs in Nova Scotia. NSSAL partners with the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations to deliver programs. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

Kinesiology and Exercise Science

College or University Program

These programs focus on the anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and biophysics of human movement, and applications to exercise and therapeutic rehabilitation. They include courses in biomechanics, motor behaviour, motor development and coordination, motor neurophysiology, performance research, rehabilitative therapies, the development of diagnostic and rehabilitative methods and equipment, and related analytical methods and procedures in applied exercise and therapeutic rehabilitation.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

Wolfville, NS

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Parks, Recreation and Leisure Facilities Management

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs prepare students to develop and manage park facilities and other indoor and outdoor recreation and leisure facilities. They include courses in supervising support personnel, health and safety standards, public relations, and basic business and marketing principles.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

Wolfville, NS

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs focus on the principles underlying recreational and leisure activities, and the practices involved in providing indoor and outdoor recreational facilities and services for the general public.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Sport and Fitness Administration/Management

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs prepare students to apply business, coaching and physical education principles to the organization, administration and management of athletic programs and teams, fitness/rehabilitation facilities and health clubs, sport recreation services, and related services. They include courses in program planning and development, business and financial management principles, sales, marketing and recruitment, event promotion, scheduling and management, facilities management, public relations, legal aspects of sports, and applicable health and safety standards.

Institutions providing this program

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Can-Fit-Pro
Toronto, ON
Nova Scotia Fitness Association
Halifax, NS

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.