Occupational Clusters in Sports & Recreation

Occupational clusters refers to groupings of careers that are similar based on required skills, knowledge, duties, education and working environments. Career exploration is often facilitated by identifying occupational clusters of interest. Career Cruising (login information can be found on the home page of the Career Centre's online system), an online career exploration tool, provides information on careers including: job descriptions, working conditions, education, career paths, related jobs, and interviews with professionals in the field.

Sports Administration

In response to a growth in professionalism in sports, there has been an increased demand for jobs in sports administration. Sports Administrators are involved in managing and promoting sporting teams, sports clubs, fitness centres and sports facilities, marketing sports programs, in sales for sporting goods manufacturers and working as Athletic Directors. There are also opportunities in the management of professional sports. Sports Administrators work in a variety of settings including schools, colleges, universities, stadiums, offices and sporting events.

Sports Engineering

A career in sports engineering may be the perfect way for individuals to combine their passion for sport and science/technology. Sports engineering combines technology with the mechanics and equipment used in sports. Sports engineering careers also apply the laws of science to enhance and create new types of surfaces and equipment present in sports arenas, gyms, fields and other venues. Projects for sports engineers could involve, for example, developing mountain bike suspension technology or improving the aerodynamics of golf balls to increase flying time and accuracy.

Fitness and Wellness

With growing interest in getting healthy and fit, there is much opportunity in fitness and wellness careers and in health education and promotion. Generally, people working in fitness and wellness lead and teach individuals, teams, and/or groups of people through cardiovascular exercises, strength training regimens, and stretching to improve flexibility. Job opportunities may be found in local health clubs, with professional sports teams, post-secondary athletic teams, private clubs, health and fitness companies, in hospitals or rehabilitation clinics, yoga and pilates studios, resorts, cruise ships, and clients' homes. Increasingly, fitness workers are also found in workplaces, where they organize and direct health and fitness programs for staff. Many ex-athletes work as personal trainers/coaches.

Wellness coaching is a growing field that goes beyond personal training. Wellness coaches tend to focus on the big picture, working with clients to develop programs by looking at the obstacles that stand in the way of success. Wellness coaches specialize in one or more of the following areas: fitness, nutrition, weight management, stress reduction/management and health risk management.

Health Promotion and Education

Careers in health promotion and education focus on prevention of health problems or their early diagnosis, and on enhancing wellness. Health promotion and education professionals typically assist in health program and policy development and implementation at the individual, community, government and even international levels. Employment opportunities can be found in international organizations, hospitals and health institutions, community health-related organizations, academic institutions, government agencies/departments (municipal, provincial and federal), and private industry.

Sports Media

Careers in sports media include:

  • Sports journalists who write for websites, magazines, newspapers, and blogs about sporting events and games, team news, player transactions, coaching changes and trends involving the teams or sports they cover; (for more resources about careers in journalism, see the Careers in Communications section)
  • Sports Radio/TV broadcasters and announcers who provide live or play-by-play coverage and analysis of sporting events, games and competitions over the radio or on TV;
  • Sports Marketing and PR Professionals who plan, develop, and implement comprehensive and innovative marketing, public relations, and promotion programs aimed at increasing the awareness of and interest in a particular sport, team, game, event or league

Sports Medicine

Sports medicine professionals prevent, diagnose and treat sports or exercise related injuries. In addition to sports physicians, careers in this field may include professionals who specialize in: biomechanics, chiropractic, ergonomics, exercise physiology, kinesiology, massage therapy, occupational therapy, orthopedics, sports nutrition, physical therapy, or sports psychology (for more information about careers in sports medicine, see the Medicine and Health section).

Recreation and Leisure

Careers in recreation and leisure typically involve developing, implementing or managing recreation programs aimed at promoting the health and well-being of individuals. Professionals working in this field may find work in a wide variety of environments including community health promotion organizations, campus recreation in post-secondary institutions, fitness and health centres, sports clubs, recreation centres, community sport councils, nursing or retirement homes, hospitals, ecotourism or adventure tourism companies, YM-YWCAs, children's camps, event and conference planning firms, theme parks, cruise ships, and government agencies in areas such as tourism, recreation, health, education, natural resources, economic development, correctional services and social services.