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I want an adventurous career

If you’re a people person, with bags of energy and a hard-working approach to life, an adventurous career in sport and leisure or travel and tourism can open you up to a world of real job satisfaction.


If you’re an active person who would like to turn an interest or your favourite sport or pastime into a career, check out these potential job options in the sport and leisure industry.

Horse riding instructor

Riding instructors are skilled horse riders themselves and they use those skills to teach people of all ages and abilities how to ride and care for horses. Riding instructors teach in purpose-built, indoor and outdoor riding schools and usually have a recognised qualification from The British Horse Society (BHA) and the Association of British Riding Schools (ABRS) or they may have completed an equine apprenticeship. The starting salary is around £12,000 a year.

​Play worker

Play workers are involved in organising fun leisure activities, working on play schemes and events for children aged 4-16 in places like breakfast clubs, after school clubs, summer schools and playgroups. They don’t necessarily have to have any qualifications and many students volunteer as play workers in schools during their own holidays to gain experience if they plan to go into teaching or childcare as a career, for instance. The starting salary for a paid play worker is around £10,000 a year.

​​Sport and exercise psychologist

Sport and exercise psychologists work closely with individual sportsmen and women and groups and teams to help motivate them mentally, emotionally and physically to help them achieve their absolute best and fulfil their athletic and sporting potential. Sports psychologists will have completed a three-year degree in psychology followed by a master’s degree in sport and exercise psychology. Their starting salary is around £20,000 a year.


If you fancy a career where you’ll spend a lot of your time working with the public and making their holidays, travel arrangements and leisure time as good as they can get, a job in the big wide world of tourism is an excellent option.  You could work in airports, hotels, visitor attractions, castles and museums or on cruise ships and at big tourist events.

Events manager

Events managers organise large promotional and marketing events like concerts, festivals and conferences, for clients in a variety of different fields, such as the automotive industry, education, retail, hospitality, fashion or leisure and travel, who want to promote their products and businesses. They also arrange and coordinate festivals and events for various branches of the arts, such as film, TV, theatre, art and music. You can study events and/or hospitality management at various levels but if you have the right drive and personality, it is possible to get into events management without formal qualifications. The starting salary is around £17,000 a year.

Tour guide

Tour guides meet, greet and often travel with groups of tourists on buses or on cruise ships to take them around and talk knowledgeably about sites of historical interest like castles and ancient monuments. They can also lead tours around museums, towns and cities and famous visitor attractions all over the country. You don’t need formal qualifications for this job but you’ll need a good standard of education, be very confident, have a great memory for facts and a genuine interest in the subject you’ll be talking to tourists about. Tour guides are usually paid no less than the minimum wage and often on an hourly basis, which is £6.50 an hour (£6.70 from 1st October 2015).

​Travel agent

Travel agents provide a personal service to people who want to plan a holiday. They book flights, arrange accommodation and secure holiday insurance for their customers. They also advise on visas and passports and plan the holiday itinerary, i.e. pre-booking day trips and excursions. Employers usually ask you to have GCSEs in English and maths and if you want to gain formal qualifications to give you a head start, you can study travel and tourism management at NVQ, BTEC, HND and HNC levels as well as a BA Honours degree in travel and tourism. The starting salary is around £12,000 a year.

About Lynette Daly

Lynette is the publishing editor of Moving On magazine. Moving On is devoted to helping young people make good choices for their future – education, qualifications and careers. Moving On really wants to motivate you! Our articles cover a range of topics to inspire and give ideas. Our magazines are delivered free to all schools, colleges and sixth forms in England and is also available online.

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