Program Leaders and Instructors in Recreation, Sport and Fitness

NOC 5254


Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness lead and instruct groups and individuals in recreational, sports, fitness or athletic programs. They are employed by 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 establishments.


  • 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
  • Assist with co-ordination of special events
  • Schedule activities, keep logs, maintain records and prepare reports
  • May train and supervise staff
  • May maintain and repair sports equipment.

Other Titles

  • fitness appraiser
  • certified personal trainer
  • swimming instructor – sports
  • playground worker
  • gymnastics teacher
  • recreation technician
  • camp counsellor
  • riding instructor
  • recreation program leader
  • ski instructor
  • personal trainer
  • day camp leader
  • lifeguard
  • search and rescue crew member – sports and recreation
  • ski patroller

(Government of Canada National Occupation Classification)


  • Leadership
  • Patience
  • Physical stamina
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Customer service
  • Motivational skills
  • Counselling

Education/Training Requirements

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)

  • Completion of secondary school is usually required

Post-secondary diploma/degree

  • Completion of a college 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, such as ski instructor or personal trainer, or in first aid or emergency care.
  • Demonstrated ability in a particular recreational, sports or fitness discipline is required.
  • Fitness appraiser certification may be required for fitness appraisers.

Potential Earnings in Durham Region

The average and median wages and salaries for individuals employed as program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness are as follows. Place of Residence (POR) is defined as individuals who reside within the Durham Region. Place of Work (POW) is defined as individuals who are employed within the Durham Region.

Median Wages and Salaries (POR) Average Wages and Salaries (POR) Median Wages and Salaries (POW) Average Wages and Salaries (POW)
$5,111 $9,649 $9,694 $13,903

Employment Prospects

Industry (NAICS) Jobs in Durham Region (POW) Durham Region Residents Employed (POR)
9130 Local, municipal and regional public administration 295 310

(Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development 2016 data in Durham Workforce Authority’s 2017 Sector Report)

Additional Resources

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