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NOC 2016 Version 1.3


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5254 – Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness

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.


Example titles

  • Aerobics instructor
  • Camp counsellor
  • Certified personal trainer
  • Day camp leader
  • Fitness appraiser
  • Fitness instructor
  • Gymnastics teacher
  • Personal trainer
  • Playground worker
  • Recreation program leader
  • Recreation technician
  • Riding instructor
  • Ski instructor
  • Swimming instructor - sports
  • Lifeguard
  • Search and rescue crew member - sports and recreation
  • Ski patroller

Main duties

This group performs some or all of the following duties:
  • 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.

Employment requirements

  • Completion of secondary school is usually required.
  • Completion of 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, 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.

Additional information


Breakdown summary

Broad occupational category
5 – Occupations in art, culture, recreation and sport
Skill level
B – Occupations usually require college education, specialized training or apprenticeship training.
Major group
52 – Technical occupations in art, culture, recreation and sport
Minor group
525 – Athletes, coaches, referees and related occupations
Associated Career Handbook profiles
5254.1 – Program leaders and instructors in recreation and sport 5254.2 – Fitness appraisers
NOC 2016 Version 1.3
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