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Golf Professional

Golf professionals manage golf pro shops and operations, promote the game of golf, and provide services, such as teaching, to golfers. Some golf professionals play tournament golf while others manage golf and recreation facilities.

Also Known As

(Assistant / Associate / Executive / Teaching / Tournament) Professional, Educator, Head Pro, Instructor

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Program Leaders and Instructors in Recreation, Sport and Fitness (5254) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Program Leaders and Instructors in Recreation and Sport (F154) 
  • 2011 NOC: Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness (5254) 
  • 2016 NOC: Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness (5254) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Program Leaders and Instructors in Recreation, Sport and Fitness
2006 NOC : 5254

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group


Interest in manipulating and assembling supplies and sports and game equipment; and in monitoring recreational and sports activities to ensure safety and provide emergency and first aid assistance when required


Interest in instructing groups and individuals in arts, crafts and similar activities; in leading groups and individuals in recreational and leisure programs, and in attending clients with special needs by conducting therapeutic recreational and athletic activities


Interest in co-ordinating information to plan recreational, athletic, fitness and sports programs

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests


Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Updated Mar 31, 2020

Golf professionals are expert players who promote all aspects of the sport, including teaching. They provide services such as golf club cleaning, storing, and repairs, caddie service, and rentals of clubs and power carts. They also:

  • Manage a pro shop, which includes recruiting, training, and supervising staff, buying and promoting items for sale, and creating and managing budgets
  • Organize club tournament operations
  • Direct and maintain a golf program, including practice ranges and putting greens
  • Use launch monitor and computer technology to custom-fit golf clubs
  • Book tee times and manage tee operation
  • Represent the club in provincial or national activities such as tournaments, clinics, and seminars
  • Help with golf club administration and management
  • Liaise between the general manager and golf course superintendent

Golf pros who play in tournaments are called tournament professionals. Tournament professionals must be associated with a recognized golf tour.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg

Golf professionals work indoors in golf shops and outdoors playing and teaching. They may need to lift and carry heavy and bulky equipment. They often work long hours in summer, but most of the time they work 40-hour week. The work can be seasonal, from early spring to late fall. To ensure year-round employment, some golf pros develop other golf-related activities, such as indoor teaching, indoor driving ranges, or making custom golf clubs. Some have introduced winter sports to clubs, such as cross-country skiing.

Tournament professionals may play year-round, in Canada during the warmer months and in the southern United States during the winter months. An important part of their work is practicing many hours a day.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Golf professionals need:

  • Honesty and the ability to innovate
  • Dependability
  • Organizational skills
  • A friendly and outgoing manner with a strong customer-service orientation
  • Exceptional golfing skills
  • Teaching skills
  • The willingness to work long, irregular hours
  • Communication skills and the ability to get along with all kinds of people

They should enjoy taking a methodical approach to assembling and custom-fitting equipment. They should enjoy monitoring activities, teaching people, and planning programs.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness
NOC code: 5254

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 78 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Oct 29, 2021 and May 25, 2022.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Plan and carry out recreational, fitness and sports activities
Monitor recreational, sports or fitness activities to ensure safety and provide emergency or first aid assistance when required
Schedule activities, keep logs, maintain records and prepare reports
Demonstrate and instruct athletic, fitness or sports activities and techniques
Lead groups and individuals in recreational or leisure programs
Leading/instructing individuals
Ensure health and safety regulations are followed
Personal Suitability: Reliability
Personal Suitability: Organized
Personal Suitability: Team player
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Minimum Education 3 years post-secondary

The Professional Golfers’ Association of Alberta recommends that aspiring golf professionals develop skills in:

  • Business and leadership
  • Communication and teaching
  • Human resource management
  • Food and beverage management

Additionally, they should learn club house management, turf care, and pro shop merchandising skills.

As well as exceptional golfing skills, golf pros need strong business skills. Most employers prefer to hire members of the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) of Canada. Membership requires completion of the PGA Training Academy program, which has partnered with 3 post-secondary programs in Canada.

For more information about membership requirements and registration, visit the PGA of Canada website.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Certification Not Regulated

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Golf professionals working at facilities in Canada must give up their amateur status. Visit the Golf Canada website for more information.

Golf professionals work for golf clubs, golf courses, driving ranges, and golf retail shops. After completing an apprenticeship, it may take up to 10 years to secure a position as a head golf professional.

Once employed, golf professionals may advance from assistant professional to associate, head, and executive professional. They may become general managers, which means overseeing clubhouse operations and possibly golf course maintenance. Or they may open their own driving ranges or specialty golf shops.

Golf professionals are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 5254: Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness. In Alberta, 75% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events affecting overall employment, especially in the industries listed above
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

In Alberta, the 5254: Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness occupational group is expected to have an average annual growth of 1.9% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 270 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Salaries vary with an individual’s experience and between different employers.

According to PGA of Alberta’s 2018-2019 Membership Compensation Survey, Class A registered golf professionals earned, on average, $46,920 per year. Head professionals averaged $87,189 per year.

Private clubs may pay golf professionals more than public facilities.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness

2016 NOC : 5254
Average Wage
Per Hour
Average Salary
Per Year
Average Hours
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 5254 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $25.00 $18.18 $16.50
Overall $15.00 $32.50 $20.07 $18.00
Top $15.70 $43.75 $25.06 $22.00

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information
Educational Services
Public Administration
Health Care & Social Assistance
Information, Culture, Recreation
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)
Accommodation & Food Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


Vacancy Rate

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Canadian Society of Club Managers (CSCM) website:

Golf Canada website:

Professional Golfers’ Association of Alberta website:

Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) of Canada website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2020. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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