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Golf Professional

Golf professionals teach and promote the game of golf, manage golf pro shops and provide related services for golfers. Some golf professionals play tournament golf; others manage golf and recreation facilities.

  • Avg. Salary $19,222.00
  • Avg. Wage $20.07
  • Minimum Education 3 years post-secondary
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 13,900
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Educator, Head Pro, Instructor, Teacher, Tournament Professional

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) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Interest Codes
The Golf Professional is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Program Leaders and Instructors in Recreation, Sport and Fitness

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

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 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 More

Updated Dec 15, 2016

Golf professionals are expert players who:

  • teach and promote all aspects of the sport
  • provide related services (for example, golf club cleaning, storing and repair services, caddie services, club and cart rentals)
  • organize club tournament operations
  • direct and maintain a golf program, including practice ranges and putting greens
  • use launch monitor and computer technology to fit golf clubs
  • represent the club in provincial or national golf activities such as golf tournaments, clinics and seminars
  • manage a Pro Shop, including recruiting, training and supervising staff, purchasing and merchandising items for sale, and developing and managing budgets
  • assist in the administration and management of the golf club.

Golf professionals who play in tournaments are called tournament professionals. They must be associated with the Canadian tour or another internationally recognized tour, and play a minimum number of Canadian tournaments each year.

Working Conditions
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Golf professionals work indoors in golf shops and outdoors playing and teaching. They may be required to lift and carry equipment weighing up to 20 kilograms.

Golf professionals frequently work long hours during the summer months. The work can be seasonal, from early spring to late fall. However, to ensure year-round employment, some golf professionals have developed other golf-related activities (for example, indoor teaching, indoor driving ranges, fabricating custom golf clubs) or introduced winter sports to clubs (for example, cross-country skiing, curling).

Tournament professionals may play year-round: in Canada during the warmer months and in the southern United States during the winter months. They practise many hours a day.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Golf professionals need the following characteristics:

  • innovative, honest and dependable
  • organized
  • friendly and outgoing with a strong customer service orientation
  • competent in playing golf
  • able to teach others
  • willing to sometimes work long, irregular hours
  • able to communicate and get along with all kinds of people.

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

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 15, 2016

The Professional Golfers' Association of Alberta recommends that prospective golf professionals develop the following skills:

  • business and leadership
  • communication
  • human resources
  • golf clubhouse operations
  • food and beverage management
  • turf care
  • merchandising
  • instruction.

In addition to exceptional playing ability, golf professionals need strong business skills. Most employers prefer to hire members of the Professional Golfers' Association (PGA) of Canada. Membership with the PGA of Canada requires 3 years of related post-secondary education. For more information about membership requirements and registration, visit the PGA of Canada website.

Post-secondary schools throughout Alberta offer 3- and 4-year programs related to business management.

Related Education

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

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 15, 2016

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

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Golf professionals working at facilities in Canada must give up their amateur status.

Golf professionals are employed by golf clubs, courses, driving ranges and shops. After completing the 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 professional to head professional to master professional. They may move into general manager positions overseeing clubhouse operations and possibly golf course maintenance, or they may open their own driving ranges or specialty 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 in this occupation will be 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 (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

In Alberta, the F154: Program Leaders and Instructors in Recreation and Sport occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.5% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 179 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 15, 2016

According to the Canadian Golf Superintendents Association, the average annual salary of golf professionals in Alberta is $78,996 (2011 estimate).

Salaries may vary depending on how many years of experience individuals have and where they work. For example, golf professionals managing public facilities can earn about $70,000 per year, while those working in private clubs may earn over $100,000 a year.

Program leaders and instructors in recreation, sport and fitness

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

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.

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.

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 Dec 15, 2016

Canadian Society of Club Managers (CSCM) 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 23, 2016. 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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