From Consultant to Swimming Teacher; Mark took the plunge to change careers

Mark Drummond, 50, changed careers from managing his own consultancy business to swimming teacher through the Institute of Swimming’s training academy in December 2021.

Currently he works 30 hours per week teaching swimming, including delivering Trafford Leisure’s Learn to Swim lessons, instructing for the school swim programme, and delivering specialist Alpha swimming programme tailored for children and young people with special educational needs.


Mark says:

“Before I became a swimming teacher I worked long hours managing my own consultancy business and was frequently away from home.  When my business partner retired the pressure increased and I felt I was always working.  Something needed to change and so I took a break and started volunteering at my daughter’s school, helping walk the children to their school swim lessons. Throughout my life swimming has been something I enjoy and so when I saw an article in a local newspaper about the funded swimming teacher academy I signed up. After qualifying I started working immediately, and I’ve never looked back.

Mark Swimming Teacher

“Teaching swimming is so rewarding. I really wanted to give something back to my community, whilst also finding a job that offered me a good work/life balance. It’s fantastic that I am able to take my children to school in the morning and always be home to put them to bed. When I look back on my life, this will be something I am proud of.


“The funded training is a great way to start working in aquatics as there is not a financial burden on the individual. Swimming teaching is well paid and comes with other employee perks too. I practically work full time and top up my hours with lifeguarding.”


Since qualifying, Mark has undertaken some further training with the Institute of Swimming, including a CPD in Safeguarding, and will be taking their Parent and Toddler training later in the year too.


Mark says:

“I’ve really enjoyed upskilling with the Institute of Swimming, as their training gives me access to deliver further types of swimming lessons. The Parent and Toddler training looks to be great fun.


“Although I became a swimming teacher later in life, I now see it as my future.  Teaching swimming doesn’t give you the stress and the homework that other jobs can give you. You are very present at the time of delivering the class and you obviously have a lot of responsibility, but it is not something you take away with you.


“I intend to continue teaching swimming, and really love the 1:2:1 sessions I give to the children with special educational needs.  Being a swimming teacher doesn’t feel like work.


“I would recommend it to anyone who wants flexibility and variety in their work and has the desire to make a difference to their community. It also suits people at different stages of lives, from young people and students, to those wanting a career change and perhaps those with caring responsibilities.”

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