Different Types of Careers in Fitness

If you’re considering which career might be right for you, then you should know that one of the fastest growing career fields is fitness. Now, if you think all there is to a career in fitness is wearing colorful spandex leading an aerobics class, then think again. Today, there’s a wide range of careers you can pursue within the field of fitness.

Check out these different types of careers in fitness:

  1. Personal Trainer

Let’s start with the first job most people think of when think about a career in fitness: personal trainer. Being a personal trainer involves working with clients to help them achieve their fitness goals, whether that’s weight loss, increased muscle mass, or improved cardiovascular health. As a personal trainer, you’ll create workout plans and guide clients to ensure they’re performing each exercise correctly and safely.

Being a personal trainer gives you the opportunity to be your own boss. You can work independently, build up your client base, and set your own rates. Or you can also work as a personal trainer at a gym where you’ll be paid by the gym to train customers.

To be a personal trainer, you’ll need at least a high school diploma and certification from the American Council on Exercise or National Academy of Sports Medicine. However, getting a college degree in exercise science can open up more career opportunities.

  1. Physical Education Teacher

If you enjoy working with kids, then being a physical education teacher may be the right career for you. As a physical education teacher, you’ll be responsible for teaching kids and teens in public or private schools about exercise, nutrition, and the basics of popular sports. You’ll be in a position to help kids develop healthy habits that can last a lifetime. 

To be a physical education teacher you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in physical education or a closely related field. Then, you’ll need to pass the teacher’s certification exam in your state.

  1. Physical Therapist

There are many different types of careers in fitness, but employment for physical therapists is projected to grow 18% by 2029, which is much faster than other fitness-related occupations.

The goal of physical therapy is to help patients improve mobility, increase flexibility, reduce pain, and even reverse certain conditions, such as chronic back pain. As a physical therapist, you’ll work with people of all ages to help them recover from a variety of injuries or surgeries.

So, one day you could be working with a high school athlete who is recovering from a knee injury and the next day you could be helping an older person increase movement after suffering from a stroke. On another day, you can be helping someone recover more quickly after having a shoulder replacement surgery.

To be a physical therapist, you must earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from an accredited physical therapist program and pass the licensure exam in your state.

  1. Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist®

Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialists (CSCS) work specifically with athletes to improve their performance in their particular sport. This could be helping a soccer player improve her ability to pivot more quickly or working with a basketball player to enhance his coordination on the court.

As a CSCS, you’ll conduct testing, design safe and effective training programs, and provide guidance on injury avoidance and nutrition.

To be a CSCS, you’ll need to pass the certification exam given by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. To be eligible to take the exam, you’ll first have to obtain a bachelor’s degree and a current CPR/ASD certification. Higher education and certifications are always great to have as they will also help increase your income.

  1. Corporate Fitness Center Manager

Many corporations now offer on-site fitness centers for their employees to use either free of charge or at greatly reduced rates. As a manager of a corporate fitness center, you’ll oversee the daily operation of the fitness center, ensure everyone’s safety, and provide guidance to members. Depending on the facility, you may be asked to provide personal training and/or teach group classes.

Exact requirements may vary, but most corporate fitness centers will require that you have a college degree in Exercise Science and certification from the American Council on Exercise or National Academy of Sports Medicine.

  1. Exercise Physiologist

Exercise physiologists typically work with people who are contending with or recovering from chronic health issues, such as heart disease or lung disease. As an exercise physiologist, you’ll develop appropriate fitness and exercise routines that help each client improve cardiovascular function, lose weight, and increase flexibility. The overall goal is to help people be as functional and healthy as they can be while contending with an illness.

To be an exercise physiologist, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree or a more advanced degree in exercise science, kinesiology, or a related field. Some states require exercise physiologists to be licensed, but many do not, so check with the American Society of Exercise Physiologists about the requirements in your state.

Choosing a Career in Fitness

The field of fitness is growing quickly and in continuous need of skilled professionals who enjoy working with people of all ages. If you’re looking for a profession where your skills will be in constant demand, and you can help people live healthier lives, then consider the different types of careers in fitness.

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