Planning Your Fitness Career Path
With the fitness industry offering numerous career options, be sure to select the one that best suits your talents and interests.
Whether you just graduated from a university with a health-related degree, recently obtained your first fitness certification or are contemplating how to get more out of your current position in the fitness industry, deciding on the right career pathway is an importantand sometimes overwhelmingprocess. The good news is, the fitness industry offers an abundance of opportunities for a variety of personality types, aspirations, skill sets and interests. Discover how to make your next career move in the fitness industry, and learn where those exciting initial steps may eventually lead you.
So Whats The Difference
Exercise Science is an area of academics traditionally studied at the undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate levels, while Sports Medicine predominantly refers to an area of medical practice that various types of healthcare professionals can specialize in.
For example, you can earn a bachelors or masters degree in Exercise Science then go on to physical therapy or medical school and eventually specialize in Sports Medicine. You cannot just go out and get a degree in sports medicine you typically have to first become an athletic trainer , physical therapist , physician , nurse practitioner or dietitian in order to get into this field.
Closing Thoughts On Exercise Science Careers
You should now have a better idea of what you can do in the exciting field that is Exercise Science. For many, a bachelors degree at a college or university is the path that they will take to become educated in the many areas of movement and exercise. For others, the bachelors is just a stepping stone for a more advanced degree as in the case of physical therapy, physicians assistant, or doctoral paths. Others may be surprised to learn there are many rewarding careers in Exercise Science that do not require a college degree, and the most popular career in this field, a certified personal trainer, demonstrates that.
When considering your education and career path, keep in mind the following:
- The education required
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Become A Complete Fitness Professional
Once you get your basic personal training certification, its time to take it a step further and expand your education. We know that exercise alone wont get your clients the kind of results theyre hiring you for.
And your clients will need more help than just the two or three sessions a week they have with you.
So what should you do?
First Steps To Determining Your Career Path
Blahniks advice is to analyze your career decisions in the same way that people sometimes do in more traditional occupations. For example, do you want to work for a large company or a small one? The answer may lie with what best suits your vision and goals. Are you more entrepreneurial in spirit? Would you like to be engaged in a startup or small company you can have ownership in, or do you want the protection and broad growth of a Fortune 500 or 50 company? Blahnik says. Applying this knowledge to the fitness industry will help you discover whether to build your career within, for example, a large chain that offers long-term security and multiple avenues for promotion, or a small club where you can learn how to run your own fitness business one day. Some people want a career path forged for them so they can see clearly where they are going, says Blahnik. Others take more of an entrepreneurial path, where they might juggle a multitude of disciplines to make it all work.
Consider your personality as well, says Blahnik. Are you hands-on and interactive, or inspired by the business of fitness but not wanting or needing to be with clients and members every day? he says. In other words, you can work in a gym, or you can run the company. They are both legitimate career choices, says Blahnik, but one is working with customers, the other is helping the people who work with customers to make a business out of what they do.
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What Exercise Science Career Is Best For Me
We designed this quiz to align your interests with the best career in exercise science for you.
Are you considering an Exercise Science degree or asking yourself what can you do with an exercise science degree? to help plan for your future?
Whatever your stage in life consideration, current Exercise Science student, or recent grad this post is for you.
As a previous Exercise Science graduate, I can give you a little taste of the college route and provide insight into the options for Exercise Science careers.
But first, lets define what Exercise Science is.
Exercise Science Degree Careers Jobs And Salaries
What can you do with an exercise science degree?
Exercise science professionals know they have a great responsibility to ensure the safety and health of patients and clients at all ages and skills levels in whatever fields they specialize in. Weve outlined at least 10 reasons why its important to earn your online graduate degree in exercise science and the impact it will have on your future.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers related to the field of exercise science are growing. Here are some exercise science jobs from the Occupational Outlook Handbook:
Fitness trainers and instructorsEmployment is projected to grow 13% through 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. As businesses, government, and insurance organizations continue to recognize the benefits of health and fitness programs for their employees, incentives to join gyms or other types of health clubs are expected to increase the need for fitness trainers and instructors.
- Job prospects are best for workers with professional certification or increased levels of formal education in health or fitness
- The median annual wage for fitness trainers and instructors was $40,390 in 2019.
- Typical entry-level education for a coach or scout is a bachelor’s degree, however specialized master’s degree in exercise science can help lead to specialized coaching duties at higher levels of compeition.
- The median annual wage for a coach or scout was $34,840 in 2019.
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Working For Wellness: Careers That Promote A Healthy Lifestyle
Helping people manage their health and wellness is an important job. In careers with this focus, workers support people seeking to maintain or improve self-care through healthy eating, physical activity, stress reduction and other lifestyle habits.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that, from 2020 to 2030, employment in some of these occupations will grow faster than the average for all occupations . If youre curious about fast-growing careers related to health and wellness, check out these eight occupations:
Athletic trainers keep people healthy by preventing, diagnosing and treating muscle and bone injuries and illnesses.
2020-30 projected employment growth: 23%
2020-30 projected new jobs: 7,000
2020 number of jobs: 30,000
2021 median annual wage: $48,420
Typical entry-level education: Bachelors degree
Chiropractors manipulate the spine and musculoskeletal system, helping patients to improve their sense of well-being.
2020-30 projected employment growth: 11%
2020-30 projected new jobs: 5,600
2020 number of jobs: 51,400
2021 median annual wage: $75,000
Typical entry-level education: Doctoral or professional degree
Dietitians and nutritionists plan and conduct food service or nutritional programs to help people lead healthy lives.
2020-30 projected employment growth: 11%
2020-30 projected new jobs: 7,800
2020 number of jobs: 73,000
2021 median annual wage: $61,650
Typical entry-level education: Bachelors degree
Option : Go Back To School
- Learn all about biochemistry, anatomy, and exercise physiology.
- Takes at least two years to finish .
- Costs tens of thousands of dollars and could leave me deep in debt.
- Doesnt prepare me for the day-to-day work of training real people .
- Delivers few classes or resources on change psychology or business development.
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Why Do You Feel You Need A Career Change
The decision to change careers is a major life choice. Sometimes, people mightthink that their jobs are making them unhappy, when there are actually otherfactors that are coloring that perspective. Examples of those factors may includefrustration with certain relationships in their lives or a sense that theres noupward mobility at a specific employer.
To identify whether making a career change is the right choice, its essential todo a bit of introspection. Take some time to really understand your motivation byconsidering questions such as:
There are a wide variety of paths you can take in the health and wellness industry, no matter what you decide to specialize in. The first step in understanding which path is right for you is to consider what you want your day-to-day life to look like. You may examine whether you:
- What aspects of your current career do you dislike the most?
- What aspects do you like the most?
- Are there skills youre not using?
- Is it your job that you find unsatisfying or the industry that youre in? Or both?
- How do you want to feel at the end of the day?
- If you used to like your job, what changed?
- Have your values changed?
- Are you challenged enough in what youre doing?
- Do you see the opportunity for personal growth in your industry? If not, whatdo you see as the barriers to growth?
- Is your industry thriving, or do you feel like youre in a dying industry?
Remember: There Is No One Right Way To Make It In The Fitness Industry
Fitness and nutrition is still a young industry. There is no one right path to success. In fact, there may never be.
And I kinda like it that way. It means that possibilities are infinite.
The best trainers can come from anywhere: four-year colleges. Doctoral programs. Theology school. College drop-outs. Someone who found a gym flyer in the parking lot.
It doesnt matter.
If youve got the energy, the drive, and the interest to do this work, you can eventually do it no matter what youre doing as a career now.
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Carone Learnings Healthcare & Fitness Career Pathways
Carone Learning has Carone Learning has several career options available for careers such as nursing, personal training, coaching, sports officiating, and more. Even if not pursuing a career in these fields, students can take a course for interest and elective credit. Our career clusters focus on two career pathways:
Best Exercise Science Jobs You Never Knew About
madhu nair | May 30, 2020
Exercise science jobs may not be very well known, but they are part of a fascinating field that ranges from sports and recreational activities, to health professions and physical therapy. In this article, well list the best and most interesting exercise science jobs divided by levels of education.
If exercise science seems like the perfect field for you, find your dream position in the article below and get started on your path to success.
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Set Your Starting Point
With certifications, you can get an initial education in a field and then move on to more advanced training that will help you deepen your knowledge or expand what you offer.
For example, you might earn a nutrition and wellness consultant certification and then jump up to a master-level certification as you begin to counsel clients. Or you could incorporate several fields together. For instance, you could earn a personal trainer certification and then go after a weight loss specialist certification if you find that many of your clients are struggling with weight issues. You can also specialize in certain populations, such as youth or seniors.
The more certifications you earn in the field, the greater your knowledge base will be and the more specialized opportunities you will find.
Careers In Group Exercise
If youre a newcomer to the fitness profession, you might not realize that teaching group exercise is one of the most effective ways to enter the industry, because it is not as competitive as it once was or as saturated as the personal-training market. Below are some benefits and challenges to choosing group exercise as part of your career path.
Benefits. Group exercise is not an oversaturated market for employment, so most fitness facilities and program directors are hungry for new, dedicated talent. You can reasonably expect to land a position as a group exercise instructor if you are qualified and able to effectively teach formats that are in demand in your area. You also have the option to strike out on your own, implementing and teaching classes outdoors, in your home or by renting a space in a local community center, gym or church basement.
In the past, most aerobics classes included lots of complicated choreography, so instructors were expected to put in significant prep time at home. Nowadays, fitness instructors can become quite successful teaching classes without spending too much time preparing advanced choreography. That is because the current trend is toward no-choreography, athletic-style workouts indoor cycling muscle conditioning and prechoreographed classes, such as those produced by Les Mills.
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Change Your Body Change Your Career
Becoming passionate about health and fitness put the rest of my life into perspective.
I caught the fitness bug early. I started working out and reading articles about nutrition and fitness when I was in high school. By the time I was 21, Id put on 30 pounds of muscle, felt awesome, and vanquished my skinny guy genetics.
Like many people who start living the healthy lifestyle, I quickly became the go-to fitness and nutrition expert for my friends and family, a position and responsibility I enjoyed and cherished.
My new-found love for exercising and eating healthycoupled with the results I saw in the mirror and my ability to help others get in shapemade me feel like a brand new person.
Because even though I looked and felt different, the rest of my life seemed tethered to the old me. Id transformed my mind and body but I was still doing the same old stuff.
Working the same unsatisfying job. Going through the motions at my local community college. Following the same routines.
Taking control of my own health and fitness had shown me how much potential I had to change things in my life. To become happier. To find meaning and purpose. To make a difference.
So why the hell was I doing all the boring stuff I was supposed to do when I could do something that actually mattered?
A crazy idea popped into my head: What if I became a personal trainer and tried helping others transform their bodies? What if that was my job?
Fitness Careers Guaranteed To Be Your Dream Job
Physical Education Teacher
Physical education does more than help kids stay fit. Studies have shown that the more physically active school children are, the better they do academically. If you’d love the privilege of molding young mindsand giving children a physical release after hours of sitting at their desksteaching P.E. could be for you. You’ll be helping students carve the path toward a healthier adulthood while also keeping them mentally fit for the school day.
Fitness is about more than building big muscles and breaking personal bests. Sometimes it’s about recouping from an injury and keeping your body healthy. Physical therapists help clients recover after a physically debilitating injury. Talk about purpose. Whether working with an athlete overcoming injury or an elderly person on the mend from surgery, physical therapists get to help people from all walks of life. Also, if you’re looking for stability, physical therapy is a great route. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of physical therapists is projected to grow 34 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
Apparel and Textile Engineer
Fitness Magazine Editor
Health and Wellness Coach
Health Club Manager
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Learn How To Coach Real People
After youve spent some time learning about movement, nutrition, and exercise programing its time to learn how to coach your clients.
That means understanding the deeper psychology at play and saying the right things in the right ways at the right times. It means really connecting with your clients and helping them through their body transformations one step at a time.
You can have someone do all the squats and eat all the broccoli you want, but until you learn change psychology and the art of coaching, youll never be able to actually help your clients change their habits.
Where should you start?
Note: In the second article we share six books that will teach you the basics of change psychology. Use it as a jumping off point for digging deeper into this area.
And if youve done all that and youre ready to level up, you might consider these courses:
A Thriving And Diverse Industry
Compared with 20 years ago, career paths in the fitness industry are now better defined and therefore easier to pursue. The fitness industry today has a more sophisticated network or structure than in the past, says Jay Blahnik, self-employed presenter, writer, consultant to fitness companies such as Nike and Nautilus, and author of Full-Body Flexibility. The span of his fitness career has also included working as a group exercise instructor, personal trainer, program director and fitness video instructor.
While full-time positions in fitness used to be scarce, today they are available at regional and national levels in group exercise, personal training, club management and programming. In fact, now is perhaps the most promising time to be entering the fitness industry, because of how far and how fast it has developed. When I first started doing personal training, it was a new termno one saw it as a legitimate career, Blahnik recalls. Now its a legitimate career, and the business side of personal training is also a career.
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