Fitness might be a passion of yours but is it time to consider making a career out of it? Whether you’re looking to launch your first career choice or switch gears from your desk job, here are some great fitness career options for you.
Becoming a personal trainer can be a perfect career choice for someone who is good at personal networking, doesn’t mind one-on-one client interaction, and is passionate about helping people achieve their fitness goals.
There are a multitude of outlets for gaining personal training certifications. From online courses to multi-day seminars, the options for how you go about your education and certification are nearly endless. Finding a certifying entity that works for you is the first step in launching your personal training career. You can reasonably expect this process to take 3-6 months depending on your availability and the requirements of your chosen certifier.
Once certified, you’ll need to determine how best to use your new skills. Typically, it is a good idea to get some experience under your belt at a local fitness center that will help you gain clientèle and reputation. Personal training is all about networking and promoting yourself and your skill set to those who are seeking to make fitness gains.
In addition, you’ll need to have strong communication skills, a passion for helping others, and likely some schedule flexibility to accommodate client schedules. There are some people who can only train before work, so it’s also important that you can work in the early mornings.
Remember, you should be in great shape but you don’t need to be a bodybuilder or a fitness competitor in order to become a personal trainer. It’s much more important that you enjoy working with people and can communicate clearly the knowledge you have about fitness and health.
Group Fitness Instructor
This is another great option if you are a people person. Group fitness instructors should be energetic, knowledgeable in the world of fitness, and able to communicate effectively. You would also need certifications as opposed to degrees.
Typically group exercise instructors are trained to teach specific classes like yoga, spin, or bootcamps but they can also be certified to teach multiple general fitness courses. The possibilities are endless for where and how you instruct classes once you’ve completed your certification. You can get on board at one or more nearby gyms, market your own classes in public settings, or, for the ambitious, start your own group exercise center.
Just as with personal training, a group fitness instructor should have superior communication skills as you will be teaching many people at a time. An added bonus is that you participate in the workouts yourself as part of the instruction process. It’s easy to stay fit when it’s your job! Read our article on how to get started as a group fitness instructor.
Weight Management Specialist
Becoming a weight management specialist is a great way to switch gears if your career already revolves around fitness. Gaining this certification is also good for adding to your knowledge and skill to help you work with existing clients on their goals or market yourself more effectively to gyms or prospective clients.
If you have a passion for helping people learn how to maintain healthy lifestyles, then becoming a certified weight management specialist could be the perfect choice for you. Once certified, you’ll have the ability to get on board at a gym or market yourself individually to build a clientèle of your own.
Athletic training is a fantastic career choice if you love sports and fitness equally. Unlike the options above, becoming an athletic trainer requires at least a bachelor’s degree.
Athletic trainers aid athletes in injury prevention, injury treatment and recovery, and rehabilitation. Because athletic training is considered an allied healthcare profession, you’ll need a minimum of bachelor’s degree followed by certification and licensure. This process is obviously time consuming and may not be the most economical or logistically possible option for most. However, if you truly want to launch a rewarding and fulfilling career, then athletic training might be the way to go.
Once you have your degree, certification, and become a licensed athletic trainer, your career options range from working in a high school setting to working with professional athletes. The sky is the limit on where your athletic training career can take you.
Strength And Conditioning Specialist
Similar to athletic training, to be a strength and conditioning specialist you’ll need a degree and a passion for sports and athletics. Strength and conditioning specialists are focused on helping athletes reach their peak potential through specific training methods targeted to get them the biggest gains for their given sport.
Unlike athletic training, your training will not necessarily involve any kind of medical treatment. Your job will solely revolve around creating stronger and more fit athletes whether they are youth, collegiate, or professional.
This is the perfect choice if you’re business savvy with a passion for fitness.
Owning your own business is what many consider the American dream but it takes a lot of work to do it. A full commitment that goes beyond 40 hours a week will certainly be required if this career option is the right choice for you. Though obviously not required, certifications and/or degrees in fitness and business respectively could be helpful. The beauty of this career though is finding a niche and meeting a need in your community.
There are several options for which type of gym to open. They include crossfit, yoga, ninja warrior, barre, spin cycle, weight gym, kickboxing, and the list goes on. If you’re passionate about a style of fitness and love a challenge, then owning your own fitness gym is a great choice providing you with complete independence.
A fitness director works behind the scenes at fitness centers to help design and implement programs, classes, and opportunities for gym-goers. Basically a general manager of the gym, the fitness director keeps the gym running smoothly and ensures that members are receiving the experience they expect.
Becoming a fitness director at an established gym would require a bachelor’s level degree (though not necessarily in a related field) and certainly some understanding, experience, and a passion for fitness and wellness.
This career choice could be perfect for someone who loves the idea of helping others get fit but who doesn’t see themselves having to personally instruct others.
Large gyms and fitness centers will always have multiple directors and assistant directors overseeing different aspects of running a fitness center. These positions can be great if you’re looking to maintain a more “regular” schedule in your career.
The field of fitness is popular and growing. If you’re looking to get into this field, then there are many good options out there. Choose the path that fits your passion, your skills, and your ability to get started.