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Fitness Related Careers

author image Aaron Matthew
A health and fitness writer since 2008, Aaron Matthew specializes in writing about health, fitness and mental performance topics for various websites including LIVESTRONG. He holds a Master of Arts degree in kinesiology from San Jose State University.
Fitness Related Careers
Personal trainers provide individual instruction. Photo Credit Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images


Careers in fitness are expected to grow in the coming years according to the American Council on Exercise or ACE. The growth in the health and fitness job market reflects an increasingly unhealthy general population that needs to get fit. Fitness-related careers cover many different areas from fitness instruction to sports medicine and lots of things in between.

Personal Trainer

Fitness Related Careers
Personal trainers will set up exercise programs for a single person's need. Photo Credit kzenon/iStock/Getty Images

Personal trainers provide one-on-one fitness instruction and workout planning for their clients. Standards for personal trainer certifications vary. Certifications by the American College of Sports Medicine and National Strength and Conditioning Association require a high school diploma, CPR with automated electric defibrillator certification, and passing a certification exam. A 2010 survey by the American Council on Exercise reports average salary information for ACE certified personal trainers as $53,323 a year for those working full time, while part time trainers earned $18,650. The survey also found that salary of personal trainers increased with their education level.

Athletic Trainers

Fitness Related Careers
Athletic trainers help athletes with injuries in many different types of sports. Photo Credit Mike Powell/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Fitness careers also include jobs related to treating and preventing injuries. The American College of Sports Medicine explains that athletic trainers work with teams, athletes and coaches to help keep athletes healthy and recover from injury as quickly as possible. An undergraduate degree from a school accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs is one of the requirements you must meet to take the National Athletic Trainer's Association licensing exam.

Group Fitness Instructor

Fitness Related Careers
Group instructors will lead with a group in their fitness activity. Photo Credit Getty Images/Digital Vision/Getty Images

While personal trainers work with exercisers individually, group fitness instructors teach group classes. These classes may contain individuals from a variety of fitness backgrounds and states of fitness. Examples of group fitness classes include Pilates, yoga, water aerobics and general body conditioning. The 2010 ACE survey found that full time group fitness instructors earned $47,659 a year, with part time instructors earning $12,451 annually. Certification standards vary but are similar to those for personal trainers.

Going Beyond the Gym

Fitness Related Careers
Sports medicine and rehab can be very rewarding. Photo Credit Fuse/Fuse/Getty Images

There is a variety of other fitness related career choices to consider. If you enjoy working directly with others to improve their health and fitness, a career in physical therapy, sports medicine, dietetics or sports nutrition are rewarding careers. If working one-on-one with clients is not for you, fitness careers in media -- writing and telecommunications -- are other options. Research and teaching in the areas of exercise physiology and kinesiology are fitness academic careers you can pursue with advanced graduate degrees.

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