If you have an interest and the right credentials in fitness or nutrition, you can harness your passion by pursuing jobs in these areas. Doing so will allow you to stay on the cutting edge of these growing health fields. Among the careers are athletic trainers, dietitians, fitness trainers and health educators.
Athletic trainers specialize in treating, preventing and diagnosing injuries, most commonly related to sports. They can work with a wide variety of clientele, including kids, professional athletes and soldiers. Skills include providing first aid, emergency care and rehabilitation as well as performing administrative tasks and developing programs to prevent injury. Most states require a board certification for athletic trainers, which is obtained by completing a board of certification exam. Before qualifying for the exam, athletic trainers must complete a bachelor's-level program accredited by CAATE (Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education). In 2010, the median wage for athletic trainers was $41,600 per year.
Dietitian or Nutritionist
A dietitian or nutritionist advises people on what to eat to live a healthy lifestyle or to reach personal health-related goals. Tasks of these professionals commonly include creating meal plans, explaining nutrition and keeping up with scientific research. Dietitians and nutritionists usually hold a bachelor's degree in food and nutrition, dietetics or a related field. The majority of states require a license to practice. One way to do this is by earning an RD, or registered dietitian, credential, which is administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration. In 2010, the median annual wage for dietitians and nutritionists was $53,250.
Fitness trainers, or personal trainers, instruct individuals or groups in physical activities, including cardiovascular and weight-training exercises. Skills include demonstrating proper form on exercises, motivating clients, providing information about nutrition and weight control, creating specialized programs for clients and administering first aid, if necessary. Before working for a gym, fitness trainers must be certified. Many organizations offer certification; the National Commission for Certifying Agencies provides a list of certified agencies. A four-year degree is not typically required, although it is a prerequisite for a more advanced certification. In 2010, the median annual wage for fitness trainers was $31,090.
Health educators promote healthy lifestyles by teaching and encouraging people to make healthy decisions. Tasks include developing health-related programs and events, directing individuals to health information, creating education materials and advocating for better health policies and resources. A minimum of a bachelor's degree is required to be health educator, although some positions may require a master's degree. Certain employers only consider certified health education specialists, who have completed a program offered by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing. In 2010, the median pay for health educators was $45,830 per year.