According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job prospects for fitness workers are good over the 2008-2018 decade. Demand for fitness workers is expected to continue growing, as people focus on losing weight and become healthier. The easiest way to enter the fitness field is to obtain a qualification such as a bachelor's degree in exercise science or kinesiology. However, lower-level jobs are available for those who are interested in the fitness field but have no degrees.
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The education required to become a fitness worker depends on a large number of factors, including what type of job you’re aiming for. Group fitness instructors might receive on-the-job training or they can be hired based on past experience, even if they have no certification. Personal trainers and coaches might need a fitness certification even for an entry-level job. These certifications are often obtained through short workshops or simply by taking a test. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Council on Exercise (ACE) offer two of the most respected personal training certifications available. To obtain either one, students prepare on their own and then attend a test at a predetermined facility.
Types of Jobs
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fitness workers are employed in a number of fields, as instructors, personal trainers, coaches and teachers. Most entry-level jobs are likely to be related to general fitness. An entry-level job might involve teaching a fitness class, but it’s unlikely to involve teaching yoga or Pilates, which require more specific training.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for fitness workers was $29,210 in 2008, with the top 10 percent earning as much as $60,760. Many entry-level jobs pay by the hour -- fitness workers might work part-time hours or have varying schedules depending on the week. Because the work is usually part-time, benefits like health insurance are unlikely to be part of the package.
Entry-level fitness workers are likely to take on basic duties. Those duties will vary based on the place of employment. Entry-level personal trainers hired by a gym might be in charge of showing new members the premises, teaching them the basics of using the machines and conducting fitness assessments. In some facilities, entry-level fitness workers tend the front desk or work on selling training packages. They can also “supervise the floor,” which means they walk around ensuring people are using the machines properly, picking up dumbbells and just ensuring everybody is comfortable and safe.