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Career Opportunities in Personal Fitness

Kundan Pandey
Personal fitness has gained a lot of popularity in the recent years. While the need to stay fit and fine is obviously the motivation, many people are doing their best to get in shape and look better. In this story, we will have a look at three career opportunities in the field of personal fitness.
In the recent years, we have seen a tremendous urge amongst people to stay in shape and flaunt their assets. While women are working harder to get slimmer, men are no behind in their endeavor to flex their muscles and get perfect six pack abs.
Health and fitness centers have mushroomed in every nook and corner of the city and apparently the fitness industry is at its peak. Personal fitness is a special branch of healthcare industry, dedicated to training individual clients. It has seen a robust growth as people have increasingly demanded for expert guidance.
In case, you're aspiring to be a personal trainer, it is great move as this is a booming field and you get to meet new people, help them stay healthy and most importantly, you focus on your fitness besides earning some good side income. Some other good career opportunities in this field are athletic trainer jobs, recreation coordinator jobs and nutritionist jobs.

An Overview of Some Career Opportunities in the Personal Fitness Field

Personal Trainers

Like any industry, seniority and work experience of fitness trainers matters for achieving success. Mostly, personal fitness trainers are hired by local fitness centers in a state or city and they're required to provide assistance to individual clients regarding correct technique of doing specific exercises.
Personal fitness trainers demonstrate all exercises to clients by using the gym equipment so that the risk of injury to the client can be avoided. The need of personal fitness trainer also stems from the fact regular workout and gym sessions can become monotonous and discouraging.
Just like a mentor, a trainer motivates clients and keeps them on their toes to achieve their set goals - that can be anything like weight loss, weight gain or strengthening a particular body area.
The more education, specialties and certifications a personal trainer has, better is the career development path. Corporate fitness trainers - that are individuals who're hired for teaching fitness tips to corporate employees is one of the faster growing sub-branches of this field. Earnings of personal trainers vary depending on several factors.

Education Requirements

Degree, diploma or certification in any of the fitness subjects as per the interest of the candidate. Increasing number of employers nowadays demand candidates to have at least bachelor's degree in health and fitness subjects. Majors in personal training, group fitness, and a specialization such as Pilates or yoga can improve chances of success.

Licensing & Certifications

Personal trainers must take certifications before they start working in clubs or health fitness centers. The minimum requirement for obtaining certifications is a high school diploma. Personal trainers can take certifications in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillator (AED).
Depending on area of expertise, certifications may vary. Many medical schools provide certifications in various disciplines related to personal training. All certifications require high school degree and they may have written and oral exam tests. You have to be prepared to show competency in your specialization area.

Earning Potential

Earnings of personal trainers can shoot up like anything provided they have celebrity clients. Nevertheless, personal trainer salary between US$25,000 to US$40,000 per year depending on several factors.

Athletic Trainers

Athletic trainers work for diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of muscle and bone injuries. That forms the basics of the job description of an athletic trainer. People of all ages, athletes and industrial workers are treated by athletic trainers.
Athletic trainers are actually a part of health care profession and they're not directly a part of personal fitness career. However, since most of the athletic trainers work in outdoor sports related jobs, they are usually present for competition practices.
I have included this profession under personal fitness career option to just give an idea to aspirants about another closely related career option like personal fitness wherein restoring health and invariably fitness of the client or patient is the top priority.

Educational Requirements

Although there is a lot of flexibility when it comes education requirements for personal trainers, athletic trainers compulsorily need education in bachelor's degree in athletic health subjects.
A master's or even doctoral degree after bachelor's degree is a must to succeed. The National Athletic Trainers' Association reports that almost 70% of professionals in this field hold master's or doctoral degrees.

Licensing & Certifications

Athletic trainers have to pass certifications exams and they have to keep their profile updated by continuing education in this field. Nearly all states require athletic trainers to own a license and get registered before practicing this profession.
The Board of Certification, Inc. (BOC). Grants certifications that are considered to be licenses for practicing this profession. To get certified, one needs to have requisite educational qualifications.

Earning Potential

Most of the athletic trainers work full-time. The salary of an athletic trainer ranges between US$20,000 per year (in the start) to US$40,000 per year (with good work experience). Some athletic trainer can earn as high as US$60,000 per year if they keep their profile updated by continuing education, even while working.


Although in UK, US and Canada, the term, "nutritionist" is not recognized legally and there are a large number of people claiming themselves to be nutritionists, it is one of the growing specialties in person fitness.
While personal trainers can advise clients on perfect exercises, adequate dietary requirements are suggested by the nutritionist. The more correct term we can use here is that of dietitian as becoming dietitian requires certain professional requirements.

Educational Requirements

Bachelor's degree in foods, nutrition, dietetics, chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, physiology and other subjects like business, mathematics, statistics, computer science, psychology, sociology, and economics. Master's degree is always an added advantage. Training and internships help a lot to get good employment.

Licensing & Certifications

Amongst 46 states that have imposed laws on dietitians, some grant licenses for practicing this profession and some expect candidates to have certifications. You have to inquire in your state office regarding licenses related to this profession.
Certifications are awarded by the Commission on Dietetic Registration of the American Dietetic Association and that increases credentials of the dietitians.

Earning Potential

Starting salaries can range anywhere between US$25,000 to US$ 30,000 per year. With some years of experience salary ranges between US$30,000 to US$40,000 per year. Well settled registered dietitians can earn as high as US$60,000 or more per year.
If you're interested in any of the above professions, make sustained efforts to succeed in it. It is a good career for you, if you wish to own an independent gym or health center in the future and you want to be self employed. Think over it!