Editor's Note: This post was originally published September 2014 and has recently been updated and revised for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Have you always been passionate about a career in fitness but uncertain of how you could pursue it?
Whether you recently received a health-related degree, official certification, or you don't see a future at your current job; taking the proactive next step is essential to planning your career in fitness. One of the most desirable things about a career in fitness is the endless amount of opportunities.
In this post, we will share five fitness jobs you can obtain with your certification:
1. Personal Training
Becoming a certified personal trainer can be one of the most inspirational and rewarding careers you can take with your certificate. As a personal trainer, you can guide your client through a fitness plan that is tailored to their goals and current physical health. With a career in personal training, trainers can pursue a few different opportunities. 1) group exercise programming, 2) one-on-one training or 3) virtual training.
A day-in-the-life of this fitness job typically revolves around improving client physical fitness through cardiovascular activity, weight training, balance activities and guidance for every day practice. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the personal trainer field is growing faster than average and can be easily obtained through a personal training certificate offered online or on location at an official exam center.
2. Group Fitness Instructor
A group fitness instructor is responsible for leading a group through various choreographed classes. They typically range from 30-90 minutes long and include: Pilates, BarSculpt, Cardio Barre, Zumba, Spinning and more. This job is perfect for an individual who is interested in guiding a group through the fundamentals of fitness. A fitness instructor is typically someone who is fit, healthy and energetic, as they will be leading a group through a class and expected to participate physically, not just guiding them verbally.
The instructor will typically spend their day-to-day teaching various classes throughout the day and are required to have a solid understanding of each movement, the health benefit of each exercise and the ability to stay conscious of each attendee as someone may have a health condition or become physically exhausted during an aerobic exercise. It's your job to not only lead a class but to suggest someone to slow down if their health becomes a risk during a high-energy class.
3. Yoga Instructor
A yoga instructor is similar to a group fitness instructor because they typically teach a small-to-large group of students through a physical activity. The only difference is that yoga is more about focusing on posture, breathing exercises, meditation and balance activities. It's more of a gentle, relaxing activity, versus group fitness classes that are typically more high-energy.
The instructor can opt for a variety of different class techniques, from Bikram to Vinyasa, there is variety and difficulty levels in every different style of yoga. An instructor will typically spend their day teaching various scheduled classes, leading their students through strength and balance activities and improving their flexibility and meditation abilities.
4. Lifestyle & Weight Management Consultant
A career as a lifestyle and weight management consultant is often appealing to those interested in becoming more than a personal trainer. This is especially ideal for those looking to set themselves apart from other personal trainers. Since it's such a competitive market for trainers, having extra credentials allows you to offer your client more, ultimately making your services more appealing.
With health and fitness it's more than just putting time into physical activity, it's making smart changes with your diet and your lifestyle. Most people who struggle with weight loss are experiencing difficulties because they haven't made all the changes necessary in order to see their desired results. During a consultation, certified lifestyle and weight management consultants can determine the behavior of the client - are they accepting change or are they going to have difficulties making lifestyle changes. Consultants will also help their clients identify their biggest obstacles and help them create realistic, achievable goals.
This fitness job is typically a one-on-one and can help you expand your career. Since you can help just about anyone with a desire to change their lifestyle or improve their fitness, this fitness job is ideal to personal trainers looking for more opportunities.
5. Health & Wellness Coach
At this point you may be wondering what the difference is between a health and wellness coach and a lifestyle and weight management consultant. The main difference between the two is that a health and wellness coach typically guides their clients through making diet changes and information about health and diseases that their client may be at risk for based on their current health and fitness level/condition. Since a health and wellness coach mainly focuses on improving diet and physical health, this will exclude the the effect lifestyle choices have on our mind and bodies. Such as, routine, career choices, relationships, life choices, etc.
Still interested in learning more about a future career in fitness? At AFPA, we are dedicated to providing you with educational programs, opportunities and content that shares your passion and motivates you to pursue your fitness aspirations. Subscribe to our blog for future information related to all things health and fitness!