6 Fitness Career Paths You Can Pursue Right Now

Health and fitness are becoming more and more popular as science continues to expand our knowledge of the issues at hand. The general public is now more aware that regular physical activity is important to maintaining good health. This, coupled with the aging baby boomer population desire to stay active longer is bringing about a focus on fitness like never before. If fitness and health is something that you love then considering a career in this vocation would be right up your alley. The following careers in fitness can meet these needs and keep your love for health in the forefront of what you are.

Fitness Trainers

Fitness trainers instruct and motivate individuals and groups on exercise activities such as weight lifting, running and stretching. They demonstrate movements, observe clients, and suggest improvements to form. The job typically requires a minimum high school diploma with many employers providing training.

Sports Managers

Sports managers coordinate the activities of fitness organizations ranging from health clubs to sport organizing committees. They organize and market events, manage budgets and materials, raise funds, and hire and train workers. The position generally requires a bachelor’s degree in sports management, which is available at many traditional universities, or online through the University of Florida.

Athletic Trainers

Not to be confused with fitness trainers, athletic trainers are fitness professionals who prevent, diagnose, and treat injuries to muscle and bone. They are often employed by educational institutions where they provide the first line of treatment when injuries happen. The position typically requires at least a bachelor’s degree although master’s degrees are also common.


Coaches improve the skills amateur or professional athletes and may work in such settings as elementary schools or professional sports organizations. They organize practice sessions, motivate and encourage players, plan and determine plays, keep performance records, and recruit members to a team. Employers usually demand a bachelor’s degree as well as extensive experience in their sport.

Sports Officials

Sports officials, such as umpires and referees, preside over sporting events to ensure adherence to rules and maintain athletic standards. They can determine winners or losers, inspect equipment, officiate competitions, declare infractions, and impose penalties. Requirements vary by state and athletic organization with some requiring no formal education and others mandating at least a high school diploma. Knowledge of a particular sport is necessary, which can be documented by passing an exam.

Recreation Workers

Recreation workers design and lead programs for groups at recreational, community, or sports facilities, such as senior homes, camps, playgrounds, or aquatic centers. They organize activities such as games or competitions, lead classes, maintain and set up recreational equipment, and enforce safety rules and standards. Workers typically require at least a bachelor’s degree in recreation or leisure studies, although associate, master’s and doctoral degrees are also available.

With the general public wanting to integrate fitness into daily life, employment in fitness careers are expected to grow from 2012 to 2022, says the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Projected increases vary by job but are expected at, for example, 14 percent for recreation workers, 14 percent for coaches, and 21 percent for athletic trainers. With this in mind, starting a career in the fitness industry has never been a wiser decision.

the author

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She also enjoys being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise as well as researching new topics to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure.

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