The fitness industry has been growing over the years as more people become conscious of the potential benefits of healthy living. The market demand offers different career paths into fitness, each with its specific requirements and excellent pay. When you possess the industry’s most relevant career requirements, you can become a successful professional in one of these high-paying jobs in fitness. In this article, we explore the best paying jobs for you to consider in the fitness industry.
High-paying jobs in fitness
Here are 10 high-paying jobs in fitness for you to consider if you are interested in this career path:
National average salary: $41,258 per year
Primary duties: A nutritionist is responsible for advising clients on what kinds of food to eat while offering more information on specific meals’ health benefits. They also work closely with their customers to create menus specific to their dietary habits and needs. Nutritionists research the effects of nutrition on health and fitness. Afterward, they present their findings to the public and educate them on the best nutrition practices to follow.
Educational requirements: Employers prefer nutritionists to have a bachelor’s degree in dietetics, food service systems management or food science. Employers also consider other types of certifications, such as the Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS), Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) and Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN).
2. Sports massage therapist
National average salary: $45,993 per year
Primary duties: A sports massage therapist is responsible for guiding and advising clients on the best ways to prevent injuries during exercises or sports and conditioning muscles before an event. They are also experts in suggesting techniques that could restore a patient’s health after an injury using customized rehabilitation programs. Sports massage therapists usually work with athletes who have a high-performance rate and require muscle conditioning.
Educational requirements: The prerequisite is to complete an accredited training course in sports massage therapy or an associate’s degree in rehabilitation and sports therapy. A degree is not the main form of qualification because employers often substitute formal education with relevant work experience.
3. Physical education (P.E.) teacher
National average salary: $46,785 per year
Primary duties: A P.E. teacher can create strategies and lessons on health and fitness to educate students through recreational activities and sports. The teachers also coordinate with other staff members in clinics and academic institutions to develop adaptive physical programs for their clients’ different needs. They record all activities to ensure the safety of the students they teach.
Educational requirements: A bachelor’s or master’s degree is a prerequisite for becoming a P.E. teacher. The most relevant courses include kinesiology, health education, special education, education psychology and coaching. Apart from the degree programs, there are several other pertinent certificates that employers consider, like the Certified Adapted Physical Educator (CAPE), Education Certificate (K12) and first aid courses, such as CPR and American Red Cross (AED) Instructor.
4. Registered dietitian
National average salary: $47,294 per year
Primary duties: A registered dietitian can provide accurate diagnosis and treatment plans to identify and treat various diseases related to malnutrition. They also interview and assess a client’s diet needs and goals to develop a customized nutrition plan.
Educational requirements: Registered dietitians require a bachelor’s or master’s degree in dietetics and nutrition science or other equivalent courses. Employers encourage candidates to complete at least one internship as part of their degree studies or separately. Specialized certificates are vital to increasing your chances of employment. The most common certifications are Registered Dietitian (RD), Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS).
5. Fitness manager
National average salary: $49,843 per year
Primary duties: A fitness manager is responsible for various critical functions in a company, including developing exercise plans and managing personal trainers to ensure client satisfaction. They also manage the schedules and finances of daily activities in the facility.
Educational requirements: Employers require fitness managers to have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in physical education, kinesiology and business. An associate degree is also helpful. There are other instances where employers can consider candidates with a high school diploma, but only if they have the required years of experience in the industry and other essential certifications, such as a Personal Trainer Certification (PTC) and a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT).
6. Holistic health and fitness program director
National average salary: $54,233 per year
Primary duties: A holistic health and fitness program director serves as the fitness program coordinator in a health care facility. The directors work in several fields of fitness, such as kinesiology, strength and conditioning. They evaluate, analyze, research and implement programs based on human performance. They are also responsible for supervising their teams and training them in the best industry practices to observe.
Educational requirements: Employers require a bachelor’s or graduate (or higher level) degree with a major in an academic field related to medicine, health sciences or allied sciences. Some jobs allow you to substitute educational qualifications with work experience if it is relevant to the position.
7. Fitness apparel designer
National average salary: $67,593 per year
Primary duties: A fitness apparel designer has a wide range of daily responsibilities, such as planning and attending meetings with cross-functional teams, spying market trends, researching, sketching new designs and working out to gain firsthand experience on innovative technological trends for manufacturing fitness clothes. They are responsible for creating prototypes that are useful in solving different requirements regarding their clients’ sportswear.
Educational requirements: Employers highly recommended a bachelor’s degree, but your work experience and portfolio could help you apply for the position. Some of the relevant courses to take include a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, apparel design or graphic design.
8. Physical therapist
National average salary: $82,384 per year
Primary duties: A physical therapist is a health care expert who diagnoses and treats patients with limited movement abilities. They are responsible for designing a specialized recovery plan for mobility and physical function restoration for all their clients. A physical therapist instructs the patients how to use the recommended therapeutic exercise techniques properly.
Educational requirements: Employers prefer candidates with a master’s or a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy, kinesiology or equivalent courses. A few of the experts hold doctoral degrees, such as the Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT). Some specialized certificates include the Master Therapist (MTAPA) and Certification in Orthopedic Manual Therapy (COMT).
9. Health club manager
National average salary: $92,352 per year
Primary duties: A health club manager is responsible for planning, coordinating, directing and supervising service delivery in a health care facility. The managers are accountable for a fitness company’s overall success, meaning they can buy, sell and lease facilities, oversee top management and have a role in hiring and firing staff. They also handle other daily operations like training new hires, scheduling staff meetings, planning fitness programs, checking exercise equipment and maintaining the facility’s safety and cleanliness.
Educational requirements: Most employers require a bachelor’s or master’s degree in health services, nursing or liberal arts and public health or health administration. Certificates from accredited institutions are acceptable, and some common examples include the International Healthcare Management (IHM) and Healthcare Administration Certificate Program (HACP).
10. Fitness engineer
National average salary: $117,205 per year
Primary duties: A fitness technology engineer’s main responsibility is to study the problems affecting fitness issues and create practical solutions. It is among the highest paying jobs in fitness because the job duty is to solve real-world situations due to a sedentary lifestyle. The engineers also research how current technologies affect their clients’ fitness levels and then issue the recommended solutions.
Educational requirements: A master’s degree in biomechanics or software engineering can make you among the industry’s top earners. Associate degrees in equivalent courses are also valid. Candidates can also seek certification, such as the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), to increase their employment chances.
10 Pros and Cons of Being a Fitness Trainer (With Solutions)
Becoming a personal trainer can be very rewarding if you’re interested in fitness and find satisfaction from helping others succeed in their personal goals. There are also some challenges trainers can face if they’re not informed of how to handle them ahead of time. If you’re thinking about becoming a fitness trainer, consider learning more about the benefits and drawbacks to determine if it’s something you want to pursue. In this article, we discuss 10 pros and cons of being a fitness trainer to help you decide whether this career is right for you.
Why is it important to know the pros and cons of being a fitness trainer?
It’s important to understand the pros and cons of being a fitness trainer so you can determine whether training is something that you would like to invest in professionally. It might help you decide if you’d like to work as a trainer full time or if it’s more beneficial to start part time before making it a full-time career.
In addition, before you can start training clients, it’s important to get your personal training certification and choose between working at a gym or starting your own business. Knowing the advantages and challenges can help you make a more informed decision.
6 pros of being a fitness trainer
Here is a list of six advantages of being a fitness trainer that can help you determine if it’s a career that interests you:
1. Gain freedom and flexibility
Being a fitness trainer allows you the flexibility to choose your own hours. If you enjoys working mornings, then you could work morning shifts and be off in the afternoons or evenings. If you have another job and are only available on certain days of the week, you can schedule your clients on those days. A benefit of being a fitness trainer is that whether you’re working for yourself or employed at a gym, you have the freedom to determine what work hours work best for you.
2. Learn about fitness and nutrition
Another benefit of being a trainer is that you learn a lot about health and fitness while you’re getting your fitness training certification. With the advanced knowledge, you’re more prepared to help your clients reach their fitness goals. You can also use that information in your own life. Whether it’s having a more balanced diet or trying a new workout routine, you can use what you’ve learned about nutrition and fitness in your daily routine.
3. Increase job satisfaction
Many fitness trainers choose personal training as a career path because they feel strongly about living a healthy lifestyle. If you’re passionate about helping others, the satisfaction you get from being a fitness trainer can be very fulfilling. When you work with someone who has long-term fitness goals, you have the opportunity to help them achieve their goals. This can not only create a feeling of accomplishment for your clients, but for you as well, because you helped them get where they wanted to be physically and mentally.
4. Choose from a variety of specialties
Depending on your personal interests, there are many specialties in the fitness training profession. After getting your basic training certification, you might find that your interests align more toward working with people who are looking to lose weight, or maybe you’d rather help the elderly stay physically fit.
Some fitness trainer specialties include:
Group exercise instructor
Senior fitness trainer
Youth fitness specialist
Weight loss specialist
Strength and conditioning trainer
5. Manage your own business
Once you become a fitness trainer, you have the option to become your own employer. If you decide to work for yourself, you can choose your own clients, set your own hours and control the amount of earnings you make. In addition, you can determine a lot of the smaller aspects of your business, like the type of training you would like to do, the marketing techniques you think would be most beneficial for your target audience and your hourly rates when working with clients.
6. Change lives
When a client hires you as their personal trainer, you have the chance to change their lives in various ways. Not only are you helping them change the physical aspects of their body, but you’re helping them transform their mentality about health and fitness. You can teach them more about nutritional strategies they can use in their everyday life and exercises that they can use long after your sessions have ended. In addition, the work you do with them can lead to an overall transformation regarding how they feel about themselves.
4 cons of being a fitness trainer
Although there are many benefits of being a fitness training, there are also some drawbacks. Here is a list of four cons of being a fitness trainer:
1. Inconsistent income
Whether you work for yourself or for an employer, income can be inconsistent as a personal trainer because your earnings depend on how many clients you work with each week. Often, you are responsible for bringing in new clients to work with you. If a potential client decides they want to work with another trainer or a returning client tells you they can’t afford to work with you anymore, it’s your job to find new clients in order to maintain your level of income.
To avoid an inconsistent income, consider different ways you can market yourself. If you work in a gym, you can walk up to people and speak with them about working with you by offering a free demonstration. You can also use a website or social media platform to create blog posts and videos related to fitness. Past and present clients can leave reviews on your site, which can also help attract new clients.
2. Challenging clients
Sometimes it’s challenging to work with your clients because they aren’t seeing quick results. Some choose not to follow your recommendations outside of the gym and get upset with you when they’ve only lost a few pounds. For example, if they don’t follow a diet and exercise routine you suggested they adhere to outside of the gym, they might lose less weight and blame you for their lack of progress.
If you define your expectations at the outset of your partnership, they might be less likely to blame you if they don’t get fast results. You can tell them that in order to achieve their goals, it’s essential to follow instructions you give them regarding diet and exercise, or else they may not see progress as quickly.
3. Risk of injury
Working with clients who are using heavy equipment in the gym comes with potential risks. For example, if a client drops a dumbbell on their foot and they have to go to the hospital, they could blame you and sue you for negligence. If you have insurance, this is more likely to be avoided. Although purchasing insurance can be costly, it can be very helpful if a client decides to take legal action against you.
4. Inconvenient work hours
Although you can often choose your own work hours as a fitness trainer, the most lucrative time to work with clients is during hours that some trainers may find inconvenient. People usually go to the gym before or after work, so the best time to find new clients and work with existing ones is early in the morning from 6 to 9 a.m. or later in the evening, usually after 5 p.m. People also go to the gym frequently on weekends, so that’s another opportune time for you to work, but it conflicts with spending time with family or friends.
It can be challenging to find working hours that function well with your personal schedule, but if you get into a routine of working early morning hours or on the weekends, you may begin to feel more comfortable with the hours. In addition, since you often set your own schedule, you can set aside one weekend a month to take off and do whatever you’d like to do. You can also go home between client training sessions to relax and come back later focused and refreshed for the rest of your day.