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Fitness Schools

Fitness isn't just a fad. It's a movement toward a healthier way of living that Americans are embracing more every year. According to the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), more than 58 million Americans used a health club in 2012.

If you are a career-seeker for whom fitness is a way of life, a career in fitness training might be right for you. A fitness training school could prepare you to become a personal fitness trainer working one on one with clients to help them achieve their fitness goals. If you enjoy working with groups, you could become trained as a specialized fitness instructor, who teaches popular conditioning classes such as Zumba or spinning.

Fitness training specializations

Everywhere there is a gym or other health club, there is at least one fitness trainer working inside (and probably many more). Fitness trainers work with groups, individuals, and sometimes other fitness trainers to ensure that exercises are done safely and properly.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov), fitness trainers tend to specialize in a few areas. A fitness training school might provide you with the skills to become one of the following:

  • Group fitness instructors organize group exercises, selecting the music and choreographing exercise sequences.
  • Specialized fitness instructors teach classes for which there is already a style and sequence of moves, such as yoga and CrossFit.
  • Fitness directors oversee the fitness components of gyms and other health clubs, sometimes performing administrative tasks, such as scheduling classes and training sessions.

Fitness training certification and degrees

Most fitness trainers have a high-school degree before they enter the field, according to the BLS. Beyond that, educational requirements vary depending on the facility, but a certification in fitness training is most common.

Certification programs are offered through a variety of schools and accrediting agencies, such as the American Council on Exercise and the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America. Programs are available both online and onsite. Fitness trainers typically first obtain a general certification -- personal trainer or group fitness instructor, for example. Once certified, many fitness trainers pursue additional specialty certifications. These certifications include areas of expertise such as youth fitness, weight management and sports conditioning.

To become certified, students take courses relevant to their areas of study and complete a certification exam. General courses might include nutrition, exercise techniques, fitness training theory and exercise for seniors.

For personal trainers, there is also usually an apprenticeship component. Aspiring personal trainers often work side-by-side with an experienced trainer before taking clients alone.

Fitness training salary and career outlook

The BLS projects that employment opportunities for fitness trainers and instructors will grow 13 percent from 2012 to 2022. Most of these jobs will be in gyms and other health clubs, but businesses may increasingly open onsite facilities.

According to government data, job growth for fitness trainers and aerobics instructors is expected to be highest in the following states:

  • Massachusetts: 29.5 percent
  • Idaho: 26.1 percent
  • Utah: 25.5 percent
  • Florida: 24.7 percent
  • Montana: 23.5 percent

The median national wage for fitness trainers and aerobics instructors in May 2013 was $33,020, while the bottom 10 percent earned up to $21,110, and the top 10 percent earned at least $66,950.

With solid projected job growth, fitness training could be a smart career choice. And given the nature of the profession, there's a good chance that your own personal fitness won't take a backseat to your day job.

Sources:

"58.5 Million Americans Utilize Health Clubs," International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association, May 8, 2013, http://www.ihrsa.org/media-center/2013/5/8/585-million-americans-utilize-health-clubs.html

Fitness Trainers and Instructors, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes399031.htm

Fitness Trainers and Instructors, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/fitness-trainers-and-instructors.htm

Long-Term Projections, Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors, Projections Central, State Occupational Projections, 2014, https://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm

Fitness Schools
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Earn Your Diploma from Home!

Programs : Fitness & Nutrition, and more..

Campus Locations :

: , PA 94404

Keiser University offers degrees in fields that are in demand and provides job placement assistance to all its students and alumni.

Programs : Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science, Associate of Science in Sports Medicine and Fitness Technology, Sports Medicine & Fitness Technology, BS, and more..

Campus Locations :

Port Saint Lucie: 10330 South U.S. 1 Port Saint Lucie, FL 34952

Daytona Beach: 1800 Business Park Blvd Daytona Beach, FL 32114

Fort Lauderdale: 1500 NW 49th Street Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309

Lakeland: 2400 Interstate Drive Lakeland, FL 33805

Jacksonville: 6430 Southpoint Parkway, Suite 100 Jacksonville, FL 32216

Fort Myers: 9100 Forum Corporate Parkway Fort Myers, FL 33905

Miami: 2101 NW 117th Avenue Miami, FL 33172

West Palm Beach: 2085 Vista Parkway West Palm Beach, FL 33411

Sarasota: 6151 Lake Osprey Drive Sarasota, FL 34240

Tallahassee: 1700 Halstead Blvd Bldg. 2 Tallahassee, FL 32309

Tampa: 5002 West Waters Ave Tampa, FL 33634

Orlando: 5600 Lake Underhill Road Orlando, FL 32807

Pembroke Pines: 1640 SW 145 Avenue Pembroke Pines, FL 33028

Melbourne: 900 S. Babcock St. Melbourne, FL 32901

  Vatterott College is dedicated to providing students opportunities to gain the hands-on skills necessary to achieve their educational goals.

Programs : Personal Fitness Trainer, and more..

Campus Locations :

Fairview Heights: 110 Commerce Lane Fairview Heights, IL 62208

Saint Joseph: 3131 Frederick Ave. Saint Joseph, MO 64506

Kansas City: 8955 E. 38th Terrace Kansas City, MO 64129

Saint Charles: 3550 West Clay Street Saint Charles, MO 63301

With more than 300 online and residential areas of study, Liberty offers programs from the certificate to doctoral level.

Programs : MS in Sport Management - Tourism :Thesis, MS in Sport Management - Tourism : Non-Thesis, and more..

Campus Locations :

Lynchburg: 1971 University Boulevard Lynchburg, VA 24502

Take your career to the next step with IntelliTec College.

Programs : Personal Trainer (Pueblo), Personal Trainer (Colorado Springs), and more..

Campus Locations :

Pueblo: 3673 Parker Boulevard Suite 250 Pueblo, CO 81008

Colorado Springs: 2315 East Pikes Peak Avenue Colorado Springs, CO 80909

Study online with California University of Pennsylvania.

Programs : MS: Exercise Science and Health Promotion: Performance Enhancement and Injury Prevention, Post-Masters Cert: Exercise Science and Health Promotion: Performance Enhancement and Injury Prevent, Post-Masters Cert: Exercise Science and Health Promotion: Wellness and Fitness, and more..

Campus Locations :

: , PA

Help get your career started with an education from Pinnacle Career Institute.

Programs : Personal Trainer AOS, Personal Trainer Certificate, and more..

Campus Locations :

Kansas City: 1001 E 101st Ter Kansas City, MO 64131

Get the career you want at Branford Hall Career Institute.

Programs : Professional Fitness Trainer, and more..

Campus Locations :

Windsor: 995 Day Hill Road Windsor, CT 06095

Branford: One Summit Place Branford, CT 06405

Earn your degree online with Grand Canyon University. We offer approximately 100 bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs in a variety of fields that can be completed 100% online.

Programs : M.B.A. with an Emphasis in Sports Business, and more..

Campus Locations :

Phoenix: 3300 W Camelback Road Phoenix, AZ 85017

Get your career started with an education from Heritage College. We offer programs and degrees for a career as an x-ray medical technician, medical assistant, massage therapist, esthetician, surgical technologist, personal trainer, pharmacy technician, or cosmetologist.

Programs : Personal Trainer, and more..

Campus Locations :

Kansas City: 1200 E. 104th Street Kansas City, MO 64131

Wichita: 2800 S. Rock Road Wichita, KS 67210

Jacksonville: 4130 Salisbury Road Jacksonville, FL 32216

Cleveland: 18780 East Bagley Road Cleveland, OH 44130

Columbus: 150 Taylor Station Road Columbus, OH 43213

Little Rock: 1309 Old Forge Drive Little Rock, AR 72227

Oklahoma City: 7100 South I-35 Service Road Oklahoma City, OK 73149

Denver: 4704 Harlan St. Denver, CO 80212

Fort Myers: 6630 Orion Drive Fort Myers, FL 33912

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