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Become A Fitness Specialist

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Working As A Fitness Specialist

  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Make Decisions

  • $36,160

    Average Salary

What Does A Fitness Specialist Do

A Fitness Specialist is focused on promoting a healthy lifestyle through exercise and working with clients in various settings. They teach individuals or groups how to properly perform exercises and use exercise equipment.

How To Become A Fitness Specialist

The education and training required for fitness trainers and instructors varies by type of specialty, and employers often hire those with certification. Personal fitness trainers, group fitness instructors, and specialized fitness instructors each need different preparation. Requirements also vary by facility.

Education

Almost all trainers and instructors have at least a high school diploma before entering the occupation. An increasing number of employers are requiring fitness workers, particularly personal trainers, to have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree related to a health or fitness field, such as exercise science, kinesiology, or physical education. Programs often include courses in nutrition, exercise techniques, biology, anatomy, and group fitness. Personal trainers also learn how to develop fitness programs for clients of all ages.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Employers prefer to hire fitness trainers and instructors who are certified. Many personal trainers must be certified before they begin working with clients or with members of a gym or other type of health club. Group fitness instructors can begin work without certification, but employers often encourage or require them to become certified. Most specialized fitness instructors receive certification for their preferred type of training, such as yoga or Pilates.

Many organizations offer certification. The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), part of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence, lists certifying organizations that are accredited.

All certification exams have a written part, and some also have a practical part. The exams measure the candidate’s knowledge of human physiology, understanding of proper exercise techniques, and ability to assess clients’ fitness levels and develop appropriate exercise programs. Many certifying organizations offer study materials to prepare for the exam, including books, webinars, other audio and visual materials, and exam preparation workshops and seminars.

Advanced certification requires an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in an exercise-related subject that includes more-specialized instruction, such as training athletes, working with people who are injured or ill, or advising clients on general health. For more information, see the profiles on athletic trainers and exercise physiologists.

Most trainers or instructors need certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillators before applying for certification in physical fitness.

Training

After becoming a certified personal trainer, new trainers typically work alongside an experienced trainer before they are allowed to train clients alone.

Training for specialized fitness instructors can vary greatly. For example, the duration of programs for yoga instructors can range from a few days to more than 2 years. The Yoga Alliance offers several credentials that require a minimum of between 200 and 500 hours, with a specified number of hours in techniques, teaching methods, anatomy, physiology, philosophy, and other areas.

Important Qualities

Customer-service skills. Many fitness trainers and instructors must sell their services, motivating clients to hire them as personal trainers or to sign up for the classes they lead. Fitness trainers and instructors must therefore be polite, friendly, and encouraging, to maintain relationships with their clients.

Communication skills. Fitness trainers and instructors must be able to clearly explain or demonstrate exercises to clients.

Listening skills. Fitness trainers and instructors must be able to listen carefully to what clients tell them in order to determine the clients’ fitness levels and desired fitness goals.

Motivational skills. Getting fit and staying fit takes a lot of work for many clients. To keep clients coming back for more classes or to continue personal training, fitness trainers and instructors must keep their clients motivated.

Physical fitness. Fitness trainers and instructors need to be physically fit because their job requires a considerable amount of exercise. Group instructors often participate in classes, and personal trainers often need to demonstrate exercises to their clients.

Problem-solving skills. Fitness trainers and instructors must evaluate each client’s level of fitness and create an appropriate fitness plan to meet the client’s individual needs.

Advancement

Fitness trainers and instructors who are interested in management positions should get a bachelor’s degree in exercise science, physical education, kinesiology, or a related subject. Experience often is required in order for a trainer or instructor to advance to a management position in a health club or fitness center. Many organizations prefer a master’s degree for certain positions.

Personal trainers may eventually advance to a head trainer position and become responsible for hiring and overseeing the personal training staff or for bringing in new personal training clients. Head trainers also are responsible for procuring athletic equipment, such as weights or fitness machines. Some fitness trainers and instructors go into business for themselves and open their own fitness centers.

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92,387 Fitness Specialist jobs

Healthy Harlem
New York, NY
Fitness Specialist

$36,160 Estimated

Healthtrax Fitness Wellness
Avon, CT
Fitness Specialist - Avon

$36,160 Estimated

First Fitness Management
Boston, MA
Fitness Specialist

$36,160 Estimated

Allina Health Systems
Golden Valley, MN
Fitness Specialist

$36,160 Estimated

The Salvation Army
Millsboro, DE
Fitness Specialist

$36,160 Estimated

Senior Living Communities
North Branford, CT
Fitness Specialist

$36,160 Estimated

Erickson Living
Hingham, MA
Fitness Specialist

$36,160 Estimated

CSKT
Saint Ignatius, MT
Fitness Specialist

$36,160 Estimated

Baylor Scott White Health
Dallas, TX
Fitness Specialist

$36,160 Estimated

Erickson Living
Hingham, MA
Fitness Specialist

$36,160 Estimated

Kaiser Permanente
Atlanta, GA
Temporary, Fitness Specialist

$38,220 Estimated

Allina Health Systems
Golden Valley, MN
Aquatics / Fitness Specialist

$36,160 Estimated

Allina Health Systems
Golden Valley, MN
Aquatics / Fitness Specialist

$36,160 Estimated

Erickson Living
Warminster, PA
Fitness Specialist (Flex)

$36,160 Estimated

Premise Health
Deerfield, IL
PRN Fitness Specialist

$30,730 Estimated

Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group
Kensington, MD
Temporary, Group Fitness Specialist

$36,160 Estimated

Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group
Falls Church, VA
Temporary, Group Fitness Specialist

$36,160 Estimated

McLeod Russel
Florence, SC
Fitness Specialist II

$36,160 Estimated

Bayada
North Andover, MA
Fitness Specialist - Per Diem

$36,160 Estimated

Corporate Fitness Works
Reston, VA
Part Time Fitness Specialist - Reston

$36,160 Estimated

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Real Fitness Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Titleist Golf Fitness Specialist Diverge, Inc. Columbus, GA Sep 23, 2015 $63,700
Fitness Specialist Pilates, Health & Fitness Inc. Los Angeles, CA May 12, 2015 $52,175 -
$68,871
Fitness Specialist Pilates, Health & Fitness Inc. Los Angeles, CA May 05, 2015 $52,175 -
$68,871
Titleist Golf Fitness Specialist Diverge, Inc. Columbus, GA Sep 16, 2015 $50,080
Corporate Fitness Specialist Ing Direct Saint Cloud, MN Sep 27, 2011 $44,000
Fitness Specialist University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI Dec 18, 2009 $30,115
Fitness Specialist-Sports Performance/Corporate WE East Alabama Healthcare Authority Auburn, AL Sep 15, 2012 $24,565
Fitness Specialist-Sports Performance/Corporate WE The East Alabama Health Care Authority Auburn, AL Sep 29, 2012 $24,565
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Top Skills for A Fitness Specialist

FitnessFacilityOutstandingCustomerServiceFitnessAssessmentsPersonalTrainingSessionsFitnessProgramsStrengthTrainingNewMemberOrientationsBloodPressureGroupFitnessClassesFitnessEquipmentFitnessGoalsSupervisePersonalTrainingProgramsWeightLossIncentiveProgramsWellnessProgramsFitnessLevelsFrontDeskBodyCompositionPhysicalFitness

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Top Fitness Specialist Skills

  1. Fitness Facility
  2. Outstanding Customer Service
  3. Fitness Assessments
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Directed daily operation of fitness facility to include opening and closing.
  • Supervised and mentored 16 military and civilian employees, ensuring outstanding customer service to 800K annually.
  • Conducted full fitness assessments on students and faculty, offered educational information regarding health and wellness.
  • Conducted personal training sessions through prescription and implementation.
  • Designed individualized 3-month fitness programs for clients.

Top Fitness Specialist Employers

What Kind Of Companies Hire a Fitness Specialist

  1. Nordstrom
  2. Indochino
  3. Corporate Fitness Works
  4. Fleet Feet Sports
  5. YMCA
  6. Ithaca College Wellness Clinic
  7. Jcpenney
  8. Everything But Water
  9. Jc Penney
  10. Benchmark Hospitality
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