Thursday, March 30, 2017

Personal Trainer Job Opportunities

Finding Hidden Gems in the Health and Fitness Industry

There you are: all dressed up, ready to work in the fitness field and not sure where to go.  There’s no reason you can’t find that perfect job, the one that lets you grow as a person and professionally, and get promotions and higher pay.

The health and fitness industry is beckoning with such jobs as a personal trainer, personal training manager, fitness director or even owner of a personal training studio.

In fact, there are an almost infinite number of jobs in the fitness industry, including lots of positions you may never have thought of.  That’s because many applicants limit their search to health clubs, which are the mainstream of the industry.  That leaves lots of other fitness-related businesses begging for good candidates.

Consider these possibilities:

1. Medical Fitness Centers. This country features more than 1,000 medical fitness centers throughout the U.S. Developed and run by hospital groups or health care systems, they are
designed to merge healthcare services, wellness, and fitness programs to prevent illnesses or to manage diseases.  They do require certification, but there are multiple ways you can obtain certified as a personal trainer, including in-house programs.  Many organizations provide that benefit.

2. Municipal park and recreation departments.  Cities around the country provide  wide-ranging programs for their residents.  Positions there vary from lifeguarding, activity coordinators, personal trainers and more. Many park and recreation departments have full blown health clubs with fitness, court sports and aquatics.

3. Golf and country clubs.  You don’t have to pick up a club to find a good position on a golf course.  An estimated 65 percent of private clubs provide fitness programs for their members, including fitness centers, tennis courts to swimming pools. Personal trainers, lifeguard and activities positions are par for the course.

4. Retirement communities.  One of the fastest growing segments in housing, an estimated 74 percent of these communities provide a formal wellness program, according to the International Council on Active Aging.  These communities need someone to oversee wellness, fitness and social activities as well as assistants for all those posts.  They pay well, too. 

5. Hotels and resorts.  Many offer fitness and aquatic programs.   In a resort community like Ormond Beach, where I live, these positions are both bountiful and readily available.

6. Jewish Community Centers and YMCA’s.  In this country, there are more than 1000 such centers that provide a wide array of fitness programs, aquatics, courses, and activities for people of all ages. These organizations also have their own certification programs as well.

7.  Colleges and Universities.  Almost every institution of higher learning provides fitness programs for students, faculty and staff.  That could be a gym, workout facility and a pool, all of which need fitness personnel.

Some of these places post their openings on line.  It doesn’t hurt to check, but you’ll do much better by visiting and applying in person.  That way, you can see what they have to offer and where you could fit in.

All of them are different.  Hours vary as do benefits and salaries.  The key is to get your foot in the door. 

Every day, I tell people like you that “after gaining experience as a personal trainer, you may be able to move your fitness career ahead with a job as a Personal Training Manager, Fitness Director or even open your own Personal Training Studio.”

You don’t have to ask about the availability of jobs.  That’s a given.  The industry is growing.  In 2015, the U.S. health and fitness industry collected more than $25.8 billion while garnering $81 billion worldwide.  It’s hard to be healthier than that since, according to surveys, 1 in 5 Americans now belongs to some kind of health club.

That creates oodles of job opportunities with no falloff in sight.  The Bureau of Labor forecasts a 31 percent growth of jobs in this field by 2020.

As a result, if you are planning on a career in the health and fitness industry, there will be no shortage of opportunities at every stage of your career.

You just have to know where to look.

Alan Cohen is a renowned fitness industry career expert with more than 30 years of experience in the health and fitness industry.  He is the founder and president of Alan can be reached at or by calling (800) 259-4397.