Health and Fitness Jobs
Pick your health and fitness career path with the help of our job descriptions below. You’ll notice that some jobs require more education and experience than others. If you’re looking for yoga jobs then check that section of JobMonkey!
Types of Health and Fitness Positions
The Athletic Trainer is the person who helps athletes be the best they can be, safely. The job of a Certified Athletic Trainer is recognized by the American Medical Association as an allied health profession. Conditioning is an important part of the work, both to improve performance and to prevent injuries. The trainer is always on hand at the game, on the sidelines, and close by the athlete, working with the coach, the Team Physician and others to build capabilities, prevent injuries, evaluate and treat injuries and supervise rehabilitation and physical improvement training. A Bachelor’s Degree is the minimum requirement, a Master’s Degree is preferred, and Certification by The National Athletic Trainers Association is best for your career. Work is in all sports and athletic venues, from high schools to the professional teams, as well as in clinics and hospitals. Entry-level pay for a high school is in the range of $25,000 per year without certification, while a pro team Athletic Trainer can earn $150,000 with an advanced degree, certification and experience.
A Physical Therapist is a certified professional, graduate of an approved physical therapy school and licensed by the State. The work involves evaluating the athlete’s needs or the extent of injuries, testing, developing treatment and exercise programs and working with the athletes, medical staff and others to help recovery, rehabilitation and physical conditioning. A Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree is best, along with work experience, to get into this field. Salaries around $50,000 can be expected. The professional organization is the American Physical Therapy Association.
As a college student or upon entry into the field of Sports Health and Fitness, you should work as an Assistant, or Aid, to learn the specialization that you’ll want as your career; get the experience you need; and work toward professional certification.
Sports Massage Therapy is a continuously growing field, with college and pro teams hiring their own therapists and private individual athletes-even recreational players-going to massage therapists more and more.
Preparing for sports and athletics physically, mentally and emotionally can benefit from your knowledge and skills, as can the injured athlete who wants to rebuild.
The American Massage Therapy Association is a good place to begin by finding a school program that suits your style.
The Sports and Fitness Nutritionist knows food, the athlete’s likes and dislikes and the mental as well as the physical aspects of eating right. Although you can get a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition, you can work into this field with a related background in any of the other Health and Fitness jobs, a medical or holistic health career, or simply through your own interest and studies in health, nutrition and sports. This allied health profession is growing, with work available in schools, with sports teams and in public venues such as health clubs.
See the Health and Fitness Links page for the National Association of Sports Nutrition website.
A Strength and Conditioning Coach should have a Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology. The National Strength and Conditioning Association certifies Strength and Conditioning Specialists. The job is coaching, training and overseeing exercise and weight training for athletes, working with other trainers, coaches and the team physician to build strength, improve flexibility and help in rehabilitation from injuries. Professional Strength and Conditioning Coaches can earn salaries in the range of $60,000 to $80,000.
Exercise Physiologist Jobs
An Exercise Physiologist is a sports scientist. Using research with athletes, film, video and computers, you can analyze athletics, sports and the human body and discover how to get the best possible performance. A Master’s Degree is a necessity, and a Doctorate is common in this field. The work of studying sports and improving abilities is available in sports medicine centers, corporate fitness centers, college sports centers and university research labs. You should enjoy a good education in science to prepare for this career, along with studies in physical education, media such as videotape and equipment such as computers.
The Sports Physician is at the center of the sports medical team, with tremendous responsibilities for the safety and health of athletes and excellent opportunities to enjoy the work. A professional medical doctor, this person will likely be an orthopedist, a specialist in bones, joints and muscles. The sports physician does exams to determine if an athlete is ready, whether to begin a fitness program, join a team or return to play following an injury. Another important part of the job is to advise coaches and trainers along with the athlete, and to maintain the authority to make health-related decisions. As you would expect of most positions for a physician, salaries are commonly $150,000 or more as one’s practice gets built up.
The career opportunities for a Sports Psychologist are growing, although full-time positions are not that wide-spread so far. It’s a career that will continue to grow, as more individuals and teams appreciate the benefits this person can offer them in mental fitness, self-confidence, relaxation, control and other important aspects of sports. Athletes want to perform well and enjoy sports and fitness activities, and the Sports Psychologist helps them attain and maintain mental health and self-improvement that shows in not only a better game, but a better life. With a Master’s Degree or a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology or in Sports Psychology, you’ll earn $50,000 to $100,000 (perhaps more with a professional sports team), help people and feel good about yourself.
For the job description of a Sports Performance Management Specialist, see the following:
- Athletic Trainer
- Sports Psychologist
- Sports Nutritionist
- Strength and Conditioning Coach
- Personal Trainer
The job is to put together all these programs in which the specialists concentrate. Your mission is to manage the combination of a nutrition program, exercise program, strength and conditioning program and training. The athlete’s goal is performance with stamina and career longevity. Studies for this comprehensive performance management field should include exercise science, nutrition, physiology, psychology and business management.