How to Become a Health Club Manager

Overview

A health club manager is responsible for overseeing the daily operations of a health club. A health club, also known as a fitness club, provides a main workout area with equipment like barbells and exercise machines. Many clubs include an area dedicated to cardiovascular training equipment like rowing machines, stationary bikes, elliptical trainers and treadmills. Group exercise classes are sometimes offered, and many health clubs employ personal trainers who provide fitness training along with advice on nutrition and health issues. More elaborate health clubs provide spa facilities like a swimming pool and a sauna along with sports like tennis and racquetball.

Duties of a health club manager include managing staff members, maintaining equipment and providing customer service. Health club managers may also have the responsibility of attracting and retaining customers. Requirements for becoming a health club manager vary, but they are generally similar to the requirements for other managerial positions. Applicants are typically required to possess a combination of experience and a background in business management. They may obtain a health club management position through promotion from another health club job or by obtaining a management degree.

Work Environment

Health club managers are required to be present in the health club to fulfill their responsibilities. They generally use the health club office to perform their accounting and administrative tasks such as creating work schedules and keeping track of the budget. Managers inspect the workout areas to make sure they are sanitary and clean, and they keep the equipment in good working order. To encourage member retention, the health club manager will generally interact with customers and encourage them to meet their fitness goals. The often create promotions and implement marketing campaigns. Usually health club managers work overtime at night and on the weekend in addition to their regular daytime hours.

Requirements

Education

According to the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, educational requirements for administrative services managers vary according to the organization and job responsibilities. Mangers must hold a high school diploma or equivalent. And have related work experience. Many recreation workers hold a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Training

To become a health club manager is important to have experience in the fitness field. By working at a fitness club, the aspiring health club manager can gain hands-on experience and learn about how the club is run. He or she can also use a position at a health club to become familiar with hiring procedures and opportunities for advancement. Some health club managers are promoted from other health club jobs such as a personal trainer. Another path to becoming a health club manager is to obtain a degree in business administration after high school with a minor in a fitness-related field. However, it is still recommended that the aspiring health club manager obtain a position at a health club to gain relevant experience for a resume.

Certification

Certification programs are available for health club managers. For example, Keiser University offers a Health Services and Management program that educates students on theories and practices in the world of business. This program is offered at the graduate level and courses may be applied toward an MBA degree. Prerequisites include a bachelor’s degree and a resume detailing professional experience. This 8-week, 18 semester hour Graduate Business Certificate program offers coursework in organizational behavior, marketing, human resources, health care management, and corporate compliance.

Skills and Qualities

According to O-Net Online, a fitness and wellness coordinator should have the ability to work with people using good communication and teaching skills. They should be adept and providing service to others. Health club managers need decision making skills, and they may be required to take risks and deal with business issues. As a manager, they should have knowledge of administrative and clerical systems like word processing, and they should demonstrate leadership techniques. Since many health club managers deal with sales and marketing issues, they should have a background in sales techniques and promotion. They also need a foundation in economic and accounting principles and practices in order to report financial data. A health club manager is often viewed as a role model and should be in good physical shape.

Salary

According to the Department of Labor, fitness trainers and instructors earned a median pay of $31,090 in 2010 with a high school diploma or equivalent and on-the-job training. Administrative Services Managers earned a median salary of $77,890 in 2010 with a high school diploma or equivalent and 1 – 5 years of work experience in a related occupation.

Job Outlook

Employment of fitness workers is expected to increase by 24 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for other occupations. This is due in part to in an increase in awareness of the benefits of health and fitness programs for employees on the part of companies and insurance agencies.

Related Reading

Further Reading

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