Fitness Manager Careers

Overview

If you possess strong a business sense, a desire to excel and a passion for health and fitness, then there is no better industry for you to enter than the fitness industry. You will get to work with clients who will need your advice and support on achieving their fitness goals. Therefore you will be directly involved in improving their health and in effect, their quality of life.

As a fitness manager you will be responsible for devising exercise and workout plans for individuals. These programs will largely be tailored according to their unique needs. For instance, the exercise plan you create for an Olympic athlete looking for increased endurance will be far different than that of an over-weight individual looking to lose weight. More importantly, a fitness manager also needs to look out for the growth and financial health of the fitness business.

Education Requirements

Education requirements vary depending on where you are interested in working and the level of standards set by employers. In some cases, a high school diploma with years of experience in personal training is enough for employment at the very basic level.

However in some cases the requirements for becoming a fitness manager may be higher and more demanding. This depends largely on the standard of excellence and common practices set by the industry. In such cases candidates are required to have a bachelor’s or a master’s degree in exercise science, exercise physiology or physical education. These degrees also have valuable courses such as principles of management, business management, accounting, entrepreneurship, marketing, economics, and so on that are important to becoming a successful manager. These degrees thoroughly equip candidates with the necessary knowledge required to become a successful fitness manager.

What works further in the favor of candidates is possessing fitness related certifications. This may increase their market value and bargaining power. Some of the recognized certification bodies are the American College of Sports Medicine (acsm.org), the National Academy of Sports Medicine (nasm.org) and the American Council on Exercise (acefitness.org).

Job Duties

The job duties of a fitness manager are largely influenced by the size of the fitness center, the level of experience and the competition in the industry. Listed below you will find job duties that are largely common and generic to all fitness managers. This list can be used as a point of reference to understand what you might expect to do in a fitness manager’s position.

  1. Look after the fitness center’s membership sales and expansion. Strive to increase sales numbers and members
  2. Ensure that the gym and exercise equipment is well maintained, cleaned and well kept
  3. Watch over and supervise junior instructors and fitness staff.
  4. Devise clear and accurate job descriptions for fitness instructors
  5. Successfully plan and implement fitness center marketing campaigns. Marketing and promotional activities are critical expansion strategies to many fitness centers
  6. Develop methods and strategies to have a steady revenue stream. You will need to constantly develop sustainable strategies
  7. Manage and track expenses pertaining to running a fitness center. Expense reduction should be a constant struggle
  8. Develop schedules for fitness classes, group exercises and other activities pertaining to the core offerings of the fitness center
  9. Gather customer feedback to ensure the gym or fitness center is on the right path
  10. Train and instruct fitness staff and instructors on the company’s corporate culture and philosophy
  11. Develop exercise plans and routines for interested members
  12. Educate members on correct form and application of exercise. You will need to demonstrate complex exercises for the ease of members

Career Outlook

With the increasing rate at which new gyms, fitness centers and sports arenas are being developed globally, there is high demand for capable managers to run them. This increase in gyms and fitness centers can be explained by a couple of reasons.

For starters, societies have now recognized the importance of exercising and living well. The link between regular exercise and an improved quality of life has been established which has increased the number of gym goers. Secondly, believe it or not, going to the gym and exercise is a fashion trend in some societies. Therefore society looks upon it positively.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov), the employment growth of fitness trainers and instructors, is expected to grow by 24% during 2010 to 2020. In the early years of their career, many fitness managers spend time as fitness instructors before making the upward transition.

Salary Prospects

The average annual salary for fitness managers is about $67,000 (indeed.com). This is a line of work where the strength of your clientele, level of experience and how you package yourself can greatly influence your earning capacity.

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