Careers in Fitness Technology

What will I do on the job?

As a fitness professional you will be part of the preventive health care team working in health and fitness clubs, wellness centers, public and private recreation facilities, hospitals and corporate fitness centers. The fitness professional performs a variety of instructional and administrative tasks. Instructional tasks include directing safe and effective exercise programs, conducting fitness testing and instructing clients in appropriate sport, fitness, and wellness activities. Administrative duties may include sales, day-to-day business operations, and member retention efforts. Portland Community College Fitness Technology Graduates have a background in basic anatomy and physiology, applied kinesiology, exercise physiology, sports nutrition, fitness assessment and programming, as well as training in interpersonal skills and fitness promotion. Professionals working in this field are known by a variety of titles within the industry, including but not limited to; personal trainer, exercise specialist, group exercise leader, fitness instructor, activity director, strength and conditioning coach, and member services specialist.

What skills will I use on the job?

PCC's Fitness Technology Program is designed to enhance your enthusiasm for physical activity, while developing knowledge and skills you will use on the job. You will learn to work closely with fitness-oriented clients, show examples of healthy lifestyles, promote wellness and its benefits, encourage clients to meet their goals, and develop fitness programs to help clients reach those goals. Students entering the program should enjoy participation in physical activity and working closely with other people, both one-on-one and in groups. Much of the curriculum is hands-on, where you will learn to apply the theoretical exercise science concepts to practical real-life situations. Individuals should also have basic math, writing, and general study skills before starting the Fitness Technology Program.

How much can I earn?

Wages increase as experience is gained on the job, and many employers offer commissions, additional instructional duties and other incentives that can significantly increase salary. A motivated fitness professional can often move into sales, marketing or club management. According to the Occupation Profile for Fitness Trainers and Aerobic Instructors for Oregon, the median hourly wage is $16.95, with a low of $9.28 and a high of $27.89.

What is the job market right now?

Fitness Professionals are hired in fitness clubs, specialty fitness studios, wellness centers, public recreation facilities, corporate fitness programs, and some physical therapy programs. According to the Oregon Occupational Report for Fitness Trainers and Instructors the expected job growth for 2010 – 2020 is 24%.