Exercise Science

Sylvania HT 215 | 971-722-4795 | syhao@pcc.edu

Employment Prospects

What will I do on the job?

PCC Personal Trainer (and former Fit Tech student) working with his client

PCC Personal Trainer (and former Fit Tech student) working with his client.

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 Exercise Science 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?

sylvania pool relay event

FT 203 students plan and execute Intramural Events (like the Swim Relay) as part of a class project.

PCC's Exercise Science 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 Exercise Science Program.

How much can I earn?

healthy older adult fitness

PE 282B student working with an older adult in the community.

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 2017 Occupation Profile for Fitness Trainers and Aerobic Instructors for the Portland Metro area the mean hourly wage is $21.22, with an annual mean of $44,150 (10-90% range: $21,510-$71,060)

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 2017 Occupational Outlook Handbook expected job growth for Fitness Trainers and Instructors is 10% and higher than average for the 2016-2026 time frame.