Health and Fitness Careers
With more Americans taking a proactive role in their health, careers in the health and fitness sectors are experiencing unprecedented growth.
“In the last five years, I’ve seen trainers and athletic coaches grow their businesses by 500%, ” says John Romaniello, author of Final Phase Fat Loss and founder of Roman Fitness Systems in New York City.
Ten years ago, Romaniello says personal trainers were paid around $75 an hour to train one person. Today, there’s been a shift in training methods and many instructors now take on four clients per hour at $60 each. Additionally, things like “bootcamps, ” outdoor group classes with up to 40 people, are also big money-makers for fitness pros.
“Today, instructors are making $240 an hour, but the clients are happy, too, because they’re paying less overall, ” says Romaniello. “With bootcamps, you can charge 30 people $20 per class without the overhead of a studio rental, and all of a sudden you’re making $600 an hour.”
For those interested in pursuing a career in health and fitness fields, Todd Galati, spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise, says the current environment makes for an easy transition.
“Public awareness is up that fitness is not only for the fit, ” says Galati. “Fitness professionals aren't just working in gyms. It’s going to be a solid growth industry over the next 10 years.”
Fitness careers are also expanding online, according to Jake Steinfled, owner of the “Body By Jake” franchise and chair of the National Foundation for Governor’s Fitness Councils.
“The change that’s happening in the industry has to do with education and the fact that more people interested in getting in shape now have access to a professional, ” says Steinfeld. “People are very private and a gym can be a very intimidating place if you are not in shape and not feeling good about yourself. Thankfully, more people are turning to the web to get their personal training sessions virtually.”
Steinfled launched online fitness hub FitOrbit.com in 2009, and now employs more than 400 personal trainers all over the country that work with thousands of clients each month from the comfort of their bedrooms or living rooms.
But if working out virtually doesn’t appeal to you, schools are also another growth area for fitness professionals, according to Steinfeld.
The Governor’s Fitness Councils have installed 18 “Live Positively” fitness centers that teach exercise and fitness classes to schoolchildren in California in the last year, and more are currently being built in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington, D.C.
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