Associate of Fitness & Exercise: Degree Overview

Associate's degree programs in fitness and exercise teach students the connection between health, wellness, and exercise. They prepare students for a wide range of jobs or for more advanced studies in the field.

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Essential Information

Associate's degree programs in fitness and exercise train students to design and coordinate exercise regimens and sports activities while assessing clients' fitness levels. They also include studies in fundamental concepts such as nutrition and personal training methods. Similar degrees are offered in sports and fitness management and exercise and sports studies. In order to apply, students must hold a high school diploma or the equivalent; some programs may have additional admissions requirements.


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Associate of Fitness & Exercise Degree

The curriculum covers principles of exercise, client management and healthy living. Students learn to guide clients in the proper ways to exercise so that they can meet their fitness goals. Basic business skills are also included in some curricula. Possible courses include:

  • Fitness assessment
  • Exercise physiology
  • Health and fitness levels
  • Fitness management
  • Weight training
  • Kinesiology

Popular Career Options

Graduates may find employment in health clubs, private gyms, medical facilities and fitness centers. In 2014, coaches and scouts earned an average yearly salary of $40,050, while fitness trainers and aerobics instructors earned a similar average wage of $40,970, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

During the decade from 2014-2024 job opportunities for coaches and scouts were predicted by the BLS to expand by 6%, and employment for fitness trainers and instructors was projected to grow by 8%.

Certification and Continuing Education Information

According to the BLS, some employers may require employees to hold professional certifications. While each certifying organization sets its own requirements for certification, individuals typically need a high school diploma or its equivalent, certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and a passing exam score.

Advanced degrees can lead to career advancement. Bachelor's and master's programs are available in various exercise and fitness-related fields, such as exercise science, kinesiology, physical education and sports management. Some credits from an associate's degree program may transfer to a bachelor's degree program.

If you want a job helping clients meet their health and fitness goals, you can get the training you need through an associate's degree program in fitness and exercise. After you finish, you also have background you need to pursue certification or higher level studies in related areas.

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