While obtaining a bachelor's degree in health and fitness management, students will learn the science of fitness, as well as business skills. This degree will allow students to plan and promote fitness activities in a variety of situations ranging from personal training to corporate fitness programs. Students might also have the opportunity to take part in a cooperative work experience. A high school diploma or GED certificate is required to gain entrance into a bachelor's degree program.
Some program specializations include sports management, sports medicine, or fitness and strength. It is important to note that some schools require cooperative work experience or internships.
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Bachelor's Degree in Health and Fitness Management
Students who earn a Bachelor of Science in Exercise or Sports Science may specialize in health and fitness management. Students learn about the science of fitness, as well as acquire knowledge of business practices. Programs emphasize fitness programming, management principles, youth fitness and sports nutrition and can prepare graduates to develop and conduct exercise programs at health clubs and fitness centers.
The curriculum is a mix of physical education courses, such as weight training and sports psychology, with business management courses, such as accounting and human resources. Programs may offer internship opportunities to gain hands-on experience. Course topics may include:
- Anatomy and physiology
- Community health
- Exercise science
- Physical activity psychology
- Aerobic conditioning
Popular Career Options
Health and fitness management graduates have the knowledge of exercise physiology and practical business skills to create health awareness and fitness programs in commercial and instructional settings. Possible job titles available to bachelor's degree holders include:
- Group exercise instructor
- Health club administrator
- Personal trainer
- Fitness director
- Corporate fitness supervisor
Career Outlook and Earnings Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), fitness trainers and instructors can look forward to job growth of 8% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). The agency reported that the mean salary for these jobs was $40,970 in 2015. Salary.com reported in February 2016 that the middle 50% of fitness directors earned wages from $63,270-$89,102, and that the median salary was $75,358.
Professional Certification and Continuing Education
Many organizations and associations offer credentials to fitness workers. Obtaining credentials is increasingly important as the industry grows, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). The National Commission for Certifying Agencies accredits reputable certification organizations. Students interested in additional education in fitness management can complete master's degree programs in fitness management. Additionally, students may choose to complete graduate certificate programs in areas such as fitness management, sport management or exercise science.
Students who see themselves working in the field of fitness can earn a bachelor's degree in health and fitness management and have potential job titles such as personal trainer, fitness director and corporate fitness supervisor. Some programs may have internship opportunities available for students so they can apply what they have learned in the classroom.