Degree Options for Aspiring Fitness Management Professionals

Aspiring fitness management professionals can enroll in a variety of degree programs, including an associate's degree program in sports and fitness management, a bachelor's degree program in fitness management or a master's degree program in kinesiology.

Essential Information

Associate degree students explore methods for leading a healthy lifestyle, which includes developing nutrition and exercise plans to help clients maintain optimal health. At the bachelor's degree level, students learn to design fitness and wellness programs, evaluate the health and fitness needs of athletes and clients, and care for athletic injuries. Students complete a field experience and internship in sports studies at the end of the program. The associate's and bachelor's degree programs can lead to professional fitness certifications through the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the National Council on Strength and Fitness.

Offered with the option to choose a concentration area, including sports management, physical education or exercise science, a master's degree program in kinesiology focuses on human movement. Students explore the ways kinesiology can be used to prevent or rehabilitate physical disorders, diseases or dysfunction. This program also features a field experience. T


Associate of Applied Science in Sports and Fitness Management

The curriculum for these programs includes studies in exercise science, health promotion and safe fitness training practices. The program also investigates anatomy and physiology, exercise physiology, physical fitness and fitness program planning. In the final year of the program, students complete a practicum working with clients in a fitness setting. Admission requires a high school diploma or GED certificate and high school coursework in biology, pre-calculus and physics.

Coursework prepares students to manage exercise and nutrition plans, as well as to work with athletes in the maintenance of physical fitness and overall health. Topics in sports and fitness management courses include:

  • Wellness
  • Lifestyle habits
  • Cardiovascular systems
  • Sports conditioning
  • Personal health

Bachelor of Science in Fitness Management

A bachelor's degree program includes scientific subjects like biology, exercise physiology and kinesiology, in addition to program-specific subjects such as strength and conditioning, sports injuries and nutrition. The curriculum also covers fitness program administration and women's health and wellness.

Classes prepare students to assess and manage fitness and sports programs, as well as support clients in achieving total body wellness. Topics of discussion include:

  • Physical education
  • Sports studies
  • First aid
  • Sport management ethics
  • Supervisory practices

Master of Science in Kinesiology

This master's degree program explores the application of kinesiology to motor performance, exercise physiology and physical education programs. Coursework includes subjects like statistics and research, kinesiology history and sports sociology. Other areas of focus include sports management, marketing, administration and nutrition. Additionally, students complete a research project and field practicum.

Applicants to the program should hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution in a related area of study. Other requirements include satisfactory scores on the Graduate Records Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT), an essay describing the student's experience in sports or physical education, and a statement of academic goals.

Coursework includes studies in health and fitness management, research methods and movement therapies. Typical courses include:

  • Community health
  • Physical education administration
  • Human motor development
  • Exercise testing
  • Sports organizations

Popular Career Options

Graduates are qualified for careers in a variety of settings including rehabilitation, fitness and recreational centers. Popular career options include:

  • Personal trainer
  • Recreational program planner
  • Fitness instructor

Graduates are qualified for employment in education, community health and sports management. Popular job titles for graduates include:

  • Athletic director
  • Health promoter
  • Fitness director

Employment Opportunities and Salary Information

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected a much faster than average growth of 8% for fitness trainers and instructors from 2014-2024. In May 2015, the mean annual wage for fitness trainers and aerobics instructors was $40,970.

Continuing Education Information and Certification Opportunities

Graduates are eligible to sit for the Personal Trainer Certification examination, offered through the National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF). Personal trainers are required to either complete five continuing education credits or retake the exam every two years to maintain certification.

management professionals can enroll in a variety of degree programs to facilitate a career in this field, including an associate's degree program in sports and fitness management, a bachelor's degree program in fitness management or a master's degree program in kinesiology.

Associate degree students explore methods for leading a healthy lifestyle, which includes developing nutrition and exercise plans to help clients maintain optimal health. At the bachelor's degree level, students learn to design fitness and wellness programs, evaluate the health and fitness needs of athletes and clients, and care for athletic injuries. Students complete a field and internship experience in sports studies at the end of the program. The associate's and bachelor's degree programs can lead to professional fitness certifications through the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the National Council on Strength and Fitness.

Offered with the option to choose a concentration area, including sports management, physical education or exercise science, a master's degree program in kinesiology focuses on human movement. Students explore the ways kinesiology can be used to prevent or rehabilitate physical disorders, diseases or dysfunction. This program also features field experience.

Aspiring fitness management professionals can study towards an associate's, bachelor's or master's degree. Popular career choices of graduates can include a personal trainer or athletic director.


What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma or GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?