Fitness Manager Career Information

Explore the management and sales activities of a fitness manager. Learn about academic requirements, salary and job outlook to determine of this is the right career for you.

Career Definition for a Fitness Manager

Fitness managers create exercise plans, supervise fitness classes and manage day-to-day financial operations of a fitness center. Many fitness managers are also in charge of selling new fitness center memberships, retaining existing members, maintaining the exercise equipment and managing personal trainers and class instructors.

Required Education Usually, a bachelor's or master's degree in subjects like exercise, physical education or business
Job Duties Creating exercise plans, managing day-to-day financial operations, managing personal trainers
Median Salary (2017) $39,210 (fitness trainers and instructors)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 10% increase (fitness trainers and instructors)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Most employers look for candidates with bachelor's or master's degrees in fields such as exercise science or physical education. People with a strong business background may be considered as well. Courses like exercise physiology, weight training and aerobics will be relevant to a career in fitness management.

Skills Required

Fitness managers need to possess knowledge of exercise equipment and fitness planning. They should be physically fit, must be excellent communicators and have a strong business background.

Career and Economic Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that fitness trainers and instructors made a median of $39,210 annually in 2017. Fitness trainer and instructor jobs were predicted to increase by 10% from 2016-2026 as a result of the increased emphasis that many people put on exercise and wellness.

Alternative Careers

Athletic Trainer

If a career assisting athletes with training, rehabilitation and injury prevention instead of selling gym memberships is desired, becoming an athletic trainer may be a more suitable choice. Athletic trainers perform first aid procedures, examine injuries, consult with doctors, create and execute exercise and rehabilitative plans, provide methods for preventing injuries and evaluate the effectiveness and success of programs.

To find employment in this occupation, a bachelor's degree in athletic training is usually required, and most states require either licensing or certification by passing an exam. The BLS expects employment of athletic trainers to increase by 23% between 2016 and 2026, resulting in the creation of 6,300 new jobs. Trainers earned a median yearly wage of $46,630, based on BLS numbers from 2017.

Sales Manager

For those with more of an interest in selling and directing the activities of sales representatives, a career in sales management should be considered. Sales managers analyze market trends to determine what clients may want. Using this data, they create sales plans, train and supervise staff, develop budgets, track sales numbers and make sure clients are satisfied.

To become a sales manager, a bachelor's degree in a business field is usually the norm, and sales experience is a must. During the 2016-2026 decade, sales manager should see job opportunities increase by 7%, as projected by the BLS. The BLS also determined that the median salary for sales managers was $121,060 in 2017.

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