Fitness Jobs for People Without a Degree

Jan 20, 2020

People who are interested in working in a fitness-oriented career, but do not have a degree still have several career options. Compare several of the available options and learn about their median salaries and expected job growth rates.

Fitness Career Options for People Without a Degree

There are a handful of available fitness-related careers for those who do not have a postsecondary degree. These jobs may require some level of fitness, and typically involve educating people on fitness topics. Explore some of the available fitness careers for people without a degree.

Job Title Median Salary (2018)* Job Growth (2018-2028)*
Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors $39,820 13%
Recreation Workers $25,060 8%
Umpires, Referees and Other Sports Officials $27,020 6%
Athletes and Sports Competitors $50,650 6%
Community Health Workers $46,080 11%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Fitness Jobs for People Without a Degree

Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors

Fitness trainers and aerobics instructors help individuals and groups of people reach their fitness goals through a wide variety of exercises and activities. These instructors lead personal training sessions and/or group training sessions that include activities like cardiovascular exercises, stretching and strength training. Fitness trainers and instructors must explain and demonstrate the activity, monitor their client for proper technique, enforce safety rules and provide emergency first aid if needed. Most of these workers have a high school diploma, but other requirements, like certification, vary with employer, position and specialty.

Recreation Workers

Recreation workers do not always lead fitness activities, but some may work at camps, playgrounds or other recreational areas where they do plan and organize fitness activities like swimming, sports and dance. Recreation workers are responsible for providing any necessary equipment for these activities and teaching the participants the rules of the activity. They must ensure that all the participants adhere to safety rules and may need to modify rules or the activity based on the population they are working with. These workers usually need a high school diploma and on-the-job training for their positions.

Umpires, Referees and Other Sports Officials

Although not all umpires, referees and other sports officials need to be very active while performing their job duties, some sporting officials require a certain level of fitness just to keep up with the action of their sport. Many of these officials are required to run up and down the field with the athletes in order to make calls and enforce rules. Sports officials may also need to inspect sporting equipment, keep time for competition or even declare a winner. All sports officials must fully understand the rules of the sport they are officiating and some have a high school diploma, but other training requirements vary by state and sport.

Athletes and Sports Competitors

Professional athletes and sports competitors are typically very fit and must maintain a high level of fitness to compete well in their sport. These competitors train constantly to improve their technique and knowledge of their sport, often under the supervision of coaches and trainers. Depending on the sport, they may need to work well in teams, take care of sporting equipment and/or travel near or far for various competitions. Athletes and sports competitors do not need any formal education, but many have years of experience in their sport.

Community Health Workers

Community health workers discuss a variety of health issues, including fitness topics, with members of a community. They work closely with health educators to lead outreach programs intended to inform community members of available health-related resources and services. They may also collect data from these programs for health educators, which is often used to advocate for additional health-related needs of the community. These workers learn on the job, but usually have a high school diploma and may be required to earn a state certification.

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