Your Questions About Health And Fitness Careers

Lizzie asks…

What career options do I have if I decide to major in nutrition?

I'm also interested in physical therapy but fitness/nutrition is my main question. I was wondering what sort of jobs are offered in this field of work because although I'm interested in it, I don't want to spend all this money at college and then not have a job I like. Also, are there any vocational or technical schools for this kind of career or do I have to go to a major college/university?

dknol answers:

Experts in nutrition are in demand due to the growing and aging population in the United States and an increased public interest in proactively managing personal health. Diseases such as obesity and diabetes continue to be prevalent, representing another reason for the growth of nutrition-based jobs.

Dietician and Nutritionists
Most people who pursue a degree program in nutrition become dieticians or nutritionists. Different types of nutritionists perform different daily tasks, depending on their audience and work setting. A renal dietician would provide nutritional advice for those with kidney dysfunction whereas a pediatric dietician would build diet plans for children. A clinical dietician at a hospital, retirement home or military base may build meal and nutritional programs for ongoing use and direct staff in proper preparation. A consultant dietician would work with individuals in a one-on-one setting and may conduct wellness seminars or promote nutrition through articles or books.

Pharmaceutical or Food Sales
Some individuals may become food scientists or product sales representatives for pharmaceutical or food companies. According to World Wide Learn, “Food scientists analyze food, ingredients, and what causes it to break down or spoil. They are concerned with the safe preservation and processing of food as well as its nutritional value.” Such individuals may monitor sanitation and storage or take on a quality-control role. Food scientists may weigh in on marketing to ensure that statements about the food are accurate. Individuals in sales will promote the value of products directly to consumers or corporations, using the information provided by marketing and their experience and education.

Public Health Education
An educational background in nutrition can also prepare an individual for a career educating the public. A cooperative extension agent may work for an organization conducting food research and may help translate findings into awareness messages or actionable advice for consumers. Community agencies may employ experts, termed public health nutritionists, to provide health care to their constituents while promoting health and disease prevention.

Read more: Nutrition Jobs |

Linda asks…

How do I get a career in fitness?

How do I get started? Right now, I'm in grade 12, and I keep changing my mind about what I want to do… Anyway, this is one of the things that I'm pretty interested in. I'm not quite sure exactly WHAT I want to do in this area, but … just a fitness career. I don't know. Sorry I can't be specific.

What kind of education do I need? What career options are there? Is the pay any good?
What *fitness career options are there?

dknol answers:

Professional Career Steps for the Fitness Leader
Step 1: The CFES Fitness Knowledge Course (or equivalent) Home Study or 30+ hour classroom course. This popular course is excellent for personal knowledge and acts as a prerequisite to all CFES Instructor courses and the NFLA Exam. (For CFES classroom courses, dates, times and locations click the Course Calendar web pages.)

Step 2: CFES Instructor Course of Choice
Follow the links on the CFES website for detailed descriptions and check the course calendar web pages for course dates, times and locations.
CFES Group Exercise (Aerobic) Instructor Course
Designed to teach foundation knowledge and practical instructor skills for basic group exercise classes.

CFES Weight Training Instructor Course
Designed to teach foundation knowledge and practical skills for instruction of basic weight training programs.

CFES Advanced Weight Training Instructor Course
Designed to advance your technical knowledge, programming and marketing skills. Excellent learning for personal trainer careers, exercise enthusiasts, athletes, coaches and educators.

Step 3: CPR and Fitness First Aid
CFES Host Agencies and educators may offer these courses or you will find them in your community. You must have a current approved basic four-hour CPR and eight-hour first aid ticket.

Step 4: Register with Provincial governing body; Write the NFLA Theory Exam
NFLA national Fitness Leadership theory exam and provincial registration. The NFLA exam is a 60 question multiple-choice closed book exam. CFES works with each provincial certification agency utilizing the NFLA Theory Exam

Step 5: The Practicum Program + Instructor Competency Evaluation (ICE)
All provincial agencies require an instructor practicum before a final instructor oral exam. You are to instruct a certain number of classes and or weight training programs, all under the supervision of a competent supervisor. At the end of your practicum you will be examined by a qualified supervisor who will watch you instructor your specialised area. Forms will be available with details through your provincial office.

Students are expected to teach a practicum minimum of eight classes for group exercise, four programs for weight training. Practicums are set up at your local fitness centre. Complete with the recognized TCE (Teacher Competency Evaluation).

The TCE is a comprehensive evaluation of your practical leadership skills. When you feel ready to be evaluated call your Course Conductor to receive your TCE Package (for your discipline). Aim to have a CFES Educator do your TCE as you will find compatibility between course learning and your evaluation.

Step 6: Become a Certified Fitness Instructor in Group Exercise (Aerobics), Strength Training, Waterfit, Third Age, Personal Training

Submit all requirements (copies of certificates). Renew yearly or biannual.

Types of Careers/Options

Careers in the health and wellness and fitness industry include full time, part time, entrepreneur, volunteer or paid staff vocational opportunities including:
A Certified Fitness Instructor: working for yourself, as a volunteer or part time paid staff at fitness/recreation centres, schools…
A Personal Trainer: working for a club/recreation centre setting up programs; work independent- taking people to a centre or go to their home gyms, or set up your own studio in a busy location or out of a large space in your home
An Educator/Teacher of Workshops, Fitness Knowledge and or Instructor of Certification Courses as part of your job at a fitness centre; or College; independent setting up courses in rented facilities or after school in education centres (i.e. High schools)
Coaching various sports with added qualifications from fitness in schools, sport clubs, athletic teams
A Fitness Supervisor/Program Director Manager of a Fitness Facility within a private fitness club, Recreation Centre, college
An Owner of a Private Fitness Club, Personal Training Studio
A Sales Rep for Fitness Clubs; Equipment Companies; Health and Wellnes Magazines
A Program Director, Sales/Marketing or Administrator for public/private fitness, sport and health organizations
A Teacher in P.E. Active Living and Health Programs; A Professor of these programs at college, university
A Conference and Workshop Coordinator
An Author of fitness resources for children and or adults; Researcher; Publishing Company
A Consultant, Public Speaker
And so on and so on … There are infinite possibilities!

Donald asks…

What careers can I get into with a major in Health Sciences or Exercise Physiology?

I am kind of doing a double major, but it all works out. Right now I am doing a two year Personal Fitness Trainer degree. These credits can be transferred to a specific University so I can finish off with Health Sciences or Exercise Physiology or another health degree. I can find a job in personal training or teach a fitness class while still furthering my education. I want to work with muscle therapy, sports injuries, nutrition/wellness, stuff like that. But can I, with these degrees? I know of Physical Therapy but that needs a doctorates, can a degree in these help find something similar? If not ,what else?

dknol answers:

Every thing that you need is a graduate degree- RD, PT, OT, etc.

I am a PT

Nancy asks…

How do I become a personal trainer?

I have researched all nationally-recognized accreditation's like ACE, NASM, etc to become a personal trainer at health clubs such as 24 Hr Fitness and others but what is the best one, and most cost-efficient method of becoming a certified personal trainer? And is it a good field all-around?

dknol answers:

I got my first certification through ACE – In general, despite what some other people say, when you're first starting out it's best to just pick a basic cert and get certified as soon as you can –

I've actually NEVER had a client ask me if I was certified – As for being a good all around field for making money, it is if you work for yourself – This actually isn't that hard –

Check out and look around when you get a chance – It's a whole community of trainers helping each other –

It helped me quit my job and get started on my own – Good luck with your career and picking a cert!

Richard asks…

What career oppertunities are there for a sport psychologist?

I am doing sport psychology and would like to know what experience is necessary to become a qualified sport psychologists. I am now in my second year of my degree and need some experience.

dknol answers:

To become a qualified/accredited sports & exercise psychologist (in the UK via the BPS route) you will need:

– A psychology degree accredited by the British Psychological Society that confers GBR. (see )
– To have undertaken a three year period of postgraduate training or 5 years service delivering sports psychology (for courses see: )
– Some relevant experience, which might typically include such things as experience in coaching, exercise instruction, health & fitness training, PE teaching etc.

N.B. Sports psychology does not have as well an established career path (as it does in the USA), so requirements/training etc may be subject to change. See also for other accreditation possibilities.

A good place to begin (re identifying relevant experience) might be to speak to staff in your department and other students (may be from the year above or from post graduate training courses etc), as well as any professionals who might have a few minutes to talk to you about identifying what opportunities are out there/what type of activities would be most beneficial for you to engage in (i.e. Would suggest some networking).

For more information about career progression/opportunities, training, pay etc see:!eipaL?state=showocc&idno=755&pageno=1

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