Diet and Fitness Writers
Education and Training Requirements
While in high school, build a broad educational foundation by taking courses in English, literature, health, science, computer science, and typing. The ability to type and a familiarity with computers are extremely important if you want to pursue a career in writing.
Competition for writing jobs in the diet and fitness arena is very strong. A college education may not be required, but it helps to establish your skills as a writer. If you want to be hired full time as a diet or fitness writer, employers may prefer that you have a background in nutrition or sports fitness as well as course work in English or journalism. Some highly technical journals or scientific research publications require their writers to have a master's degree.
In addition to formal course work, most employers look for practical writing experience. Experience with high school and college newspapers, yearbooks, and literary magazines will make you a better candidate. In addition, experience with a small community newspaper, radio station, or local television station is also valuable. Many book publishers, magazines, newspapers, and radio and television stations have summer internship programs that provide valuable training if you want to learn about the publishing and broadcasting businesses. Interns do many simple tasks, such as running errands and answering phones, but some may be asked to perform research, conduct interviews, or even write some minor pieces. During these internships, express your interest in writing about health or fitness. That way, if such an assignment comes along, you may be the first to be asked to help.
Some colleges and universities offer certificates in writing. Earning this type of certificate will help you to hone your writing skills and become a more attractive job candidate. Schools also offer certificate programs in health, wellness, and fitness, and exercise physiology that will help you to expand your knowledge of these areas. Contact colleges and universities in your area to learn more.
Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements
Certification or Licensing
Many diet and fitness writers also work as personal trainers, dietitians, or nutritionists, or in other related careers. Many of these positions require additional education and certification to advise clients. For example, the American Council on Exercise and the American Fitness Professionals Association offer various types of certification, depending on your work interests. Individuals may choose to obtain certification as a trainer, nutrition consultant, exercise specialist, or pre/post-natal exercise instructor.
Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits
Most aspiring writers obtain experience during college by writing for the school newspaper, literary magazine, and yearbook, and by participating in internships.
Diet and fitness writers have broad and specialized knowledge pertaining to the fields of nutrition and exercise. Skills in research techniques, computer literacy, curiosity, persistence, initiative, resourcefulness, and an accurate memory are also beneficial. An ability to concentrate and produce under pressure is essential for those working on a health and fitness magazine staff, for example, where the activity is hectic and deadlines are tight.