Fitness directors work in health clubs, gyms, corporate fitness centers, daycare centers, nursing homes, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, resorts, and even for cruise lines. Health and sports centers are located in urban, suburban, and rural areas all over the country.
Most fitness directors start out in another career within the sports, health care, or fitness industries. They may start out as personal trainers, aerobics instructors, or physical therapists, and move into managerial positions that involve more responsibility and earning potential. Those looking to break into a fitness career should be sure they have the appropriate knowledge and certifications before applying for positions. Health and fitness centers within gyms, resorts, corporate buildings, and cruise ships may advertise open positions in the newspaper or online at their Web sites. Professional associations, such as the Medical Fitness Association (http://www.medicalfitness.org/careers) and the Athletics and Fitness Association of America (http://www.nasmjobs.com), have job boards that post openings in centers all over the country.
Because the job of fitness trainer is a higher level management position, advancement is limited to moving to the same position within a larger fitness institution or becoming an owner of a fitness facility.
Tips for Entry
Read industry publications such as American Fitness (https://magazine.nasm.org), published by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and IDEA Fitness Journal (http://www.ideafit.com/idea-fitness-journal) to stay abreast of developments in the field and learn about job opportunities.
Visit the following Web sites for job listings:
Talk to fitness trainers about their careers. Ask them for advice on breaking into the field.