The fitness industry is far broader than many aspiring personal trainers realize. Many enter health and wellness programs expecting to eventually work in a gym setting, never realizing that there are also numerous options for home and corporate-based personal training. As you pursue a Master of Science in Health and Human Performance, pay careful attention to your long-term career path, as the knowledge you gain now could set you up for future success in gym management or ownership.

Gyms and traditional fitness centers

The traditional personal training career path involves scoring a job at a local gym and building a dedicated base of clients. Many impressive health and fitness careers begin at the gym, as it gives health and wellness program graduates the opportunity to work with a diverse range of enthusiastic clients. Those who prefer to spend more time working directly with clients and less time marketing their services are most likely to thrive in gym-based health and human performance careers.

Specialty gyms and studios

From yoga studios to MMA centers, boutique gyms are increasingly prevalent, especially in big cities. Membership rates for these facilities are often far higher than for standard gyms and studios. As a result, members are typically more committed to achieving tangible results. If you are passionate about or have an extensive background in a specific area of fitness, you can achieve greater career satisfaction and earn a better income while working in a boutique or specialty gym.

Fitness center management

In the health and wellness industry, management typically involves staff supervision, training and budgetary obligations. As a gym manager, you may also oversee sales of fitness-based products and services. Not all those who excel at personal training have what it takes to achieve success in fitness center management, but the University of the Cumberlands' Coaching and Fitness Leadership concentration can equip you with the skills you need to make a difference.

In-home personal training

Not everybody enjoys easy access to the gym, but as an in-home personal trainer, you can provide quality athletic instruction to those with busy schedules and limited mobility. In-home training allows you to take control of your career and set your own hours, but it also means getting creative, as the average client has limited access to advanced gym equipment. Creativity will also be required as you search for clients. Fitness centers supply a steady stream of new clients, but in-home personal training forces you to aggressively market your services to the community.

Corporate training

Fortune 500 companies are increasingly investing in the health and wellness of their employees by implementing targeted corporate training programs. A Master of Science in Health and Human Performance is an essential first step to working in corporate training, where advanced credentials will be looked upon favorably to conform to those companies’ top-drawer brands.

Gym ownership

Many personal trainers share the dream of one day owning their own gyms. Launching right into gym ownership is not advisable– it is far wiser to first gain experience through entry-level personal training careers. Upon graduating from personal training programs, many aspiring gym owners work briefly as gym-based personal trainers before moving up to management, and, eventually, starting their own studios.

If you’re passionate about helping others achieve greater levels of overall health through a focus on lifestyle and fitness, learn more about University of the Cumberlands’ online health and human performance degree.