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Health and fitness professionals have a range of career options. Some of the challenges include low or inconsistent pay, lack of research-based knowledge and low turnover. However, the benefits of a career in health and fitness may outweigh these issues. For those interested in this profession, it’s worth exploring the various career options.
Few formal career development pathways
As the number of people who are exercising more increases, so does the demand for qualified health and fitness professionals. There are a few different academic paths for those interested in becoming a health and fitness professional, including four-year programs in the field. In addition, many vocational and technical schools offer short-term personal training and certification programs. These programs allow students to focus on a particular area of interest.
A bachelor’s degree in exercise science can lead to a variety of careers, including personal training, fitness facility administration, and nursing. Students can also pursue a graduate degree in sports medicine. In addition, careers in academics can be pursued through a degree in exercise science.
Lack of research-based knowledge
Evidence-based practice has become the buzzword in certain health and fitness circles, but many coaches get it all wrong. They focus too much on “what the research says” and neglect their own personal values and experience. This type of approach is not only harmful for consumers, but also for business.
Despite this, there is little research on the barriers and facilitators for fitness trainers to effectively use research-based knowledge. However, studies have shown that higher-educated trainers are more likely to consult scholarly sources of evidence, while those with lower educational backgrounds rely more on mass media and information from colleagues.
A new survey shows that 40% of the global workforce will consider leaving their current employer in the next two years. The reason for this extreme shift in the workplace is not clear, but many employees attribute it to a range of factors. According to Lily Zheng, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Strategist at LinkedIn, one of the top reasons for high turnover is a lack of a work-life balance, and another is not having flexible work hours.
Turnover rates in the health and fitness industry are high. In many cases, personal trainers move around looking for better pay. This can cause issues with continuity among clients. As a result, employers should offer incentives to retain their staff. While job-hopping is easier than ever, businesses must provide incentives to retain their staff.
While Equinox’s personal trainer turnover rate is relatively high, this is not an uncommon statistic. The gym chain declined to divulge the number of new trainers. Between ten and fifteen percent of their employees are new to the industry. Despite the high turnover rate, personal trainers are among the fastest-growing professions in the U.S., thanks to social media influence and celebrity trainers. However, some gyms do not pay trainers for the time they spend recruiting new clients.