Education

The Scope of Having a Degree in the World of Fitness And Beyond

When choosing a career for yourself, it’s easy to play it safe and go for popular routes like medicine or business. But if you have a knack for fitness, enjoy physical education, and see yourself making a name for yourself in training athletes, why not pursue a sports science career? Sport-related professions have been steadily budding over the past few years. Likewise, the industry itself is highly complex and vast; there are numerous fields you can pursue within the sporting sector, which include nutrition, physiology, and psychology. Therefore, to help you get started, here are some careers you can look into if you’re a fitness enthusiast and relish working in this area:

1. Kinesiologist

The field of kinesiology is all about muscle testing and identifying imbalances in the body structure that are hindering an individual’s performance. Generally, when athletes overuse their muscles and do not correct their posture while working out, they end up with numerous injuries while also experiencing a severe decline in their energy levels. As a result, they need your guidance as a kinesiologist to help them out of this predicament.

But before you can lend your expertise, you must know how to study the movement of energy, understand what factors impact muscles, and why it is essential to balance energy levels, which is why learning the principles of kinesiology is so important. Aspiring professionals can learn the ropes by enrolling in an online kinesiology degree program and studying anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, and nutrition. Such courses will allow learning how the body works and develops over time. In addition, students can learn exercise techniques and how to apply them in various physical activities and contexts. Eventually, graduates can use the skills learned to develop exercise programs tailored to individual clients’ needs.

Kinesiology can also help patients with cerebral palsy, autism, and other neurological problems since it teaches you how to improve motor learning skills which you can apply to your clients. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a growth in job openings for kinesiologists between 2014 and 2024. If you hold a master’s degree, you can expect a 27% increase, while those with a doctorate can anticipate a 34% increase.

2. Wellness Consultant

To achieve high fitness levels, clients must also work on their lifestyles. Their nutrition, diet, and physical fitness routine influence their well-being and determine whether they are in good shape. For this reason, if you enjoy advising clients on how they can improve their overall health, you’ll enjoy being a wellness consultant. As a professional, you help clients change their diet, address their problem areas, and design a customized physical regime. Sometimes, you may also need to spiritually and psychologically help your clients, especially if they have difficulty adjusting to a routine or struggle to cope with an injury hindering their progress and disrupting their physical health.

Therefore, to ensure you’re ready for this role, you must have a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in biology, nutrition, and kinesiology. You may also need to apply for professional certification through the American College of Wellness.

A bachelor’s degree in sports psychology is also an alternative pathway to becoming a wellness consultant. This discipline intersects psychology and athletics, offering a unique perspective on boosting performance and tackling mental hurdles. If you are worried about securing employment, you can find jobs in sports psychology from reputable psychology job boards like psychologyjobs.com.

Unless you have these credentials, you cannot provide professional guidance on mental health-related concerns but can only work with your clients to help them improve their lifestyles. According to the BLS, the job outlook for wellness consultants will grow by 13% by 2029. As the population rapidly ages, you should expect a sudden need for health specialists that can cater to these communities.

Related reading: Help Your Child Choose A Career

3. Gym Manager

As a fitness enthusiast, you can use your talent to manage the daily operations of gyms and fitness centers. Personal trainers, staff, and health consultants come under your supervision as a manager. You need to guarantee that these experts are putting in their mandatory hours, not discriminating among clients, and handling all gym equipment appropriately.

Your area of expertise also includes ensuring that the equipment present in the gym is not damaged, adequately stored, follows all the safety guidelines, and come from reputable companies. You will also manage classes, create trainee schedules, and market the gym’s memberships to prospective clients. Hence, you need a background in exercise science and physical education. It is equally crucial for you to know about sales and marketing.

Although having a business degree is not necessary, choosing to get one will only help you take your career to the next level. According to the BLS, the demand for gym managers will increase by 6% through the next decade.

4. Sport Psychologist

Sports psychology is instrumental for athletes and individuals who have problems competing or playing a sport without feeling anxious. For example, an athlete may need your services as a sport psychologist to help them shake off anxiety and enhance their focus before a significant competition. They may need your guidance in communicating with their teammates, controlling their anger, and hyping themselves before a match.

You may also need to work with clients suffering from a traumatic injury that makes it hard for them to participate in sports without feeling afraid or scared or having PTSD from sports. Since your job focuses primarily on mental health, you must get degrees and qualifications in exploring psychology.

Therefore, you should get a sports psychology degree, counseling degree, or major in sports sciences. As a psychologist, you may need to get a master’s and, in some cases, work your way to a Ph.D., as the field is complex and requires a profound understanding of brain health.

Furthermore, a Ph.D. allows you to go into academia and sports psychology research. Once you have your degrees, you must get a relevant license. These vary by state and differ by the number of clinical hours you need to put in before you are legible to apply for accreditation. The job outlook for psychologists for the next decade is relatively steady. Expect a 6% rise in employment for psychologists by 2031.

Related reading: How to Get Kids Ready for College & Other Career Paths

Final Thoughts

As a fitness enthusiast, you can make an impressive career by sharing your love for sports and high physical endurance with others. Millions of people worldwide are obsessed with sports as a hobby or a profession. To tap these communities, all you need to do is get a degree in any field relevant to fitness and athletics and create a name for yourself. Depending on where your interests lie, you can try your hand in a lucrative area like kinesiology, but if you enjoy consulting and working with clients on a much broader spectrum, become a wellness consultant. On the other hand, if you have a knack for sales but also like working in fitness enterprises, a gym manager is the job for you. Finally, if you like exploring sports’ influence on mental health and how psychology impacts performance, prepare yourself for an eminent career as a sports psychologist.

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