Fitness Specialist

Program Information

Fitness Specialist Program - was formerly Exercise and Movement Science

Get your career off to a healthy start!

1 Year Certificate Fitness Specialist
Group Exercise Instructor Pathway Certificate

Do You Enjoy …

  • Sharing your passion for health and fitness with others?
  • Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for teaching new things?
  • Managing your own time and the time of others?
  • Actively looking for ways to help people?
  • Working with a wide variety of individuals?
  • Being active and on the move?

Type of Work . . .

Today’s fitness professionals are involved in numerous exciting and innovative careers that focus on “exercise as medicine”. Professionals in this field include personal trainers, group exercise instructors, corporate fitness directors, researchers, fitness technicians, fitness specialists, coaches, teachers, rehabilitation specialists, athletic trainers, and recreation managers. They work with clients in a variety of settings including, but not limited to: gyms, recreation center, rehabilitation settings, aquatics settings, outdoor facilities, client’s homes, resorts/spas, schools, and athletic training facilities. Fitness professionals work with client’s of all ages, genders, abilities, and at various life stages.

Fitness professionals help clients assess their level of physical fitness and set and reach fitness and health goals. They demonstrate various exercises, help clients improve their techniques, and help provide motivation for clients. Group exercise instructors conduct group exercise sessions that involve aerobic exercise, stretching, and muscle conditioning. Pilates and yoga are two increasingly popular conditioning methods taught in exercise classes. Group exercise instructors are responsible for ensuring that their classes are motivating, safe, and challenging, yet not too difficult for the participants.

Pathway to Success . . .

The majority of employers require fitness professionals to have a nationally recognized certification (NSCA, ACSM, ACE) and experience in or further certifications in specialty areas (Yoga, Pilates, Exercise and Pregnancy, etc.). An increasing number of employers require fitness professionals to have an Associates or a Bachelor’s degree in a field related to health or fitness, such as exercise science or physical education. Most employers require both a degree and a national certification. Physical Therapists, Physical Therapy Assistants, Athletic Trainers, Dieticians and some other careers require further education (Master’s degree or PhD) and licensing.

What Employers Look for . . .

Employers need individuals who …

  • Have a passion for health and fitness and a strong desire to help others.
  • Have the ability to plan and lead a class or an individual client in a manner that is motivating and safe.
  • Are outgoing, good at motivating people, and sensitive to the needs of others.
  • Have strong sales skills.
  • Can explain safety rules and regulations governing sports, recreational activities, and the use of exercise equipment.
  • Offer modifications for exercises during classes or training sessions to accommodate different levels of fitness.
  • Plan routines, choose appropriate music, and choose different movements for each set of muscles, depending on participants’ capabilities and limitations.
  • Observe participants and inform them of corrective measures necessary for skill improvement.