Moraine Valley is
considered a pioneer in the area of fitness, as one of the first colleges in
Illinois to offer an academic hands-on program leading to a certificate as a
fitness trainer. In the past 15 years, Moraine Valley has graduated well
prepared, confident fitness trainers who secured employment in private health
fitness clubs, park district health fitness centers, gyms and commercial or
corporate firms throughout the Chicago area. Fitness employers have been
impressed with the program graduates' knowledge, confidence and interpersonal
Several classes are conducted in the late afternoon or evening to accommodate students who are working. The Fitness Trainer Certificate is a 30-credit-hour program designed for students who desire to integrate education of exercise science methodologies with practical training experience leading to national certification and a career in fitness. The program coursework emphasizes the analysis of human movement (muscular/skeletal), theoretical applications and methodologies of physical activity.
Nature of Work—An effective trainer assesses fitness levels through testing and screens for disease risks and health concerns. They interpret results and develop, implement and evaluate individual exercise programs by educating/leading the client with proper technique. Other duties of a trainer include maintaining and keeping an updated inventory of equipment, supervising/managing fitness facilities and developing programs, services and events for the facility.
Related Job Titles—Health fitness technician, exercise specialist, fitness instructor, personal trainer, sports trainer, weight-loss center instructor or counselor, group exercise instructor, fitness director
Employment Outlook—Employment of fitness workers is expected to increase 24 percent over the 2010-2020 decade, much faster than the average for all occupations. These workers are expected to gain jobs because an increasing number of people are spending time and money on fitness, and more businesses are recognizing the benefits of health and fitness programs for their employees.
Aging baby boomers are concerned with staying healthy, physically fit, and independent. Moreover, the reduction of physical education programs in schools, combined with parents’ growing concern about childhood obesity, has resulted in rapid increases in children’s health club membership. Increasingly, parents are also hiring personal trainers for their children, and the number of weight-training gyms for children is expected to continue to grow. Health club membership among young adults also has grown steadily, driven by concern with physical fitness and by rising incomes.
As health clubs strive to provide more personalized service to keep their members motivated, they will continue to offer personal training and a wide variety of group exercise classes. Participation in yoga and Pilates is expected to continue to increase, driven partly by the aging population that demands low-impact forms of exercise and seeks relief from arthritis and other ailments. Opportunities are expected to be good for fitness workers because of rapid job growth in health clubs, fitness facilities, and other settings where fitness workers are concentrated. In addition, many job openings will stem from the need to replace the large numbers of workers who leave these occupations each year. Part-time jobs will be easier to find than full-time jobs.
Median annual earnings of fitness trainers and aerobics instructors in May 2011
were $32,970. These figures do not include the earnings of the self-employed.
Earnings of successful self-employed personal trainers can be much higher.
Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of
Source: Bureau of Labor statistics 2011-2012 www.bls.gov/oco (Fitness Trainer)
The median salary in Chicago for fitness trainers is $50,639. Salaries range between $32,743 to $93,560. Source: Salary.com
For job and internship listings and job search assistance, contact the Job Resource Center in the Student Services Center, S202, (708) 974-5737, www.morainevalley.edu/jrc.
Gainful Employment Information—The college provides information about the number of semesters and expected costs to complete this program, as well as the current job outlook. Visit morainevalley.edu/programs/employment.htm.