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Fitness Trainer�About the Program

The Need for Fitness Trainers
As Americans have become more conscious of good and lasting health through physical fitness, the need for fitness trainers has dramatically increased. People need a trusted professional to assess their fitness level, assist with setting goals, design an appropriate fitness program, and motivate them to complete the program and achieve their goals.

What is a Fitness Trainer?
A fitness trainer provides education, motivation, and accountability for individuals and groups who seek to change their level of fitness. Many of these professionals help people who would like to tone up and slim down, while others work with athletes to enhance their performance.  Another exciting career opportunity, personal trainers work with individuals one-on-one.

Responsibilities of a Fitness Trainer
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 their facility.

Moraine Valley�s Fitness Trainer Program—General
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 skills in:

  • Group fitness instruction
  • Personal training

Moraine Valley�s Fitness Trainer Program—Academics
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�s coursework emphasizes the analysis of human movement (muscular/skeletal), theoretical applications and methodologies of physical activity, fitness testing protocols and procedures, and exercise programming development for cardiorespiratory, strength and flexibility.

Employment Outlook
Employment of fitness workers is expected to increase 27 percent over the 2008-2016 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 2008 were $29,210. These figures do not include the earnings of the self-employed. Earnings of successful self-employed personal trainers can be much higher.

Median annual 2008 earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of fitness workers in 2006 were as follows:
General medical and surgical hospitals $33,920
Local government 32,500
Fitness and recreational sports centers 35,500
Other schools and instruction 28,450
Civic and social organizations 30,090

For job and internship listings and job search assistance, contact the Job Resource Center in Building S, Room S202 at (708) 974-5737 or visit http://www.morainevalley.edu/jrc.

Benefits
80 percent of respondents did not indicate medical/dental or additional compensation.
Resources: Bureau of Labor Statistics and American Council on Exercise.

 
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