Do you have a belief in the power of wellness? Are you motivated to help others adopt and maintain healthy lifestyle behaviors?
As a health fitness specialist, you will have the knowledge and experience to be an exercise leader or an administrative leader of health and fitness programs in corporate, clinical, commercial, or community settings. Job responsibilities may include group fitness leadership, program development, fitness assessment, exercise prescription, personal training, creating and promotion of incentive programs, monitoring/maintenance of equipment, administration, and staff training.
A successful health fitness specialist will have a strong background in anatomy and physiology, and effective interpersonal and group communication skills.
About the Program
The Health Fitness Specialist program prepares you to support clients of all ages and skill levels in adopting and maintaining healthy lifestyle behaviors. You will learn to apply behavioral and motivational strategies to both healthy individuals and individuals with medically controlled diseases and health conditions.
Personal trainers, group fitness instructors, and specialized instructors, such as yoga or Pilates instructors, each need different preparation.
- Personal Training – Get paired up with an actual client to train for eight consecutive weeks
- Group Fitness Instructor – Teach a one-hour group exercise class
- Exercise Physiology – Opportunities for VO2max testing, blood lactate testing, and power assessments
- Internship Experience – Get real life experience at various internship sites including Freeland Sportzone, YMCA, Old Town Gym, Midland Community Center, Dow Health Promotion, Total Sports Performance, and Saginaw Valley Sports Performance.
The Health Fitness Specialist degree is endorsed by the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the American Council on Exercise.
What are students saying?
"I love working with people and helping them to see that they can make themselves better by their own actions."
– Samuel Whyte
"I always knew I liked a changing environment and with a career in health and fitness there is always something new to learn."
– Floyd Roebuck
"I've enjoyed exercising for many years and am very passionate about health and nutrition. With the Health Fitness Specialist degree, now I can help motivate others!"
– Michelle Rousseau
Careers and Job Outlook
Fitness trainers and instructors work in health clubs, country clubs, fitness or recreation centers, gyms, hospitals, universities, yoga and Pilates studios, resorts, and clients' homes.
Employment of fitness trainers and instructors is expected to grow by 24 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. As businesses and insurance organizations continue to recognize the benefits of health and fitness programs for their employees, incentives to join gyms or other fitness facilities will increase the need for workers in these areas.
The national average pay for fitness trainers is $31,090 per year, or $14.95 per hour.
Source: 2012-13 Occupational Outlook Handbook from the Bureau of Labor Statistics at www.bls.gov/ooh.
The average yearly earnings for a fitness instructor in Michigan is $29,750.
Source: Michigan Department of Career Development, 2010 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates of Michigan Occupational Information System
Find Out More
Have questions or want more information? Contact:
Kara Jimenez, PhD
Associate Professor Lifelong Wellness