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Health Fitness Specialist - Associate in Applied Science

If you are outgoing and energetic and are good at motivating others to maintain a healthy lifestyle, a career as a Health Fitness Specialist might be for you.

Health Fitness Specialists are often certified personal trainers, instructors and coaches who perform a battery of tests to measure their clients’ aerobic capacity, strength, flexibility and mobility and offer a personalized exercise regimen that will help clients improve their physical fitness levels.

Job responsibilities might 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. Most importantly, Health Fitness Specialists must be a good role model and practice what they preach, in regard to diet and exercise.

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.

Students will personally train clients for eight consecutive weeks, perform dietary and nutritional counseling, lead various forms of group exercise and administer fitness assessment tests to multiple individuals. Students are required to complete a 300-hour internship at the end of the program.

If you’re looking to obtain a bachelor’s degree, Delta has several university partnerships, guaranteeing a smooth transition.

The Health Fitness Specialist degree is endorsed by the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the American Council on Exercise.

What students are saying

“Being a healthcare professional, I have always understood the importance of exercise, yet was never able to provide in-depth instruction or intervention on this topic until I entered in the Health Fitness Specialist Program. I enjoyed it. It provided me a hands-on practical approach that I am able to utilize daily in my work environment.” – Lance Redwantz, R.D., C.N.S.C.

Careers and job outlook

Fitness trainers and instructors work in health 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 eight percent from 2014 to 2024. 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 salary for fitness trainers is $34,980 per year.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Find out more

Have questions or want more information? Contact:

Kara Jimenez, PhD.
Lifelong Wellness Coordinator

Health Fitness Specialist - Associate in Applied Science

Program Code: AAS.25710

This degree can stand alone or can lead to a bachelor's degree in Health Fitness, Exercise Physiology, or related field. The program prepares students to sit for two of the most nationally recognized fitness certification exams: The National Strength and Conditioning Association - Certified Personal Trainer Exam, and the American College of Sports Medicine - Certified Personal Trainer or Health Fitness Specialist Exam. This program will give the health fitness student the fundamental knowledge of exercise physiology; human anatomy and physiology; biomechanics; prevention and treatment of exercise-related injuries; CPR, First Aid, and AED readiness skills; health appraisals and assessments; application of fitness principles and strength training; applicable knowledge of nutrition, weight management, stress management, and self-employment; skills in health fitness assessment, as well as designing and leading endurance and strength programs for diverse populations. In addition, upon completion of this associate degree, the health fitness specialist will also have attained the Delta College Personal Trainer Certificate.

General Education Courses

CourseCreditsCourse TitleCompleted
BIO 111W4Principles of Biology ______________
CHM 101W5General Chemistry I ______________
COM 112W3Fundamentals of Oral Communication ______________
ENG ---3Any Approved College Composition I Course ______________
ENG ---3Any Approved College Composition II Course ______________
POL ---3/4Any Approved American Government Requirement ______________
PSY 211W4General Psychology ______________
--- ---0/1Any Social Science Elective ______________
--- ---5Any Humanities Elective (with at least one department other than COM) ______________

Basic Program Requirements

CourseCreditsCourse TitleCompleted
BIO 152W4Human Anatomy & Physiology I ______________
BIO 153W4Human Anatomy & Physiology II ______________
LWT 1651HeartSaver First Aid with CPR AND ______________
LWT 1701Basic Life Support for the Health Care Provider ______________
OR ______________
HSC 140(2)Basic Medical Emergencies ______________
LWT 2142Techniques and Applications of Health Fitness Equipment ______________
LWT 2103Nutrition: The Science of Optimal Living OR ______________
LW 222(3)The Science of Nutrition and Exercise ______________
LWT 2303Theory of Strength and Conditioning ______________
LWT 2404Health Fitness Instructor/Personal Trainer ______________
LWT 2424Group Fitness Instructor ______________
LWT 2514Exercise Physiology ______________
LWT 2553Health Fitness Management and Promotion ______________
LWT 2605Health Fitness Experience ______________
LWA ---1Lifelong Wellness Elective from Category A: ______________
LWA ---1/1.5Lifelong Wellness Elective from Category B: ______________

LWA Electives - Category A (Choose from this list for Basic Program Requirements)

CourseCreditsCourse TitleCompleted
LWA 1011Fitness for Life ______________
LWA 1061Athletic Conditioning ______________
LWA 1081Weight Training ______________
LWA 1111Circuit Training ______________

LWA Electives - Category B (Choose from this list for Basic Program Requirements)

CourseCreditsCourse TitleCompleted
LWA 1511Kick Boxing ______________
LWA 1521.5Astanga Yoga ______________
LWA 1531Dance Aerobics ______________
LWA 154W1BOSU Ball Training ______________
LWA 156W1Stability Ball Training ______________
LWA 1571Step Aerobics ______________
LWA 1581Pilates ______________

70/72.5Total Credits Required For Associate Degree


1 - In addition to tuition, fees, and textbook costs, you may have to purchase special shoes, shirts, nametags, and provide transportation to all internship sites.
2 - Current CPR certification is required for admission to LWT 260. Current CPR certification must be maintained throughout the program.
3 - You need to be aware that internship assignments may be outside the Tri-county area.
4 - See College catalog for graduation and MTA requirements.

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