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It probably sounds like a great way to make a living: helping people improve their health and well-being by providing them with personalized fitness instruction. There is a growing demand for qualified fitness instructors in many parts of the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of fitness instructors across the nation is expected to increase by 13 percent through 2022.

Why is the field of personal training expected to experience such rapid growth in the upcoming years? Here are a few of the primary reasons:

1. Aging baby boomer population

The first baby boomers, the post-World War II generation born from 1946 to 1965, reached the age of 65 in 2011. This large segment of the population is also expected to live longer than their parents. As more baby boomers age, there will be a growing need for trainers with specialized knowledge of safe and effective fitness practices for seniors. Trainers can help seniors maintain their health and avoid the risk of injuries that are associated with the aging process.

Senior centers, assisted living facilities, senior residential communities, and nursing homes are a few of the facilities that are expected to have a need for fitness instructors. People in their 40s and 50s may also require the services of trainers to help them develop and execute exercise programs. These programs can better prepare their bodies for the onset of the aging process.

2. High obesity rate

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of 2014, approximately 35 percent of the adult population in the U.S. could be classified as obese. What’s more, childhood obesity in America has reached epidemic proportions. As health officials continue to spread awareness of the health implications of obesity, more overweight individuals are likely to look for help from a personal trainer. They may do so on their own or at the advice of a physician. Trainers with specialized knowledge of effective weight loss practices should be in high demand.

3. Company-sponsored health and fitness programs

Companies across the U.S. are starting to understand the importance of helping their employees maintain good health. Fitness packages are now being included as part of the benefits package for attracting top job candidates. Fit, healthy workers are often more productive and miss fewer days of work than their out-of-shape counterparts. As more companies incentivize their workers to join health clubs or participate in fitness programs, more personal trainers will be needed. Some companies have even taken the additional step of hiring trainers to conduct exercise programs and other fitness-related activities at the worksite.

4. More ways to train clients

The fitness industry has gotten extremely creative in providing training methods that meet the needs and desires of today’s consumers. This makes it easier to attract clients who might be intimidated by the standard gym environment or might not have time to get the gym. One example is the growing trend of virtual training. Instead of attending in-person training sessions, clients can use the Internet to view and participate in trainer-led virtual workout sessions in their homes at their convenience. Companies hire qualified trainers to provide online exercise and fitness guidance to their virtual client base. Another growing training method is the fitness boot camp, which includes outdoor training classes. These classes consist of as many as 40 clients and help the individuals learn healthy ways to work out.

5. Fitness programs targeting youth

The increasing number of obese kids has caused many schools to find new ways to teach fitness to their students. The Governor’s Fitness Council has instituted a variety of programs aimed at facilitating fitness education in schools. As part of the National Champion Schools campaign, many schools have implemented Live Positively Fitness Centers within their schools. These centers are a trend that is expected to continue. They also provide job opportunities for knowledgeable fitness trainers who are interested in teaching kids healthy lifestyle habits.

Should You Pursue Fitness Training as a Career?

Becoming a personal trainer requires preparation, which includes obtaining an appropriate education. If you’re interested in a career as a personal trainer, certification is an important first step. One way to prepare for the rigorous personal trainer certification exam is to complete the Personal Fitness Trainer Diploma program offered by Vista College. The program can be completed in as little as 30 weeks. For program details and pricing information, click here to learn more.

CC Photo by Edson Hong

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