Fitness & Nutrition: Career Diploma Overview
Fitness and nutrition positions are being created as more people choose to live healthy lifestyles. These professionals provide fitness and nutrition expertise in a wide variety of occupations.
Fitness and Nutrition Diploma Programs
At the diploma level, programs related to fitness and nutrition are typically offered as personal fitness training programs. These programs generally offer courses in wellness and nutrition, anatomy and physiology, exercise science and fitness assessment. Those who complete these programs might find entry-level positions as fitness trainers in country clubs, gyms, health clubs, senior centers and other places where people take part in recreational fitness activities. A much wider variety of career options is available to individuals who have completed degree programs.
Some schools offer bachelor's degree programs in either fitness or nutrition, while other programs blend the two fields. Many courses overlap and are needed for any type of fitness and nutrition program. Some possible courses in a fitness and nutrition program include biology, chemistry, physiology, communication, nutritional training, meal preparation, exercise methods and weight loss counseling. Other areas of study in a fitness and nutrition program might include sports training, natural health or homeopathy.
While a bachelor's degree may be sufficient for entry-level positions, other prospective fitness and nutrition professionals continue to earn a master's degree. According to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more job prospects are available for those with experience or advanced degrees in the field (www.bls.gov). A graduate with a master's degree may work in public health, health promotion or research positions.
Graduates who have completed a fitness and nutrition degree program may find employment as fitness or nutrition counselors, physical trainers, nutritionists, health teachers or corporate wellness advocates, among others. These professionals work in a wide variety of settings, including in health clubs, schools, community health centers or hospitals. Some other fitness and nutrition professionals work in retail nutrition or natural health stores.
In some places, nutritionists and dietitians need proper licensure in addition to a bachelor's degree in order to practice. Health professionals who wish to teach also need proper teaching licensure.
According to the BLS, the need for health educators, nutritionists and dietitians was expected to increase from 2008-2018 as America's population ages. More people were expected to look to natural and nutritional help for keeping sickness at bay in order to help control health care costs. Hospitals, corporations and health food stores are also adding fitness and nutritional specialists to their staff.
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