Change is not often easy. People need cheerleaders to motivate, encourage and spur them on. Life threatening conditions such as obesity and diabetes may force couch potatoes to initiate lifestyle changes. Professional coaches, in addition to suppportive family and friends, are crucial to success. Lifestyle and weight loss consultants become an individual's best friend throughout the change process.
Fitness Personnel Income
The median wage for fitness instructors and consultants as of May 2008 was $29,210. Salaries ranged from $16,120 to $60,760. Most professionals earned between $19,610 and $44,420. The mean annual wage for fitness workers, the point where half the workers earn more and half earn less, was $35,920 in May 2010. The bottom 10 percent earned $17,070 in May 2010. The top 10 percent earned $63,400.
Jobs in the Fitness Field
The activities of certified lifestyle and weight management consultants comprise three components: exercise, nutrition and lifestyle changes. Most consultants affiliate with gyms, fitness studios and rehabilitation facilities. Many also provide services in client homes. A large number are paid hourly and many work part-time as independent contractors.
A key prerequisite for a job as a lifestyle or weight management consultant is certification by an accredited school or professional organization. Acceptable credentials include ACE personal trainer certification, advanced health and fitness certification, NCAA-accredited personal trainer or an advanced fitness-related degree. An increasing number of consultants hold a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in exercise science or a related field.
American Counsel on Exercise Survey
The American Counsel on Exercise periodically conducts salary surveys. The non-profit organization establishes guidelines for fitness training certification. The 2010 survey presented results from over 3,000 lifestyle and weight management consultants and advanced health and fitness specialists. Results revealed full-time professionals earned an average $55,771 annually, equivalent to $26.74 an hour. Part-time professionals earned approximately $20,588; $26.23 an hour. Individuals with some college, certification or advanced training earned $41,615 annually. A bachelor’s degree plus certification commanded average salaries of $51,428. Professionals with a master’s degree plus certification grossed $78,382. Fifty-one percent associated with a club or fitness center and 49 percent worked independently. The five geographic areas with the highest annual fitness consultant incomes were Rhode Island, Oklahoma, Kansas, Maine and Washington, D.C.