Careers in Sport and Fitness

Learn more about exciting careers in sports and fitness, and the degrees that can prepare you for roles you’ll love.

Careers in Sport and Fitness

While sports and fitness are often associated with recreation and fun, they are also a major sector of employment and have a significant impact on the economy. Those who enjoy participating in sports and fitness may find careers in the industry rewarding. Fitness alone is a 32 billion dollar industry in the United States and employs nearly one million people. 


Sports coaches have a highly rewarding job that allows them to invest in young lives and connect over a shared passion for sport. Going into coaching is a great way to turn a pastime into a stable and enjoyable career. 

  • Job outlook: 9% growth over the next decade
  • Median annual salary: $45,910

Personal Trainer

Becoming a personal trainer is a dream career for many individuals who love fitness. A successful career as a personal trainer requires an in-depth understanding of both the science and business of strength and conditioning. 

  • Job outlook: 14% growth over the next decade
  • Median annual salary: $46,480

Recreation Worker

The recreation industry employs thousands of young people in casual settings such as sports camps, gyms, and recreation centers. 

  • Job outlook: 5% growth over the next decade
  • Median annual salary: $34,410

Sports Event Planner

Sport and fitness events require professional event planners to coordinate multiple aspects and ensure safe and successful events. Sports events planners are often employed by professional sports organizations.

  • Job outlook: 8% growth over the next decade
  • Median annual salary: $56,920

Sports Scientist

Sport scientists analyze the details of human performance and make new discoveries about human movement and perception in sports contexts. A career as a sports scientist can be rewarding for individuals with an analytical mindset. 

  • Job outlook: 10% growth over the next decade
  • Median annual salary: $54,860

Exercise Physiologist

Exercise physiologists develop exercise plans, assess public health policies, and create physical activity interventions that help people stay healthy. Exercise physiologists will need a strong understanding of many levels of physical activity. 

  • Job outlook: 10% growth over the next decade
  • Median annual salary: $54,860

Sport and Exercise Psychologist

Sport and exercise psychologists can work in high performance contexts such as the olympics and professional sport or study the motivations and experiences of everyday people in sport and exercise. 

  • Job outlook: 6% growth over the next decade
  • Median annual salary: $92,740

Physical Education Teacher

Physical education teachers work in schools to help increase the physical literacy of the next generation. Physical education is crucial for lifelong health and quality of life. 

  • Job outlook: 1% growth over the next decade
  • Median annual salary: $64,290

Earning a Degree in Sport and Fitness

If you are interested in working in the sport and fitness industry, a bachelor’s degree in a related field can give you foundational skill to build your career on. Individuals with sport- and fitness-related degrees can have a competitive advantage in the job market and the confidence they need to succeed.

Human Performance & Sport Degree

PBA offers a comprehensive Bachelor of Science in Human Performance & Sport that is a perfect springboard into the sport and fitness industry. 

The Human Performance & Sport program has two tracks:

  • Coaching/teaching
  • Personal training/strength & conditioning

A degree in human performance and sport will cover career-relevant topics such as 

  • Professional foundations in sport and fitness
  • Nutrition
  • Kinesiology
  • Law and ethics in sport and fitness
  • Sports psychology
  • Physiology of exercise
  • Biomechanics
  • School and community recreation
  • Physical education
  • CPR & first aid

Exercise Science Degree

Students interested in the science behind health, fitness, and exercise may benefit from a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science. PBA’s exercise science program offers a pre-physical therapist and pre-physical trainer track to match the career aspirations of different students. 

Physical Education Degree

A Bachelor of Science in Physical Education is a great option for students who enjoy teaching young people and sharing the joy of movement. PBA’s program prepares graduates to become P.E. teachers, high school coaches, fitness trainers, and more. The degree prepares students to earn teacher certification and work in schools or other related settings. 

Benefits of Working in Sports and Fitness

For many individuals, choosing a career in sports and fitness is about more than money. Here are a few of the many benefits of a career in sports and fitness.

Healthy Lifestyle

An individual’s health can be greatly influenced by the company they keep and the culture they participate in. Working in sport and fitness makes an active lifestyle natural. Personal trainers, coaches, and other sport and fitness professionals move continually while at work and avoid the health risks associated with more sedentary lifestyles and desk jobs.

Positive interactions

Because sport and fitness are typically enjoyable activities, the interactions professionals in these fields have are usually positive. Working in sport and fitness allows you to engage with people in an area where they are motivated and excited, in contrast to roles such as customer service which may be more draining.

Time Outdoors

Many sport and fitness professionals get to spend a significant amount of their working day outdoors in the sun rather than inside under fluorescent lighting. Working outside can increase mood, health, and overall job satisfaction. 

Growth Potential

Sport and fitness are an excellent industry for ambitious and self-motivated professionals who are ready to carve out their own niche. Professional coaches and trainers can develop a client base and even start their own companies or organizations. 

Learn More about PBA’s Degree Programs

Whatever career you’re interested in, Palm Beach Atlantic is ready to help you reach your goals. Learn more about our exciting degrees that can prepare you for a career in the sport and fitness industry.