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Job Outlook: Where fitness trainers face stiffest competition

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Employment of fitness trainers and aerobics instructors by state, May 2013. Graphic via the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Click for a larger view.

Are you interested in a career as a fitness trainer? You might face pretty stiff competition for jobs in New Hampshire. You’ll make the most money in New York state. And growth in that job field is expected to be slightly above average over the next seven or eight years.

Those are a few of the tidbits the U.S. government collects as it tracks the trends for thousands of job categories across the country — including “fitness trainers and aerobics instructors.” The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics maintains detailed information on wages, employment trends and job responsibilities on its website.

For example, fitness trainers “instruct or coach groups or individuals in exercise activities,” according to the BLS description. They “demonstrate techniques and form, observe participants, and explain to them corrective measures necessary to improve their skills.” The data comes from two sources within the Bureau of Labor Statistics: the bureau’sregular entry on the field, updated with 2013 data; and its “Occupational Outlook Handbook,” a resource published in January 2014, analyzing 2012 data.

But you already knew that. Here’s a few other nuggets sprinkled throughout the BLS data:

  • While California had the most fitness trainers (according to 2013 data) with 26,000, New Hampshire had the highest “density” of people working in the field. Out of every 1,000 workers in the Granite State, three of them were fitness trainers.
  • On average, trainers in New York state earned about $25.30 an hour, or more than $52,600 a year. That’s about 10 bucks more than the national average of $15.25, according to BLS’s Occupational Outlook Handbook
  • The same resource says 267,000 people worked as fitness trainers in a 2012 survey (this would not include people who were self-employed in the field).
  • The occupational handbook estimates that between 2012 and 2022, the number of fitness trainers is expected to grow about 13 percent, which is slightly ahead of the average growth rate for all occupations: 11 percent.

Where did fitness trainers find work?

    • 58 percent found jobs in 2012 in fitness and recreational sports centers
    • 13 percent with civic and social organizations
    • 4 percent with health care and social assistance agencies
    • 4 percent with other schools and instructional organizations
    • 4 percent were privately employed

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