In good news for fitness professionals, there are many factors contributing to the continuing boom of Australia’s fitness industry. Consumer interest in health management has never been higher and the Australian Government is making a significant investment in the promotion of healthy lifestyles to fight the rise in chronic disease and obesity and support Australia’s ageing population.
“The fitness industry is growing rapidly and employment prospects for passionate and focussed fitness graduates has never been higher to meet increasing consumer demand for our industry’s services,” said National Sales Manager of FIAFitnation Graham Richardson.
“The huge expansion of new gym chains in Australia over the past five years and the spike in the popularity of corporate fitness programs are also fuelling increased demand for qualified fitness practitioners.”
A fitness career can also be a great way to educate the community on nutrition and exercise, with professionals able to play their part in improving the health outcomes of Australians through preventative measures.
If the current trends continue over the next 20 years, it is estimated that nearly three-quarters of the Australian population will be overweight or obese in 2025. The Fitness Industry Economic Contribution report from July 2009 (commissioned by Fitness Australia and prepared by Access Economics) estimated that Australia’s fitness centres could provide savings in direct health care costs of up to $108 million per year.
There is also a diverse range of career opportunities available for fitness graduates to consider. Fitness professionals can pursue careers within private gyms, corporate fitness facilities or operating their own personal training business. There are also fitness roles available in sporting facilities, schools, resorts, hospitals, nursing homes and even cruise ships.
“I’m noticing an increase in fitness professionals partnering with chiropractors and physiotherapists to refer clients to each other which can be very effective,” Graham said.
In addition, Australia’s pleasant climate with minimal weather restrictions lends itself to outdoor training.
It isn’t surprising that job satisfaction within the industry is high, with the 2009 Sportspeople Workplace Survey showing 85.1% of respondents from the sport, fitness and aquatic sectors were either satisfied or very satisfied in their current job, with 88.1% intending to stay in the industry long-term.
Flexible work options were another reason job satisfaction within the industry was so high, with the 2010 Sportspeople Salary Survey showed nearly half of the fitness sector works on a part-time basis (49.4%).
Many fitness professionals find their career is financially as well as emotionally rewarding. The most recent Salary Survey (2010) by Sportspeople showed 27.3% of full-time respondents from the fitness industry earned $80,000 or above in 2009.
Graham said he was noticing more fitness graduates undertaking further study in natural health areas such as aromatherapy, nutrition and homeopathy as they wished to have the expertise to practice in both areas.
25-year-old nurse Coreena Cruceanu’s life turned on its axis when she contracted a Lyme-like illness. The extensive lifestyle and dietary changes she made to facilitate her recovery sparked a fascination with natural health and she is now studying to become a nutritionist.