Growing up, most of us have imagined becoming a famous sports star at least once. Whether it’s winning gold at the Olympics or scoring goals in front of packed stadiums, when someone mentions a career in the sport, health and fitness industry we usually think of these things first. But, for those of us who aren’t naturally gifted with exception sporting skills, there’s still plenty of other jobs that are perfect for non-athletes who want to get involved in the industry. If exercise and/or healthy living is your jam, then this is the industry for you.
Will it suit me?
A lot of jobs in the sport, health and fitness industry will require dedication to get to the top. Setting aside professional playing careers, jobs like coaching, officiating and personal training still need a tonne of self-motivation to get ahead. Passion is essential but don’t worry, despite all the hard work, career paths in these industries can be super rewarding and you’ll have the opportunity to work with a range of people and companies. You’ll likely also be excited by sport, exercise, healthy eating or some variation of the three!
What can I do?
Dancer, coach, sportsperson, fitness instructor, personal trainer, sports development officer, nutritionist, dietitian, referee, umpire, sport agent, cheerleader, massage therapist, gym supervisor, swimming instructor, general manager, sports journalism, kinesiotherapist, competition judge, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, sport psychologist, assessor.
How do I get there?
Because there’s so much variability within the industry, there’s a lot of different pathways to take. If you’re looking to head into the medical side (think physios, nutritionists and dieticians) you’ll be hitting the books and working towards a university degree. Same goes for transferring other skills, such as psychology, onto the sporting field. Coaching and officiating- even at a grassroots level- need some accreditation, usually in the form of a local course that you build upon as your progress. Areas such as personal trainer or gym management usually require a Certificate in fitness, which you can get through a TAFE course.
Is it a good industry?
There are a lot of perks to working in the sport, health and fitness industry. A lot of jobs will see you working with individuals who are coming to you for help with major changes in their life; this can be really rewarding. But this doesn’t mean every moment is peachy. With unqualified celebrities and quick-fix health trends popping up all over the place, it can be hard to get through to clients who think they know better. In a culture of instant gratification; solid, sound and researched advice can often be pushed aside for the next ‘miracle’ breakthrough which can be mentally draining if you’re putting your all into your job.