10 Best Careers in Physical Activity and Health Promotion

Physical activity and health promotion is a rapidly growing field that focuses on promoting healthy lifestyle behaviors and increasing physical activity levels in individuals and communities. As more people become aware of the importance of maintaining an active lifestyle, there is a growing demand for professionals who can provide guidance and support in these areas to promote healthy activities and improve overall wellness.

Pursuing a career in health promotion can be extremely rewarding and fulfilling and many online job boards offer a wide variety of diverse roles in this field. 

In this article, we teamed up with experts from job aggregator Jooble to take a closer look at the benefits of working in this field, the soft skills needed, as well as 10 of the best careers in physical activity and health promotion.

What are the benefits of a career in health promotion?

A career in health promotion can offer a wide range of benefits, including personal and professional satisfaction, job security, and the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives and wellness of individuals and communities. Some of the specific benefits include:

Making a positive impact: Working in the physical health field allows you to make a positive impact on the lives of people by helping individuals and communities to adopt healthier lifestyles, prevent chronic diseases, and improve their overall well-being. 

Job satisfaction: For many working in health promotion it’s more than just a job, but rather a dedicated vocation. Helping people achieve their health goals can be incredibly rewarding, knowing that you are making a difference in the lives of people.

Professional growth: The field of physical activity and health promotion is constantly evolving, and professionals in this field have many opportunities to develop new skills and expand their knowledge. You can take advantage of ongoing training and development opportunities to grow professionally and stay up to date with the latest research and trends.

Job security: As the demand for physical health services increases, so does the demand for professionals in this field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of health educators and community health workers is projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations. 

Diversity: Physical activity and health promotion is a diverse field, with many different career paths to explore. You can work in a variety of settings, including schools, community centers, gyms, healthcare organizations, and corporate wellness programs, among others.

Flexibility: Many professionals in this field enjoy a flexible schedule, which can be ideal for balancing work with personal responsibilities.

Personal health benefits: Working in health promotion can have a positive impact on your own health. By promoting healthy behaviors, you are also encouraged to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

What are the soft skills needed for a career in Physical Activity?

A career in physical activity is a specialized field that requires several specific soft skills. Some of these include:

Effective communication skills: Being able to communicate well is crucial for promoting healthy behaviors and encouraging people to adopt an active lifestyle. This skill is essential for working with individuals, groups, and communities to encourage them to adopt a healthy physical lifestyle.

Interpersonal Skills: The ability to develop and maintain relationships with clients is essential. Strong interpersonal skills allow professionals to understand the unique needs and preferences of individuals and build a rapport with them.

Adaptability: The physical health promotion field is dynamic. Professionals need to be adaptable to changes in policies, regulations, and trends. Being able to adjust to new situations and find solutions to new challenges is important for success in this field.

Empathy: Empathy is the capacity to understand and empathize with the feelings of others. Professionals who can empathize with their clients can better understand their needs and help them overcome barriers to physical activity.

Time Management: Managing time effectively is essential, especially when working with multiple clients or groups. Professionals need to be able to prioritize tasks, set realistic goals, and manage their time efficiently to meet deadlines.

Cultural Competency: Cultural competency is the ability to understand and work effectively with individuals from different cultures and backgrounds. This is important as clients come from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Leadership skills: Leadership skills are required in this field as professionals who may need to lead teams, manage projects, or coordinate community-based programs.

If you feel that you have most of these soft skills in abundance, explore the ten listed diverse and rewarding career opportunities below:

1. Personal Trainer

Duties: Personal trainers work with clients to develop and implement exercise plans that meet their fitness goals. They assess their client’s physical abilities, develop personalized exercise programs, and provide guidance on proper form and technique. Personal trainers may work in fitness centers, health clubs, or as independent contractors.

Average annual salary: $65,324.

2. Exercise Physiologist

Duties: Exercise physiologists specialize in the science of human movement and physical activity. They design and implement exercise programs for individuals with chronic diseases or disabilities, as well as those seeking to improve their fitness levels. Exercise physiologists may work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, or research facilities.

Average annual salary: $56,586.

3. Health Coach

Duties: Health coaches work with clients to develop and achieve their health and wellness goals. They provide guidance on nutrition, exercise, stress management, and other areas that affect overall health. Health coaches may work in corporate wellness programs, healthcare organizations, or as independent contractors.

Average annual salary: $63,146.

4. Athletic Trainer

Duties: Athletic trainers work with athletes to prevent and treat injuries. They provide emergency care, develop rehabilitation plans, and collaborate with medical professionals to ensure a safe and effective return to competition. Athletic trainers may work in schools, sports medicine clinics, or professional sports organizations.

Average annual salary: $52,739.

5. Physical Therapist

Duties: Physical therapists work with individuals who have injuries or illnesses that affect their physical ability to move and perform daily activities. They develop treatment plans that include exercises, stretches, and other interventions to improve physical function and reduce pain. Physical therapists may work in hospitals, outpatient clinics, or rehabilitation centers.

Average annual salary: $95,620.

6. Public Health Educator

Duties: Public health educators develop and implement programs to promote healthy behaviors and prevent the spread of diseases. They work in a variety of settings, including government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and healthcare facilities.

Average annual salary: $51,255.

7. Health and Wellness Consultant

Duties: Health and wellness consultants work with organizations to develop and implement programs that promote healthy behaviors and improve overall wellness. They may provide guidance on nutrition, exercise, stress management, and other areas that impact employee health. Health and wellness consultants may work for corporations, government agencies, or as independent contractors.

Average annual salary: $83,300.

8. Fitness Director

Duties: Fitness directors oversee the operations of fitness facilities and manage a team of trainers and other staff. They develop and implement fitness programs, set goals and objectives, and ensure the safety and well-being of clients. Fitness directors may work in health clubs, spas, or other fitness facilities.

Average annual salary: $48,658.

9. Recreation Director

Duties: Recreation directors oversee the planning and implementation of recreational activities in a variety of settings, including parks, community centers, and retirement communities. They develop programs that promote physical activity and social engagement and ensure the safety and well-being of participants.

Average annual salary: $64,082.

10. Strength and Conditioning Coach

Duties: Strength and conditioning coaches work with athletes to improve their performance and prevent injuries. They develop and implement training programs that focus on strength, power, and endurance. Strength and conditioning coaches may work in schools, sports medicine clinics, or professional sports organizations.

Average annual salary: $42016.

Final thoughts 

A career in physical activity and health promotion will give you the opportunity to make a positive and meaningful impact on people’s lives. If you are passionate about helping others lead healthier lives, this field can be an excellent career choice.