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Strong growth projected in fitness and recreational sports centers, 2018–28

| January 2020

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If you’ve resolved to get in shape this year, you might seek out an exercise facility to help accomplish that goal. That’s good news for employment in the fitness and recreational sports centers industry.

In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment for most occupations in these centers to grow at least 15 percent, much faster than the average for all occupations in all industries, through 2028. As the chart shows, fitness trainers and aerobics instructors is projected to add the most jobs in these centers: about 31,100 over the 2018 to 2028 decade. This occupation also had the most employment in the industry in 2018, accounting for nearly 1 in 3 jobs.

View Chart Data

 Chart 1. Occupations with the most new jobs in fitness and recreational sports centers, projected 2018–28

Occupation

New jobs, projected 2018–28

2018 employment

Median hourly wage in the industry, 2018

Typical entry-level education

Work experience in a related occupation

On-the-job training

Fitness trainers and aerobics instructors

31,100 208,600 $20.17 High school diploma or equivalent None Short-term on-the-job training

Amusement and recreation attendants

8,600 57,800 11.25 No formal educational credential None Short-term on-the-job training

Childcare workers

5,700 38,500 10.40 High school diploma or equivalent None Short-term on-the-job training

Lifeguards, ski patrol, and other recreational protective service workers

4,700 31,600 10.35 No formal educational credential None Short-term on-the-job training

Coaches and scouts [1]

4,300 28,700 N/A [1] Bachelor's degree None None

Janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners

3,200 21,700 11.69 No formal educational credential None Short-term on-the-job training

Recreation workers

3,100 20,800 11.22 High school diploma or equivalent None Short-term on-the-job training

First-line supervisors of personal service workers

2,700 17,900 19.07 High school diploma or equivalent Less than 5 years None

Sales representatives, services, all other [2]

2,100 14,400 14.28 High school diploma or equivalent None Moderate-term on-the-job training

General and operations managers

1,900 13,000 33.04 Bachelor's degree 5 years or more None

[1] Median hourly wage data not available.

[2] This "all other" occupation includes job titles such as business services sales representative and membership solititor.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program.

General and operations managers in fitness and recreational sports centers had a median hourly wage of $33.04 in 2018, the highest for the occupations shown—and more than triple that of lifeguards, ski patrol, and other recreational protective service workers, which at $10.35 had the lowest industry wage for the occupations charted. These managers usually work full time, year round. But part-time, seasonal jobs are common in many of the other occupations in the chart, which is why it shows hourly, instead of annual, wages.

Typically, you can enter most of the occupations in the chart with a high school diploma or less education, plus on-the-job training. Coaches and scouts typically need a bachelor’s degree; general and operations managers typically must have a degree and 5 or more years of experience.

Read about wages, work schedules, typical education and training requirements, and more for these and hundreds of other occupations in the Occupational Outlook Handbook. Get projections data for all the occupations in fitness and recreational sports centers from the BLS Employment Projections program.

About the Author

Elka Torpey is an economist in the Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections, BLS. She can be reached at torpey.elka@bls.gov .

Suggested citation:

Elka Torpey, "Strong growth projected in fitness and recreational sports centers, 2018–28," Career Outlook, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 2020.

Telephone: 1-202-691-5700 www.bls.gov/careeroutlook Contact Career Outlook

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