Health club and gym administrators vary in their titles, positions, job descriptions and salaries. From a CEO position to a gym manager, there are many different career options and they often depend on the size of the gym.
Organized? Managers run the day-to-day business of the gym. Paperwork, schedules and other tasks typical in manager positions will need to be kept up with.
Friendly and Outgoing? With a public draw, the manager in a gym must be the type that would draw additional customers. Warmly welcoming new visitors and recognizing regulars will help maintain the member numbers.
A Leader? With a staff of various gym employees and trainers, a manager must be able to effectively lead a team. Insight and motivation are important attributes of a good gym administrator.
Requirements and Education
Like most managerial positions, becoming a health club administrator usually requires experience and occasionally a postsecondary education. Getting an entry level job at a health club or gym will give you experience in the industry and help you move towards a promotion.
By working in a gym, even at an entry level position, you will be able to carefully note how things are run and what health club administrators are required to do in that specific business.
A more reliable way to get a position as a gym manager is to get your degree is business administration. By gaining experience from educational courses specifically designed to train business managers, you will be more equipped in areas, such as public relations, finance, operations management and more.
Job Outlook and Salary
In 2012, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the average salary of all managerial positions in fitness and recreational sports centers to be $81,590. This average, however, includes CEO and manager positions alike.
- The average salary of a CEO in the fitness and recreational industry was reported as $157,740
- Sales managers in gyms were reported as making $81,660 on average
- Operations managers made an average of $79,760
- Social and community service managers in this industry made $47,450 on average.
The BLS expects the growth for fitness trainers and instructors to increase by 24 percent, which is higher than the average for other industries. This projected growth is due to businesses and insurance companies increasing awareness of employees and creating programs and incentives for them to join fitness clubs.
While there is no projection for the growth in administrator positions, a similar number can be assumed, since fitness instructors and gyms will need to have overarching managers running operations.
Tips for Becoming a Health Club Administrator or Manager
- Choose to get a minor or second major in fitness. The additional education in a relevant field will make you even more appealing to a health club or gym looking to fill an upper management position.
- Work at a gym during high school and college. Obtaining a part-time, entry level job at a health or fitness club will give you additional experience, helpful toward securing your career later. Be sure to work hard and be responsible with any tasks you are given, showing a serious interest in becoming a manager in the future—taking your job too lightly could actually hurt your promotion goals later.
- Practice organizing and planning events. Gym managers typically have to plan and run programs to keep their gym memberships coming in. Showing an ability to run creative programs you’ve planned is helpful in developing your career.
- Volunteer in the community. As with most administrator jobs, volunteer work is a major plus on a resume. Showing a commitment and enthusiasm for the community will go a long ways in developing your own organizational skills as well as showing future employers your ability to thrive in public relations.
Sources: http://data.bls.gov/search/query/results?cx=013738036195919377644%3A6ih0hfrgl50&q=gym, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics5_713940.htm#11-0000, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/fitness-trainers-and-instructors.htm, http://www.wisegeek.com/how-do-i-become-a-fitness-club-manager.htm