Area: Physical Fitness

Sub-Area:

  • Exercise Physiology
  • Personal Training
  • Performance Enhancement/Management
  • Strength & Conditioning Coaching
  • Group Fitness Instruction
  • Health Club Management
  • Consultation

Employers:

  • Health clinics
  • Fitness centers
  • Retirement centers
  • Nursing homes
  • Daycare centers
  • Correctional facilities
  • Resorts
  • Camps and park districts
  • Cruise lines
  • Community centers
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Healthcare programs: Clinical, Industrial, Corporate
  • Sports facilities
  • Individual athletes
  • Self employed

Strategies & Information:

  • Maintain up to date knowledge of trends in fitness and safety practices.
  • Obtain necessary certification in addition to CPR certification.
  • Develop computer skills and familiarity with technology used in the field.
  • Maintain excellent personal fitness and athletic proficiency.
  • Volunteer at a gym or fitness facility to gain familiarity with methods of fitness instruction.
  • Remain calm under pressure and maintain a positive, outgoing personality.
  • Develop excellent interpersonal skills for working with clients, coaches, and team physicians.
  • Volunteer to work with college or high school sport teams or lead exercise programs for local, nonprofit organizations.

Area: Athletic Training

Sub-Area:

  • Performance Enhancement/Management
  • Strength & Conditioning Coaching
  • Biomechanics
  • Consultation

Employers:

  • High schools
  • Colleges and universities
  • Health clinics
  • Sports medicine clinics
  • Fitness centers
  • Retirement centers
  • Nursing homes
  • Resorts
  • Cruise lines
  • Community centers
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Healthcare programs: Clinical, Industrial, Corporate
  • Professional sports teams
  • Private sports organizations
  • Sports facilities
  • Individual athletes
  • Private or group practice

Strategies & Information:

  • Certified Athletic Trainers must earn a degree from an accredited institution. 70% of Athletic Trainers hold a master's degree or higher. Obtain certification through the National Athletic Trainers' Association.
  • Athletic training is not the same as personal training.
  • Develop communication and decision making skills and the ability to work well under pressure.
  • Demonstrate ability to establish close and trusting relationships with others.
  • Be willing to work long and irregular hours and travel with sport teams.
  • Build your reputation in smaller programs to move up.
  • Obtain an internship or part-time job with a sports team, athletic organization, or fitness facility.
  • Join fitness oriented associations and organizations.
  • Volunteer to work with college or high school sports teams, or to run exercise programs for non-profit organizations.

Area: Physical Therapy

Sub-Area:

  • Clinical Practice:
    • Acute care
    • Neuro-rehab
    • Out-patient
  • Management
  • Education
  • Research
  • Consultation
  • Specialties Include:
    • Pediatrics
    • Geriatrics
    • Sports Medicine
    • Orthopedics
    • Neurology
    • Cardiopulmonary

Employers:

  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Home healthcare agencies
  • Nursing homes
  • Sports medicine facilities
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Doctors' offices, particularly orthopedic
  • Schools
  • Health clubs and fitness centers
  • Group or private practices
  • Universities and colleges
  • Federal and state government:
    • Armed Forces
    • Public Health Service
    • Veterans Administration

Strategies & Information:

  • Obtain knowledge of several basic sciences including anatomy, physiology, biology, chemistry, and physics.
  • Attain superior grades in pre-physical therapy course work due to intense competition for admittance to physical therapy programs.
  • Volunteer for a physical therapist in a hospital or clinic to gain experience and improve chances of acceptance into a program.
  • Develop strong interpersonal and communication skills. Must possess patience and a desire to help individuals of all ages with disabilities. A positive attitude is important when working with patients.
  • Manual dexterity and physical stamina are important in succeeding in physical therapy work.
  • Earn a master's degree or doctorate in physical therapy from a program accredited by the American Physical Therapy Association.
  • All states require licensure which includes passing an examination.
  • Obtain a doctoral degree for teaching and research positions.
  • Some physical therapists specialize in an area after gaining several years of general experience.

Area: Occupational Therapy

Sub-Area:

  • Screening
  • Evaluation
  • Treatment:
    • Physical
    • Psychosocial
    • Social
    • Vocational
  • Follow-up
  • Administration
  • Teaching
  • Research

Employers:

  • Hospitals (including psychiatric and rehabilitative)
  • Schools
  • Group or private practice
  • Nursing homes
  • Community mental health centers
  • Adult daycare programs
  • Job training centers
  • Residential care providers
  • Out-patient rehabilitation facilities
  • Home healthcare agencies
  • Federal and state government:
    • Armed Forces
    • Public Health Service
    • Veterans Administration
  • Universities and colleges

Strategies & Information:

  • Build a solid foundation in physical, biological, and behavioral sciences.
  • Develop excellent communication skills which are important when interacting with patients and their families.
  • Volunteer in an occupational therapy or related healthcare setting to experience the field firsthand and improve chances of program admittance.
  • Individuals working in occupational therapy should possess patience and a true interest in helping people with disabilities reach their full potential.
  • Learn to work well within a team. O.T.'s work with many other professionals in the rehabilitation of patients.
  • Earn a master's (MOT, MA, MS) or doctoral (OTD, less common) degree in occupational therapy to gain entry in the field.
  • Doctoral degree is often preferred for university teaching and administrative positions.
  • All states regulate O.T. licensure. Requirements include passing a certification exam given by the American Occupational Therapy Certification Board and a supervised clinical internship. Those who have passed the exam become Occupational Therapists Registered (OTR).
  • Occupational therapists may choose to specialize in a particular age group or type of disability.

Area: Education

Sub-Area:

  • Research
  • Teaching
  • Assessment & Evaluation
  • Program Development

Employers:

  • Colleges and universities
  • Athletic associations
  • Research facilities

Strategies & Information:

  • Develop strong computer, mathematics, science and both written and oral communication skills.
  • Obtain teaching or instructional experience through volunteering or internships.
  • Seek opportunities to join faculty in research projects to gain experience.
  • Join related student and professional organizations.
  • Acquire a master's degree for community college teaching and a Ph.D. for colleges and universities.

Area: Business

Sub-Area:

  • Product Development
  • Program Development
  • Biomechanics
  • Sales:
    • Pharmaceutical
    • Healthcare
    • Sport & Fitness

Employers:

  • Sporting goods manufacturers
  • Exercise equipment manufacturers
  • Sports facilities
  • Health clubs and fitness centers
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Hospitals
  • Clinical and corporate healthcare programs

Strategies & Information:

  • Develop outstanding communication skills, written and oral.
  • Take additional courses in marketing, advertising, and public relations.
  • Gain experience with public speaking and sales.
  • Obtain a part-time job or internship in the areas of wholesaling or retail.
  • Build relationships with coaches, athletic directors, and college equipment/uniform representatives.
  • Consider working with manufacturers of exercise equipment or nutritional supplements to learn more about the field and make contacts.

Area: Sports Medicine

Sub-Area:

  • Orthopedics
  • Osteopathics
  • Chiropractics
  • Prosthetics
  • Biomechanics
  • Physiology
  • Kinesiology
  • Psychology
  • Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation
  • Research

Employers:

  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Home healthcare agencies
  • Nursing homes
  • Sports medicine facilities
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Group or private practices
  • Universities and colleges

Strategies & Information:

  • Develop strong computer, science, mathematics, and verbal and written communication skills.
  • Join related professional and student organizations and seek leadership roles.
  • Find internship and research opportunities with professors and other experts in the field to gain experience.
  • Meet with a pre-health advisor periodically to discuss curricular decisions.
  • Maintain a high grade point average and secure strong recommendations for graduate or professional schools.
  • Look at entrance requirements for desired institutions.
  • Be aware of any standardized test requirements, minimum grade point averages, and prerequisites.
  • After earning an undergraduate degree, the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) requires 4 years of medical school, followed by 3-8 years of internship and residency depending on specialization chosen.

General Information and Strategies