Fitness Business Management

medical assistant charting on a file in a medical office

Success in the fitness business is as much about business as it is about fitness. In this 100% online course you will learn to supplement your fitness skills with business knowledge about marketing, financial controls, strategic planning, customer relations and more. Enrollment includes an Optional Field Internship where you can practice your new fitness business management skills in a health and fitness setting.

Course Objectives

  • Learn the skill-sets and competencies that a fitness professional needs in order to be a successful entrepreneur, owner, or department manager
  • Understand how to operate a fiscally successful business in the fitness industry
  • Learn business concepts, including purchasing, contractual agreements, risk management and negligence, technology issues, and other fiscal concerns
  • Identify how branding influences consumers and creates a demand for fitness services and products
  • Understand customer relationship management methods
  • Effectively use sales techniques
  • Learn how to create strategic business plans for successful health and business ventures
  • Master the financial and accounting knowledge needed to manage a fitness operation
  • Understand sales and communication techniques needed to thrive in the professional world
  • The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts 15% growth in fitness industry jobs between now and 2029. This is much faster than average for all jobs. The BLS says this trend will be driven by the increasing awareness of the importance of fitness among governments, businesses and insurance companies. 
  • According to, fitness managers earn $43,648 per year, on average. Salaries for early-career fitness managers range between $29-56,000 per year during the first three to four years of their careers. 4 out of 5 fitness managers’ report that they are "highly satisfied" with their jobs

In addition to their knowledge of health and fitness programs, fitness business managers oversee the daily operations of health and fitness facilities. They require skills in planning, cost control, human resources, employee management and supervision, customer satisfaction and many other areas of management operations.

Fitness business managers usually work in health and fitness settings such as health clubs, fitness or recreation centers and gyms. Some also oversee fitness programs for health care facilities, company gyms or yoga and Pilates studios.

Several formal organizations serve the health and fitness industry with standards, publications and guidance for your fitness career. This course is offered in partnership with the IDEA Health & Fitness Association, Health Club Managers, Inc., and Personal Fitness Professional (PFP). PFP offers students a free three-year subscription to its resources, including eight print issues of their magazine per year, a bi-monthly e-newsletter, a digital magazine, and an interactive website with blogs, polls, articles, and much more.

About Your Instructor

Ken Baldwin, M.ED., ACSM-H/FI has been involved in the fitness, wellness, and education profession for over 10 years. He is the senior editor, content expert, and lead author for ACSM's Resources for the Personal Trainer Textbook, Second Edition." He was chair of IDEA's National Personal Trainer Committee and chair of the Senior Fitness Subcommittee for the Massachusetts Governor's Committee on Physical Fitness and Sports. He serves on national committees for the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), AAHPERD, and the Medical Fitness Association. His background includes operating and managing a personal training company, consulting at corporations, and lecturing at international conferences, public events, national conventions.

Registration and Enrollment

This course is open enrollment. You can enroll and begin anytime.