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The Five Fastest Growing Careers – No College Degree Required 
by Betsie Nielson August 11, 2005

If you are looking for job security but do not have a college degree, there are still many opportunities available for you in the job market.

The U.S. Department of Labor has ranked the occupations that are expected to have the most new openings between now and 2012. Of the top ten listed, half do not specifically require a college degree.

These fast growing occupations may require some post-high school vocational training or on-the-job training. And although not required for entry, a college degree will help in advancement. There are many job openings in these occupations, so if you are interested in any of these fields, it might be a good idea to get a job and see what you think and then you can work on getting more education if you want to advance.

We’ll work backwards, starting with the fifth fastest growing career.

5. Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors

If you are athletic, like to help others and love to play, maybe you would be interested in a job in the fitness world.


Fitness trainers are people who help others attain their fitness goals. They do this by demonstrating exercise techniques and helping their clients improve their fitness level. Fitness trainers may work with groups or individually as a personal trainer. Aerobics instructors perform similar duties, except that they tend to focus on teaching group aerobic exercise classes.

Setting and Conditions

Fitness trainers and aerobic instructors usually work indoors in some sort of recreation or health center or club. Some may also work for corporations or on cruise ships or at summer camps.

Many jobs available at the entry level of these occupations may be part time or seasonal, but many people do work up to forty hours per week. The risk of injury due to the athletic nature of the job is fairly high for fitness workers.

Training and Qualifications

It is not necessary to have a college degree to enter this field. However, most fitness trainers and aerobics instructors must earn certification in personal training, weight training or aerobics. Certification is usually good for two years. Fitness workers are also usually required to be certified in CPR.

Obviously, if you are interested in this field, you should be athletic, outgoing and healthy. Employers are also looking for people who are good communicators and are able to motivate others.


According the Occupational Outlook Handbook, in 2002 the median wage for fitness trainers and aerobic instructors was $11.51 per hour. The middle range was between $8.06 and $18.18 per hour. At the high end of the field, the top 10 percent earned $26.22 per hour or more.



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