Postsecondary instructors have a dual focus. Their foremost responsibility is educating students in their field of specialty. Recreation and fitness studies teachers instruct courses in everything from exercise science to facilities management. They also keep their knowledge and abilities current so that the instruction they provide is always up to date. Additionally, professors conduct research and publish in scholarly journals and other publications.Nationally, there is expected to be a 12% increase in demand for these educators over the next ten years. This equates to 630 open jobs per year. An increase in available positions is expected in every state and at a variety of institutions.
Recreation and Fitness Studies Teachers, Postsecondary Skills and Abilities
In order to teacht at this level, you will need to be proficient in exercise physiology and recreation. A background in education and the principles of both curriculum design and teaching methods is a must. You will be working with faculty and students each day, and great communication skills will ensure that you are effective in working with both groups. Being a great listener helps, as you will need to advise students and assist them in understanding course material and working through any questions they may have.
Recreation and Fitness Studies Teachers, Postsecondary Duties
As a recreation and fitness instructor at the college level, you will teach both lecture and practicum classes. Some of the duties you will have regarding these courses are:
- Preparing course materials such as homework, syllabi and projects
- Evaluating student work and assigning grades
- Preparing lectures on topics such as anatomy, therapeutic recreation and conditioning theory
- Maintaining office hours to advise and assist students
Subjects for your courses will include, recreation, exercise physiology, facilities management and more. You will work in teams and on committees with other faculty to develop courses as well as to conduct research in the field. You will be expected to keep abreast of changing research and to publish your own research results. Additionally, you may need to write proposals for grants or other outside funding to secure resources for research or other projects.
Recreation and Fitness Studies Teachers, Postsecondary Tools and Technology
Computers will play a big role in your preparations and your administrative duties. You will use email software, word processing software, data base software and more on a daily basis. Additionally, you may use training software in the classroom to aid instruction. You should be familiar with projectors, microphones and televisions for use during lecture classes. There is a variety of equipment related to specific recreational activities, such as badminton rackets, that you will use during instruction.
Education and Training for Recreation and Fitness Studies Teachers, Postsecondary
In order to teach at this level, you will need at least a Master’s Degree. Most professors currently in this position hold a Doctoral or professional degree. Consider these emphases in preparation for this career:
- Sports Studies
- Health and Physical Education/Fitness
- Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies
- Physical Education Teaching and Coaching
- Sport and Fitness Administration/Management
Recreation and Fitness Studies Teachers, Postsecondary Salary
The salary range for professors at this level is wide. The median national salary is $58,300, annually. There is great potential for making a much higher salary, and those in the top 10 percent of wage earners bring home a median salary of $111,600.
Recreation and Fitness Studies Teachers, Postsecondary Jobs by Geography
There are positions available in this field across the country. Georgia, Utah and Arkansas have the highest rate of growth in the field. California, Arizona and Texas have the most open positions. Consider large universities as well as community and smaller institutions in your search for a position.