Human performance often refers to the physiological and psychological components of physical movement, especially during exercise or sport. An associate's degree in human performance can lead to careers in the health and fitness fields. Degree programs focus on exercise, nutrition, exercise psychology and anatomy. There is no shortage of different paths that a person with a degree in human performance can take.
Health and Physical Education
For those looking to combine their love of health and fitness and their desire to work in education, a degree in human performance can be used to break into a career in health or physical education. Education is a popular field for women, who made up 76 percent of public school teachers in 2008, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Although licensed public school teachers need at least a bachelor's degree, para-professionals, such as teacher's aides, can assist physical or health education teachers in the gymnasium or classroom with an associate's degree.
Some students pursue a career in physical therapy with their A.S. in human performance. This career path is particularly popular among women. Women made up 68 percents of membership of the American Physical Therapy Association. Physical therapists help injured patients heal and manage pain. Licensed physical therapists must have at least a master's degree, but people with associate's degrees can work as physical therapy aides or assistants. Requirements vary between states and jobs, but many physical therapy assistant positions call for at least an associate's degrees, and physical therapy aide's may only need a high school diploma for a job.
Becoming a fitness trainer is one way to put an associate's degree in human performance to work. Fitness trainers coach individuals or lead classes in exercises. There is no certification requirements for fitness trainers, although many fitness centers may prefer hiring fitness trainers with certifications in the field. An associate's degree in human performance can be an advantage when seeking employment. Those who choose this career path need to be physically fit to lead exercise programs.
Occupational therapy is one possible career track for someone with an associate's in human performance. Licensed occupational therapist need master's degrees, while assistants and aides generally require associate's degrees and high school diplomas, respectively. The main function of the occupational therapy field is to help patients develop or improve the physical skills required for day-to-day living and working.
- Aarapaho Community College: Human Performance/Exercise Health
- ASPU: HHP Major Career Assignment
- Teachers Count: I Want to Teach FAQ
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Physical Therapist Assistants and Aides
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Fitness Trainers and Instructors
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Therapy Assistants and Aides
- APTA: Career Considerations for Women in Physical Therapy
- National Center for Education Statistics: Teacher Trends
Emma Sledge is an executive recruiter with Recruiting Services Group (RSG) and writes about career advice and information. Her work appears quarterly on the Senior Smart Network and her career/hiring advice articles are featured on RSG's Ask A Recruiter section. She received an AA in English from Santa Fe College and a BS in political science from Flagler College.