American Council on Exercise by American Council on Exercise

Whether you are a CEO, business owner or independent contractor, your title and position description define how people perceive your work. This is true for every profession—the better you can articulate your duties and responsibilities, the more others will understand and value what you do. An accurate job description will not only clarify your skillset, but it can also help attract new clients. ACE regularly pursues opportunities to ensure that well-qualified fitness professionals are recognized as industry experts and that their services are valued as a resource to improve health across the globe.

The Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) System is maintained by the federal government’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and is used by researchers, agencies, policymakers, and individuals to analyze occupational trends, identify the skills required for a profession, and make informed decisions about wages and benefits. All occupational categories are included in the system, and are grouped together according to job duties, skills, education and training under the same title.

In 2014, the SOC Policy Committee (SOCPC) began working on a revision for implementation in 2018. Prior to implementation, the SOCPC relies heavily on public input and expert opinions to inform their decision-making. In 2014 ACE submitted recommendations that would advance the fitness field and better reflect the duties performed in the industry today. Through the dedicated efforts of both ACE and the Coalition for the Registration of Exercise Professionals, the SOCPC accepted recommendations to change the title of the occupation, Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors, to Exercise Trainers and Group Fitness Instructors. In addition to updating the title, the SOCPC modified the definition of the profession for improved clarity.

Influencing a revision to the SOC system is a major accomplishment for ACE and our pros. This is a big win; however, the work is not done—we have a long journey ahead of us to establish a permanent place for professionally led fitness in the health and wellness fields.

Moving forward ACE will continue to advocate for the profession to transition to an SOC group that includes other allies working to improve health through structured exercise programs, such as athletic trainers, exercise physiologists and coaches/scouts.

To learn more about the SOC system and the revision process, click here.