Nonprofit entity YMCA, also known as Young Men's Christian Association, maintains health clubs around the world, with close to 2,700 centers in the United States alone. Applicants may find varied local job opportunities through national chapters offering job benefits and excellent pay.
Facts About Working at YMCA
Minimum Age to Work at YMCA: 18 years old (How old do you have to be to work at YMCA?)
YMCA Hours of Operation: Mon-Thurs: 5:30am-8:45pm; Fri: 5:30am-6:45pm; Sat: 8:00am-2:45pm; Closed Sunday
Available Positions at YMCA: Front Desk, Personal Trainer, Fitness Associate, Youth and Teen Director, Child Care Director, Sports Director Manager
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YMCA Employment Opportunities
Founded in 1844, YMCA began as a London-based initiative and moved overseas to the U.S. in 1851. Immediate popularity spurred on by volunteers led to widespread expansion of the nonprofit outfit worldwide. Eventually, the charitable youth-oriented organization added paid positions to the company. The organization employs over 19,000 workers in addition to 600,000 international volunteers. Fitness jobs routinely become available in both part-time and full-time capacities. Most of the work centers on youth mentoring and athletics. Workers may also find employment in ministry services or in administrative capacities within the corporate world headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
Domestically, YMCA boasts wide varieties of services, with emphases on community outreach and philanthropy. Job seekers may apply online and in person for work in lucrative fields spanning leadership, customer service, group instruction, and sales. The average fitness center contains modern health club amenities, such as pools, spas, gyms, and studios designed for Pilates, yoga, spinning, and other related classes or programs. Locations also sponsor group outings, such as horseback rides, hayrides, and weekend or overnight outings at area campgrounds. Entry-level employment hopefuls may take interest in youth counseling, guest services, lifeguarding, and facility maintenance positions, while career-oriented professionals often look for personal training, supervisory, or community relations jobs.
YMCA Job Outlook and Salary Information
The international organization provides sound opportunities for applicants 18 and over to find meaningful work. Individuals as young as 15 may also find jobs available, as the chain of fitness centers often hires on youths to work as lifeguards or camp counseling staff. Specific hiring requirements vary by position but generally center on strong moral compasses and positive outlooks on life. Motivated workers regularly encounter the following job openings:
Lifeguard – Available as part-time, full-time, and seasonal jobs, the positions require AED, First Aid, and CPR certifications as well as completion of Red Cross lifeguard training programs. While many facilities hire on new lifeguards as young as 15, some YMCA centers may prefer applicants 17 and older. Physical fitness and the ability to react quickly under pressure also remain focal points of hiring discussions. Prospects must also take direction and work well in teams in order to fill rotations. No real experience proves necessary aside from active accredited certifications. Lifeguards generally earn slightly higher than minimum wage, with pay scales sitting $1.00 or $2.00 above base rates for retail or other industries. Browse the YMCA lifeguard job description, complete with an employee interview video.
Fitness Center Attendant – Often referred to as personal trainers or fitness attendants, wellness attendants work alongside members and offer direct assistance in reaching health and fitness goals and properly utilizing exercise equipment. Additional responsibilities include answering questions about facility services and amenities and giving guided tours to new or potential members. YMCA looks for energetic, friendly, and self-starting individuals to fill wellness attendant jobs, in most cases. The job title offers varying hours, as employees in the role traditionally create personalized schedules. Applicants may satisfy personal training certification requirements for with NASM, ACSM, AFAA, ACE, or WITS accreditations. Prospective associates must also hold First Aid and related certifications for employment consideration. Most wellness attendants receive hourly pay based on commissions, which directly reflect individual caseloads. Read the YMCA fitness center attendant job description or YMCA instructor job description for more information.
Director – YMCA locations also hire program directors to oversee operations and ensure member satisfaction. Job opportunities available include youth & teen director, sports director, executive director, preschool program director, aquatics director, and many other professional job titles. Directors must possess backgrounds related to desired fields, such as aquatics, personal training, site management, counseling, etc. Some directorial career options place workers in the field and carry varied hours, while others remain office-oriented in nature and provide more stable and traditional schedules. Salary packages often range from $20,000 to $60,000 a year, depending on job title and experience.
Tips For Applying
YMCA applicants must embody family values. Personal interests in furthering the company missions of social responsibility, wellness, and inspiring youths greatly benefit applicants during the hiring process. Associates must understand the importance of customer satisfaction and the sense of community each location promotes to surrounding areas. Work environments routinely include children of very young ages in addition to members over 60. Social sensitivity and desires to cater to the needs of others also bode well for employment consideration.
Many independent YMCA centers use third-party career websites in order to conduct hiring. After uploading resumes and submitting the required information to a desired site, each candidate generally receives a confirmation email stating the application reached the appropriate personnel for review. Wait times for interview consideration vary distinctly by position, with entry-level roles usually yielding the quickest turnarounds. Job seekers may wait between one and two weeks to hear back about entry-level jobs, while intensive positions may force candidates to wait months for final decisions. However, phone calls, personal visits, and emails may expedite the employment process. Applicants should wait at least a day or two before following up to ensure hiring personnel receive enough time to thoroughly review information provided.
Benefits of Working for YMCA
Part-time YMCA jobs provide competitive base pay, flexible scheduling, and free memberships and discounts on classes. Free entry into fitness centers for associates and dependents remain available for full-time associates as well as medical and dental plans, 401(k) retirement plans and 403(b) savings plans, employee assistance programs, and career development programs. Full-time employees also receive life insurance options.
More Information on YMCA
In 1992, the nonprofit organization began an initiative to connect area youths and parents to local YMCA centers. The initiative, known as Healthy Kids Day, provides free entry to area clubs. Held every April, the annual event offers unique workshops and classes in commemoration of the day. Children and parents alike may participate in activities designed to build teamwork, motor skills, and general social abilities. Each year, Healthy Kids Day draws thousands of participants and increases community awareness of issues like bullying and childhood health.