dcsimg



Schools in the USA
Back to Career Search     

Fitness Instructor/Personal Trainer


Description

Do you have boundless amounts of energy? Do you just want to go for a hike when your friends feel like staying home and playing scrabble? Do you prefer going out for organic juices when your friends suggest ice cream? Do you have a gym membership? Do you actually use that membership? If you answered yes to these questions, maybe you'd be interested in a career as a fitness instructor!

Fitness instructors are experts in a number of areas of fitness. Some teach aerobics and aqua-aerobics, some teach older people, some specialize in fitness adaptation for people with disabilities. Some are stretch, kickboxing, or yoga instructors, while others supervise weight-rooms and host spinning classes (group stationary bike riding). There are many types of fitness activities, and fitness instructors are involved in at least one of them, if not more than one.

They teach individuals and groups of people at health clubs, community centers, retirement homes, prisons, hospitals, studios, and cultural centers. They monitor breathing, safety, flexibly, and proper handling of equipment. They act as nutrition and weight loss coaches to regular clients. Their involvement with the clients differs, depending on the type of instructing they do.

They often have to perform administrative duties as well, especially if they work at a health club. Because teaching fitness can be tiring, they may only do it part time, and answer phones, meet with clients, and promote their services the rest of the time.

As much as people moan and complain about exercise, the fact is that many people enjoy and actively participate in some form or organized fitness activity at least once a week. Fitness instructors ensure that we are exercising properly, and help us stay fit and healthy, full of energy and life.
 
         Related Careers
arrow Acting Teacher
arrow Adult Educator
arrow Adventure Tour Leader
arrow [ view all related careers ]



Program Spotlight
Matching School Ad
Southern California Health Institute
Since 1996, Southern California Health Institute has been dedicated and committed to helping students achieve their dreams by providing an exceptional education that enables them to become skilled and successful manual therapists.
Programs Offered:
  • Personal Fitness Trainer/Health and Wellness Professional Program

 

 



  Average Earnings  
Lowest 10% of Earners:
n/a
 
Median Salary:
$23,941
 
Highest 10% of Earners:
n/a

  Interests and Skills  
You need to be physically fit, and have the stamina to work out for several hours a week, often at high-impact levels. You need good coordination, a good sense of rhythm, and good communication skills. You need to be interested in weight training, with both free weights and nautilus machines. You should be a good communicator, able to explain fitness ideas clearly. You need to be patient, friendly, and approachable, and able to take and give criticism with a smile.
 

  Typical Tasks  
  • Meet with clients to evaluate abilities and needs
  • Suggest suitable training programs and classes
  • Demonstrate correct exercise methods and use of equipment
  • Monitor client safety in various environments
  • Plan routines and choose music
  • Lead various classes (spinning, aerobic, yoga, etc.)
  • Advise clients on nutrition, weight control and lifestyle issues
  • Adapt classes, exercises, and programs for people who have special requirements
  • Maintain and clean exercise equipment
  • The typical day for a fitness instructor depends on their work environment. They spend some time meeting one-on-one with clients, coaching them in appropriate fitness practices. They plan and run fitness classes, where they will exert themselves physically. They spend some time performing administrative duties, as well as evaluating their own programs, reworking them for certain participants, and meeting with other fitness professionals in an effort to fine-tune their routines, their instruction techniques, and their exercises. They may give clients individual assessments. This job does not allow for much travel, unless they take their classes or knowledge to people's homes, different group homes and community centers, and to conferences and competitions.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Fitness instructors work in a variety of environments. They work outdoors, in high-class aerobic studios and weight rooms, swimming pools, public recreation centers, resorts, hotels, private health clubs, public gymnasiums, dance studios, retirement centers and homes, and television recording studios. They may also work in offices, planning classes, answering phones, and performing other administrative duties. They work irregular hours, including early mornings, late nights, and weekends, whenever clients are available.
  • They usually work alone during classes or when supervising weight rooms, but will work along side a staff when working as part of a community center, health club, or retirement center.

  Long Term Career Potential  
Tired of being a fitness instructor? You can open your own fitness club, or become a personal fitness trainer. You can become an instructor to fitness and aerobic instructors, you can become an athletic director or recreation leader with community centers, old aged homes, or prisons. You may even want to work in fitness consultation for businesses, government agencies, or individuals. You can also get into other sports, or write books, publish articles, or produce fitness videos.
 

  Educational Paths  
There are so specific guidelines for anyone who wants to work as a fitness instructor. However, some college or university training is a good idea. Some people choose to get a degree or diploma in physical education or recreation programming. Whatever educational path you choose to follow, take some courses in subjects like dance, biology, anatomy, nutrition, kinesiology, leadership and safety. You can also learn as an apprentice--ask around to see if anyone is willing to train you.

Most states offer certification for fitness instructors. Each set of qualifications is different, so check with the National Fitness Leadership Advisory Council to find out the requirements for your area. NFLAC offers certification in four areas: aerobics, strength and resistance, instruction of older adults, and aquatics.
Some private clubs and organizations (like the YM-YWCA) have their own certification programs. Regardless of who certifies you, you may have to re-certify every two years or so.
 

Sources:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

Featured Schools

Matching School Ads
Southern California Health Institute
Since 1996, Southern California Health Institute has been dedicated and committed to helping students achieve their dreams by providing an exceptional education that enables them to become skilled and successful manual therapists.
Programs Offered:
  • Personal Fitness Trainer/Health and Wellness Professional Program

 
Grand Canyon University
Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
Programs Offered:
  • B.S. in Sports Management
  • M.B.A. with an Emphasis in Sports Business

 
Northcentral University

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

Programs Offered:
  • MEd - Corporate Wellness
  • Sports Management - Doctor of Education
  • Sports Management - Master of Education
  • And more...

 
Intercoast Colleges
Get your career started with Intercoast Colleges.
Programs Offered:
  • Fitness Specialist

 
Argosy University

Welcome to Argosy University

Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.

Programs Offered:
  • Sport-Exercise Psychology (MA)

 
Louisiana State University

As the flagship university in the LSU System, LSU has been preparing students for rewarding careers for nearly 150 years.

Programs Offered:
  • Master of Science in Kinesiology with a Specialization in Sport Management

 
American University

Change the World with American University

Be a part of something bigger than yourself.

Programs Offered:
  • Master of Science in Nutrition Education

 
Full Sail University - Online
Learning at Full Sail University has always centered around interaction and the exchange of ideas. Our online curriculum fully embraces this philosophy.
Programs Offered:
  • Sports Marketing and Media, Bachelor of Science

 
Florida Tech

See What’s Possible When You Earn a Degree at Florida Tech 100% Online

Programs Offered:
  • Associate of Arts in Management
  • Bachelor of Arts in Management

 
Matching School Ads
  Universities and Colleges
Clarkson UniversityColorado School of MinesDalhousie University
Oral Roberts UniversityPenn State HarrisburgTemple University
The University of HoustonThompson Rivers UniversityUNB Saint John
University of AlabamaUniversity of ArkansasUniversity of British Columbia
University of IowaUniversity of New BrunswickUniversity of Oregon
University of OttawaYork University
Agriculture and Bio-resources | Allied Health and Health Sciences | Applied Business Technology | Architecture
Business Administration | Computer Science | Cosmetology and Esthetics | Culinary, Travel &Hospitality | Dance 
Engineering Technology & Applied Technology |Engineering | Film | Fine Arts and Design | Humanities and Liberal ArtsJustice and Security
Music
| Natural and Applied Sciences | Naturopathic and Holistic MedicineNursingPublic Administration & PolicyReligious and Theological Studies
Sport Sciences and Physical Education | Teacher Education | Theatre
Articles | College News | Videos | Feedback | Career Search
Home | About Us | Contact Us | Faq | Terms of Use | Policy Statement | Site Map | Cities Site Map

Copyright 2003- 2017 QuinStreet, Inc. All Rights Reserved.