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How to become a Fitness Instructor

fitness instructor careers

What does a Fitness Instructor do?

Fitness instructors work with groups and individuals in gyms, health and fitness centres and leisure centres.

They supervise customers using the facility, and ensure that they are exercising safely and effectively. Fitness instructors may conduct group exercise classes such as circuit training, aerobics or spinning.

Most Fitness instructors carry out inductions, consultations with new members and may design personal programmes. Fitness Instructors with an advanced qualification may work with specialist groups of people, such as older adults, children with disabilities or referred clients.

In smaller clubs instructors may also carry out routine duties, such as reception, sales, maintenance, health and safety checks and pool operations.

What's the working environment like working as a Fitness Instructor?

Full-time fitness instructors normally work 38-40 hours a week, often on a shift and rota basis to cover early mornings, evenings and weekends. Many people work part-time or on a freelance basis.

Instructors work in a wide range of environments, including large and small gyms, health and fitness centres, country clubs, leisure centres, hotels and holiday villages. Some may work in clients' homes as personal trainers.

What does it take to become a Fitness Instructor?

To be a fitness instructor you should:

  • have good communication skills and an outgoing and approachable personality
  • be diplomatic and tactful
  • have patience and the ability to motivate and enthuse people from a wide range of backgrounds
  • have a responsible attitude to health and safety
  • be informed about nutrition and healthy diet
  • work well in a team and alone.

Fitness Instructor Career Opportunities

Gyms and fitness centres are located all over the UK, in both urban and rural areas. There has been a big increase in leisure facilities in recent years, leading to an increased demand for instructors, but there is still strong competition for jobs.

With experience and higher qualifications progression may be possible to senior instructor and to supervisory and management positions.

Some instructors move into training other instructors or coaching a sport. Some start their own fitness clubs.

There may be opportunities to work abroad, for example for international hotel chains, or tour operators who run fitness activities for holidaymakers.

There are opportunities to become self-employed.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Fitness Instructor that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

SkillsActive
Castlewood House
77-91 New Oxford Street
London
WC1A 1PX
Advice line: 08000 933300
www.skillsactive.com

Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs)
3rd Floor
8-10 Crown Hill
Croydon
Surrey
CR0 1RZ
Tel: 020 8686 6464
www.exerciseregister.org

Central YMCA Qualifications (CYQ)
112 Great Russell St
London
WC1B 3NQ
Tel: 020 7343 1800
www.cyq.org.uk

Premier Training International
Premier House
Willowside Park
Canal Rd
Trowbridge
Wiltshire
BA14 8RH
Tel: 01225 353 535
www.premierglobal.co.uk

Premier International Qualifications
Unit 2
Willowside Park
Canal Rd
Trowbridge
Wilts
BA14 8RH
Tel: 01225 717256
www.premieriq.co.uk

City and Guilds
1 Giltspur St
London
EC1A 9DD
Tel: 020 7294 2800
www.cityandguilds.com

OCR
Tel: 02476 851509
www.ocr.org.uk