- Help others improve their fitness by running classes or advising them on exercise programmes
- Rewarding work, helping people reach their fitness goals
- Progress to become a personal trainer, run your own business, or become a manager in a gym
As a fitness instructor, you'll be responsible for helping improve clients' health and fitness through exercise programmes.
- Assess people's fitness to create personal exercise programmes
- Demonstrate activities, exercise machines and weights
- Help people exercise safely
- Lead group exercise classes like circuit training or aerobics
- Market your classes
- Keep records
- Give advice on healthy eating and lifestyle
Work shifts may cover early mornings, evenings and weekends. You could work in the community, at a school, health centre, or in a park, and your working environment may be physically demanding.
If you're self-employed, you could run classes in schools or community centres, so you'll travel locally.
To be a fitness instructor, you'll need a desire to help people, the ability to teach pupils how to do something, knowledge of psychology, physical fitness and endurance, patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations, sensitivity and understanding, the ability to work on your own, and customer service skills.
There are no set requirements, but you can gain experience through participation in sports and exercise activities, or volunteer work experience. A good level of personal fitness is beneficial.
You can do a recognised qualification such as a Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing, Level 2 Diploma in Fitness and Exercise Instruction, or a Level 3 Diploma in Gym Instructing and Personal Training.
You can start as an assistant instructor at a sports centre and train on the job, or take a qualification in fitness instruction.
You'll need to have insurance, a first aid certificate, and a background check by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
If working for yourself, you'll need public indemnity and professional liability insurance.
You could get into this job through an apprenticeship in exercise and fitness or as a leisure team member.
You'll need to follow health and safety guidelines.
You could take further training to become a personal trainer or teach extra activities. With experience and qualifications, you could become a senior instructor or manager. You could also start your own fitness club.
You can apply to join the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPS) to improve your career prospects.