Fitness instructors organise exercise programmes to improve people’s health and fitness.
Salary range: £14,000 to £30,000
How to become a fitness instructor
You can get into this job through:
- a college course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- specialist courses run by private training organisations
You can do a recognised qualification like:
- Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing
- Level 2 Diploma in Fitness and Exercise Instruction
- Level 3 Diploma in Gym Instructing and Personal Training
You’ll usually need:
- 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
- 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
You could get into this career through an intermediate apprenticeship in exercise and fitness or as a leisure team member.
You’ll usually need:
- some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
You could work as a leisure centre assistant and do part-time qualifications on the job, which would allow you to apply for jobs as an instructor.
You can do qualifications through private training companies who offer specialist courses like:
- fitness instruction
- personal training
- gym instructing
Professional and industry bodies
You can join the Register of Exercise Professionals and the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity for professional development and to help with your career prospects.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- 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
- customer service skills
- to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
Restrictions and requirements
You’ll need to:
- have insurance
- have a first aid certificate
- pass enhanced background checks
You’ll usually need public indemnity and professional liability insurance, if you’re self-employed.
What you’ll do
Your day-to-day tasks may include:
- assessing people’s fitness and creating personal exercise programmes
- demonstrating activities, exercise machines and weights
- helping people exercise safely
- leading group exercise classes like circuit training or aerobics
- giving advice on healthy eating and lifestyle
- keeping records
- following health and safety guidelines and maintaining equipment
- marketing your classes
You could work in the community, at a school, at a health centre or in a park.
Your working environment may be physically demanding.
Career path and progression
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.