Becoming a Fitness Instructor

Unhealthy diet and lack of exercise have caused many of the common problems that people experience in this modern era. This situation has resulted to the development of programs aimed at helping people become well and fit. If you have the proper training in the field of health and fitness, you can pursue a career in this field. Learn how from our basic guide.

Health problems are becoming more common to people nowadays because of unhealthy diet and lack of exercise. Because of this, programs that would promote fitness are becoming popular.

This trend has even developed new forms of exercise to suit the interest and physical capabilities of people across a wide range of age and well-being. In turn, this opened opportunities for people with knowledge about fitness to pursue a career helping people become fit.

Pursuing a Career as Fitness Instructor

You could be one of them. You might consider pursuing a full-time or part-time career or business as fitness instructor if you have the proper training in at least one of these: aerobics (step aerobics, water aerobics, etc.), aquatics, cardio kickboxing, body sculpting, yoga, pilates, strength training, among others. You can teach one or a combination of any of these to individuals or groups or as an employee in a health club, hospital or gym. Or you can open your own fitness gym, which means having your own space that is equipped with exercise equipment like treadmills, bikes, stairmasters and weight machines.

You can also become a personal trainer or a wellness coach. Personal training focuses more on exercise, while a wellness coach offers advice not only on exercise but also on topics such as nutrition, and stress reduction. If you are giving lessons on your own, you can design your program as one-on-one courses or by group classes, which could be narrowed down to specific populations like seniors, kids, or teens. You can make some $20,000 doing a thing you love.

Fitness Association Certifications

In order to teach, you must get a CPR certification from your local YMCA or Red Cross. It is also best if you get other certifications from well known fitness associations. The two most popular certifying bodies are the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) and the American Council on Exercise (ACE) . There is also the American Fitness Professionals & Associates (AFPA) . You'd need to undergo physical and/or written exams to get some certification. The exam is around $200, excluding study materials.

Tips for a Fitness Instructor

  • enrol in fitness classes to augment and update your knowledge
  • if you are just starting, practice teach with a group of friends or family members, help teach with another instructor, become a substitute instructor, or work part-time
  • keep yourself well informed about latest wellness updates by reading articles about fitness (exercise physiology, kinesiology, basic anatomy, eating habits, and weight loss)


    (All the above fields are required.)