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Certified Aerobics Instructor Certification Requirements

Aerobics instructors work in gyms or fitness centers and are responsible for teaching groups and individuals how to get fit and lose weight through cardio workouts. There are no degree programs for aerobics instructors, although many gyms do prefer to hire those professionals who hold some form of certification. To gain certification, aerobics instructors should complete a course or training program offered by an organization or college.

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Aerobics Instruction Training Program

Aerobics instruction training programs and courses are typically offered through for-profit organizations, wellness chains and community colleges. Training programs can take anywhere between four weeks and six months to complete, depending on the institution.

Individuals enrolled in aerobics instruction training programs should learn the basics of proper exercise form, body alignment techniques, teaching methods, choreography and timing. Many training programs also offer tips for selecting appropriate workout music, motivating individuals and working a room full of clients. Some training programs offered by independent associations award graduates with a certification in the field, while others simply prepare students to apply for certification.

Education Prerequisites

There are very few educational prerequisites for individuals who are interested in becoming certified aerobics instructors, but many organizations and colleges prefer that applicants have a high school diploma or GED. It's also important for individuals to be physically fit and have enthusiastic personalities.

Program Coursework

Aerobics instructor training courses provide step-by-step instruction on how to create and execute aerobic routines. Some examples of courses might include:

  • Exercise programming
  • Total fitness training
  • Safety techniques and avoiding injury
  • Proper posture mechanics
  • Warm up exercises
  • Cool down exercises
  • Aerobic movement
  • Choreography
  • Timing and visual cues

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were about 234,000 fitness trainers and aerobics instructors working in the United States in 2012 ( The BLS reported that the median annual wage for fitness trainers and aerobics instructors in that year was $31,720. New York was the top paying state in the country for these workers, followed by California, New Jersey, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. The BLS projected that fitness trainers and instructors would see a 24% increase in jobs from 2010-2020.


Certification is very common in the field of fitness instruction, and many gyms require that aerobics instructors hold certification of some kind before they hire them. Many organizations offer certification in the field, so prospective aerobics instructors need to ensure that the National Commission for Certifying Agencies accredits a program. One organization to offer certification to aerobics instructors is the American Council on Exercise, which offers Group Fitness Instructor Certification. Individuals can earn the certification by passing an examination proving their knowledge in instructional techniques, exercise physiology and injury prevention.

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