Fitness Teacher: Employment Info & Requirements

Mar 08, 2019

Aside from career and salary information, read ahead to find out what training is required for fitness teachers. Careers related to fitness are also highlighted.

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Career Information for a Fitness Teacher

Fitness teachers design exercise plans and supervise students to make sure they complete the exercises correctly. They should instruct students in proper exercise technique and need to provide motivation to make sure the students follow through on the exercise plan. Fitness teachers usually work in gyms and fitness centers, but some work independently.

Education Certification from accredited training program; additional certification in specialty areas
Job Skills Physically fit; strong communication, motivation and organizational skills
Median Salary (2017)* $39,210 (for fitness trainers and aerobics instructors)
Job Growth (2016-2026)* 10% growth (for fitness trainers and aerobics instructors)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Fitness teachers must be certified by an accredited training program before they can find work. Those seeking specialization in a particular fitness area such as aerobics or Pilates will need additional certification. The time needed to complete the certification process varies by program. People interested in fitness teaching should take courses in exercise selection, weight training, program planning and aerobics.

Job Skills

Fitness teachers need to be capable of completing the exercise programs they design for students and should have strong communication skills. They also need to be good at motivating people and must have strong planning and organization skills.

Career and Economic Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that jobs for fitness trainers and aerobics instructors were expected to increase by about 10% from 2016-2026, faster than the average for all occupations. The median annual salary for fitness trainers and aerobics instructors was about $39,210 in May 2017 ( Many employers only offer part-time hours, so it is common for fitness trainers to work at multiple fitness centers in order to work a full-time schedule.

Alternative Career Options

Athletic Trainer

This career option focuses on the prevention and healing of injuries to individuals of all ages. They also plan exercise programs to treat injuries. Depending on the state, a bachelor's or master's degree may be required, in addition to certification or licensure. The BLS reported a 23% projected job growth between 2016 and 2026. May 2017 statistics from the BLS showed that the median salary for athletic trainers was $46,630.

Recreation Worker

Several positions are listed among recreation workers, including camp counselors, activity specialists and recreation supervisors. These professionals plan activities related to sports, music, gymnastics and arts. Education spans from on-the-job training to bachelor's degree programs. As a group, recreation workers are expected to see a 9% improvement in job opportunities from 2016 to 2026, according to the BLS. This group earned a median annual income of $24,540 in 2017.

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