How to become a Fitness Instructor

Fitness instructors are involved in the assessment, teaching, training and supervision of a variety of people in health and fitness clubs, gymnasiums, sports centres and community recreation organisations.

Personal requirements of a Fitness Instructor

  • Good level of physical fitness
  • Enthusiastic, outgoing personality
  • Background in fitness activities may be an advantage
  • Good communication skills

Education & Training for a Fitness Instructor

To become a fitness instructor you usually have to complete a VET qualification in fitness. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become a fitness instructor through a traineeship in Fitness. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.

Duties & Tasks of a Fitness Instructor

Fitness instructors may perform the following tasks:

  • assess the needs and capabilities of individuals through weighing, measuring and conducting fitness tests to check blood pressure, heart rate and lung capacity
  • provide training and assistance to individuals and groups by preparing a routine of exercises to music
  • provide advice to individuals on the correct method of exercising with weightlifting equipment, exercise bikes, treadmills and other training and exercise machines
  • devise personal exercise programs for individuals according to age and level of fitness
  • provide instruction in a variety of fitness activities
  • provide general non-medical nutrition advice
  • assist with the cleaning and general maintenance of the centre and ensure equipment is maintained and correctly set up.

Working conditions for a Fitness Instructor

Fitness instructors may be employed on a casual basis and work at a number of different locations, including fitness centres, clinical settings, private practice and in the workplace. Shiftwork is often involved, including early mornings and late nights.

Employment Opportunities for a Fitness Instructor

Fitness instructors can expect to find employment instructing individuals or groups in traditional settings, such as fitness centres or studios. Roles introduced more recently include assessment, consulting, health promotion and management roles in settings such as community, sport, workplace, clinical, outdoor and mobile services. A high proportion of fitness instructors are employed on a part-time or casual basis, although an increasing number of full-time positions are becoming available within the industry.

Specialisations:


Group Exercise Instructor

A group exercise instructor choreographs and delivers group classes to people who may vary in age and fitness levels.


Personal Trainer

A personal trainer provides individual assessments, develops tailored fitness programmes and offers exercise instruction, demonstration and support for individuals and small groups.


Specialist Exercise Trainer

A specialist exercise trainer delivers advanced exercise programming and sports conditioning to a wide variety of clients. They may work in collaboration with allied health professionals like medical practitioners, dietitians, physiotherapists and exercise physiologists. They may also be involved in the delivery of health promotion programmes and project management.

Additional Information
Registration by Fitness Australia or Physical Activity Australia is generally accepted as the minimum requirement to work as an instructor in the health and fitness industry. Registration requires a current Provide First Aid Certificate and a Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Certificate. The registration category depends on your qualification and level of experience. Those who have obtained a Certificate III in Fitness can register as an Exercise Instructor and are eligible to register as a Gym Instructor, Children’s Instructor, Older Adults Instructor, Aqua Instructor or Yoga Teacher. Those who have obtained a Certificate IV in Fitness can register as an Exercise Trainer and are eligible to become a Personal Trainer, Children’s Trainer, Older Adults Trainer or Aqua Trainer. Those who have obtained a diploma can register as a Specialised Trainer. Fitness Australia and Physical Activity Australia are responsible for all aspects of assessing and registering fitness instructors in Australia. Registration is valid nationwide.
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