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Fitness instructor Fitness trainer

Fitness instructors organise exercise programmes to improve people's health and fitness.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £14,000 to £30,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set requirements. You can start as an assistant instructor at a sports centre and train on the job, or take a qualification in fitness instruction.

The Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) and The Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) have details about training.

You'll need a first aid certificate and clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

You'll also need public indemnity and professional liability insurance, which may be supplied by your employer.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • the ability to motivate and inspire people
  • excellent communication skills
  • planning and organisational skills

3. What you'll do

You could work in a gym, health club or leisure centre.

If you're self-employed you could run classes in schools and community centres, or outdoors in a public space like a park.

You could also do a mixture of employed and self-employed work.

Some employers will allow you to use their gym for your private clients in return for unpaid work.

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

4. Salary

Starter: £14,000

Experienced: £15,000 to £20,000

Highly Experienced: £30,000 (managers)

Self-employed instructors can earn £10 to £30 an hour, depending on location and client group.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work around 40 hours a week. You could work shifts covering early mornings, evenings and weekends.

You may need a driving licence to travel to clients or a more remote location like a spa.

6. 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.

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Last updated: 13 September 2017