Obtaining certification as a group fitness instructor opens the door for you to a rewarding career that allows you to remain active. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job prospects for fitness workers are expected to increase by 29 percent from 2008 to 2018. This means that you can likely look forward to many job options in the years to come should you choose to pursue a group fitness instructor certification with one of many fitness organizations.
American Fitness Professionals and Associates
The American Fitness Professionals and Associations, or AFPA, offers a group fitness instructor certificate that you can earn by completing an exam and assignment by mail. The AFPA certification requires that you demonstrate a good understanding of how to evaluate people's health and fitness, teach safe and effective exercises and facilitate an engaging fitness class, among other things. As of 2013, the course materials and exam registration cost $395. The AFPA gives you six months to review their learning material and return the completed exam by mail.
National Exercise Trainers Association
The National Exercise Trainers Association, or NETA, has offered fitness certification since 1977. At least 18,000 gyms across the United States recognize their certifications. The NETA offers a group exercise certificate that helps you learn to facilitate exercise classes. Their certification covers the composition of the human body, how the body moves as well as how to teach people to perform exercises safely. You can obtain a NETA group exercise certification by passing their certification exam. The NETA offers an optional one day workshop to prepare you for the exam. As of 2013, the fee for the workshop and exam costs $249 if you register 30 days in advance.
American Council on Exercise
The American Council on Exercise, or ACE, offers certification that allows you to seek employment as a group fitness instructor. The ACE offers group fitness instructor certification to people who can demonstrate that they can construct safe and engaging exercise classes based on their knowledge human anatomy, kinesiology and instructional techniques. You can earn certification from the ACE as a group fitness instructor by purchasing the study materials and passing their exam. As of 2013, the study materials and exam registration cost $299. You need to be 18 or older to take the exam and must already possess a CPR and Automated External Defibrillator or AED certificate.
National Association for Fitness Certification
The National Association for Fitness Certification, or NAFC, offers group fitness certifications that focus on weight training and aerobics. Their certification that focuses on weight training ensures that you sufficiently understand things like the structure and function or muscles, safe and effective exercises for new weight lifters and how to accurately chart a client's progress. Their aerobic certification tests your knowledge of methods for aerobic programs and exercises, proper and safe exercise form and effective teaching methods. As of 2013, you can purchase the study materials and take the NAFC's group fitness instructor certification exam for $299.