Gold Member Badge


  • You're all caught up!

Definition of a Fitness Instructor

author image Julie Boehlke
Julie is an avid outdoor enthusiast who loves to camp with friends and family. Julie spends her free time writing, working on her novel and brewing up new recipes of wine—her newest hobby. She enjoys scouring junk shops and antique boutiques in search of rare finds and one of-a-kind treasures. She collects vintage dishes and antiquarian books. Julie spends her days being followed around aimlessly by her most adoring fan—Mushu the pug. She ventures out on weekends to the remote trails and deep north woods of Michigan. Julie also enjoys exploring out of the way nooks and crannies along the great lakes shoreline.
Definition of a Fitness Instructor
Definition of a Fitness Instructor Photo Credit: ElNariz/iStock/GettyImages

There's a growing demand for fitness professionals as America's population grows more and more in need of health guidance. Consider becoming a fitness instructor if you think you may enjoy teaching others the fundamentals of aerobics and physical fitness. You will be expected to personify a fit, healthy lifestyle as you make a career out of helping others succeed at their fitness goals.

Video of the Day

What Does a Fitness Instructor Do?

A fitness instructor’s main job objective should be to motivate, instruct and lead individuals in routine or specialized exercise programs. At a gym or fitness center, you may work at various hours throughout the day based on the timing of classes and client availability.

Generally, you choose which type of fitness program you want to specialize in, such as step aerobics, yoga, Pilates or indoor cycling. You should have knowledge of the class or program you teach, including basic fundamentals of movements, repetitions and the benefits of each exercise. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fitness instructors and trainers make, on average, $38,160 annually.

Work Environment

Your work environment will likely be at a gym or fitness center where you and your clients have plenty of room and equipment. As a fitness instructor, you may visit different fitness centers, company gyms in office buildings or school gyms for individualized training sessions. Classes are usually 30 to 60 minutes long.

You can specialize in certain types of exercise as a fitness instructor.
You can specialize in certain types of exercise as a fitness instructor. Photo Credit: Ridofranz/iStock/GettyImages

Necessary Education

To be a fitness instructor, you should have training and education in order to be credible. Education and experience are important when it comes to selling your classes to clients. Education varies and may include anything from attending training courses and fitness conventions to becoming certified at a local community college. You may wish to purse a degree in health and fitness, exercise science or physical education.

Becoming a personal trainer may require advanced certification. An instructor with specialized training in yoga, Pilates and certain fitness equipment may also be appealing to clients.

Read more: Qualifications Needed to Become a Fitness Instructor

Set Your Goals

A career as a fitness instructor can fulfill your dream of helping others succeed with their physical fitness goals. With your background in anatomy, instructional techniques, kinesiology and injury protection, you will be able to motivate clients.

Working in a fitness center to gain clients and experience can help you branch out on your own so that you can run your own fitness business. Having your own client database will allow you to travel to clients' homes, set your own hours and establish your own rates to charge for your services.

Read more: Fitness Instructor Class Ideas

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
Lose Weight. Feel Great! Change your life with MyPlate by LIVESTRONG.COM
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
  • Female
  • Male
ft. in.


Demand Media