Sport, Fitness & Recreation
Fitness trainers and instructors assess, lead, instruct, and motivate individuals or groups in exercise activities.
What does a Fitness Trainer do?
Fitness trainers and instructors assess, lead, instruct, and motivate individuals or groups in exercise activities, including cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and stretching. They work with people of all ages and skill levels. They may specialise in programs such as aquacise, spinning, zumba, or step aerobics.
As a fitness trainer, you would lead and organise group and individual exercise programs to help people (clients) to improve their health and fitness. Your work could involve a range of activities or you could specialise in a particular area, such as:
- cardiovascular fitness
- aquacise (exercise in water)
- weight training
- personal training.
You could also work with specialist groups of people, such as older adults, children, people with disabilities or people referred by doctors.
Your job could include:
- fitness assessments, consultations and introduction sessions for new clients
- demonstrating activities for clients to follow
- showing clients how to use exercise machines and free weights properly
- supervising clients to make sure that they are exercising safely and effectively
- leading group exercise classes, such as circuit training, aerobics or spinning
- creating personal exercise programs
- giving advice on healthy eating and lifestyle.
Key skills and interests
To become a fitness trainer, you would need:
- good communication and people skills
- an outgoing and friendly personality
- a tactful approach
- the ability to motivate and inspire people
- a responsible attitude to health and safety
- knowledge of nutrition, healthy lifestyles and diet.
Working hours and conditions
As a full-time fitness trainer, you would usually work standard weekly hours, often on a shift or roster basis covering early mornings, evenings and weekends. Many instructors work part-time or are self-employed.
You could work in gyms, health and fitness clubs, leisure centres or community health centres. If you are self-employed, you may also run outdoor classes, and you would need to travel locally.
How to become an Fitness Trainer?
Entry Level Education
To become a fitness trainer you usually have to complete a VET qualification in fitness. You may be able to study through distance education.
Fitness Australia and Physical Activity Australia are responsible for all aspects of assessing and registering fitness instructors in Australia. Registration is valid nation-wide. Registration requires a current Provide First Aid Certificate and a Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Certificate.
Employment of fitness trainers is projected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations.
As businesses, government, and insurance organisations continue to recognise the benefits of health and fitness programs for their employees, incentives to join gyms or other types of health clubs is expected to increase the need for fitness trainers and instructors.
As baby boomers age, many remain active to help prevent injuries and illnesses associated with ageing. With the increasing number of older residents in nursing homes or residential care facilities and communities, jobs for fitness trainers and instructors are expected to rise in the fitness centres in these locations.
Other employment growth will come from the continuing emphasis on exercise to combat obesity and encourage healthier lifestyles. More people are likely to join fitness institutions or commit to personal training programs.