What You Need to Know to Become a Group Fitness Instructor

Becoming a group fitness instructor is the perfect career path—and a part-time job—if you love fitness and wellness and want to inspire others to achieve their goals in a highly-specialized environment. In a pandemic-adapted space where talented instructors and personal trainers are in demand, the rise in boutique fitness classes and overall well-being continues to expand. Online or in-studio, here’s everything you need to know about becoming a fitness instructor or personal trainer and providing an awesome exercise experience to your students! 


How to become a group fitness instructor:

Get certified: You will need to obtain certification from a reputable organization, such as the American Council on Exercise (ACE), National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), or the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA). Certification requirements may vary depending on the organization, but typically require passing an exam, completing an approved training program, and obtaining CPR/AED certification.

Gain experience: Most studios prefer to hire fitness instructors and personal trainers with some experience in the field. Consider volunteering at a gym, leading fitness classes at a community center, or working as an assistant to get real-time knowledge and real-world experience.

Develop interpersonal skills: As a fitness instructor, you will be working closely with clients and must have good communication skills, be able to motivate and inspire others, and be patient and understanding.

Stay current with industry trends: Keep up to date with the latest trends, research, and technologies in the fitness industry through continuing education and professional development opportunities.

Obtain liability insurance: Once you are certified and ready to start working as a fitness instructor or personal trainer, you should obtain liability insurance to protect yourself from any potential legal claims related to injuries or accidents that may occur during your classes or sessions.

Find a job: Apply for jobs at gyms, fitness centers, local studios, outdoor workout event, and community centers. You may also consider starting your own fitness business by offering private training sessions or group classes.


The benefits of becoming a group fitness instructor or personal trainer:

Helping others: Group fitness instructors have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of their clients by empowering them improve their health and fitness. This can be incredibly rewarding for instructors, who get to see the progress their students make over time and feel a sense of satisfaction in knowing they helped them achieve their fitness goals.

Flexibility: Group fitness instructors often have the ability to create their own schedules and work part-time or full-time, making it a flexible career choice allowing instructors to pursue other interests or responsibilities outside of their work as an instructor.

Camaraderie: Group fitness instructors and personal trainers often develop close relationships with their students and colleagues, creating a sense of community and camaraderie, which can be particularly beneficial for instructors who enjoy working in a supportive environment and value connection with others.

Physical activity: As group fitness instructors, individuals lead active lifestyles, often getting their own workout in while teaching a class. This can be beneficial for their own health and fitness, allowing them to stay in shape and maintain an active lifestyle while pursuing their career.

Creativity: Group fitness instructors have the freedom to create and design their own workouts, allowing for a creative outlet and the ability to experiment with new exercises and techniques, keeping their students engaged and motivated.

Professional development: Group fitness instructors often have access to continuing education opportunities, such as conferences and workshops, to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and techniques in the industry. This can be particularly valuable for instructors who want to continue learning and growing in their profession.

Competitive compensation: The demand for group fitness classes is high, and instructors are often paid well for their services. Compensation can be particularly appealing to individuals who want to pursue a career in the fitness industry but also want to earn a good living doing so.

Overall, becoming a group fitness instructor can be a fulfilling career choice that offers a variety of benefits, including helping others, flexibility, camaraderie, physical activity, creativity, professional development, and competitive compensation.