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Fitness instructor

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

Annual Salary

£14,000 to £25,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

32 to 34 a week

You could work: as a contractor / self-employed; as customers demand

1%
Future employment

There will be 1% more Fitness instructor jobs in 2026.
In your local area

Day to day tasks

In this role you could:

  • assess people's fitness and create personal exercise programmes
  • demonstrate activities, exercise machines and weights
  • help people exercise safely
  • lead group exercise classes like circuit training or aerobics
  • give advice on healthy eating and lifestyle
  • update client records
  • follow health and safety guidelines and maintain equipment
  • market your classes to gain new clients

Working environment

You could work in the community, at a school, at a health centre or in a park.

Your working environment may be physically demanding.

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • specialist courses run by private training organisations
College

You can do a recognised qualification like:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing
  • Level 2 Diploma in Instructing Exercise and Fitness
  • Level 3 Diploma in Fitness Instructing and Personal Training

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
For more information
Apprenticeship

Apprenticeships that may give you some of the skills for this role include:

  • an intermediate leisure team member or community activator coach apprenticeship
  • an advanced personal trainer apprenticeship

You can train in a similar role as a physical training instructor in the armed forces. You can find out more at:Royal Air Force; Royal Navy

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
For more information
Work

You could work as a leisure centre assistant and do part-time qualifications on the job, which would allow you to apply for jobs as an instructor.

Other routes

You can do qualifications through private training companies who offer specialist courses like:

  • fitness instruction
  • personal training
  • gym instructing

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

  • You'll usually need public indemnity and professional liability insurance, if you're self-employed.
  • have insurance
  • have a first aid certificate
  • pass enhanced background checks

More information

Career tips

It's useful to be fit and healthy yourself and to know about how to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Professional and industry bodies

You can join the Register of Exercise Professionals and the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity for professional development and to help with your career prospects.

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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.

You can join the Register of Exercise Professionals and the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity for professional development and to help with your career prospects.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • a desire to help people
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to teach and motivate people
  • customer service skills
  • physical fitness and endurance
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • the ability to work on your own
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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