Have you ever been in an exercise class and thought, "I could teach this!"

Do you start dreaming of a session that would be more engaging, more beneficial, or just more your style?

A career as a fitness trainer may be right for you!

A challenging exercise class

A fitness trainer creates fun and effective exercise classes that keep their students coming back for more.

There's more to this career than loving exercise!

You'll Love This Career If...

  • You can be found at the gym attending exercise classes regularly. Are you a gym junkie who has tried a variety of exercise classes and have your favorites?

  • You are creative and innovative. Do you find yourself creating fun and exciting workouts for yourself or others?

  • You enjoy helping others reach their goals. Are you good at setting goals and achieving them?

excited train band GIF by Train


After work 4 nights a week, Sara takes a Zumba class at the gym. On the weekend she creates a core strength workout for her and her sister. Is a fitness trainer a good career choice for Sara?

The Actual Job

Fitness instructors are responsible for...

  • Understanding the muscles and how they work together

  • Writing well-balanced workouts that produce results

  • Creating fun and engaging workouts consistently

  • Encouraging participants to set fitness goals and work towards achieving them

  • Motivating participants to work hard even when the workouts are challenging and their inner dialogue tells them to give up

Bojack Horeseman getting some coaching from a fitness instructor

Types Of Fitness Trainers

What format would you enjoy teaching?

Fitness formats include mind body, dance fitness, spinning, aqua fitness, HIIT, and strength

Mind-Body — yoga, pilates, and barre for core work, stretching, and mindfulness for a well balanced low-intensity workout

Spinning — cardio on a spin bike that includes both high and low-intensity intervals, set to heart-pumping music

HIIT — high-intensity intervals for a full-body strength and cardio workout

Dance Fitness — choreographed high energy dance routines to a wide range of music, from pop to hip-hop to Latin

Aqua Fitness — a full-body low impact format for cardio and strength training, held in a swimming pool

Strength — focus on specific parts of the body to tone muscles and gain strength

Training Requirements

To become a fitness trainer, you need appropriate certification for the format(s) you'll teach.

A Group Exercise certification will allow you to teach the largest range of formats if you want to teach more than one type.

Before taking the exam, you'll study:

  • The anatomy of the muscles

  • How to create a well-balanced exercise class

  • The proper way to interact with your participants

You'll also need CPR training.

Some formats require a more specific certification:

  • Zumba or WERQ dance fitness

  • DrumFit

  • Spinning

  • Yoga and Pilates

  • Silver Sneakers

A carrot, and the words,


Which of the following topics may be covered on a Group Exercise certification exam?

Where Do Fitness Trainers Work?

Fitness trainers can work in a variety of places such as:

  • Gyms

  • Fitness, health, or recreation clubs

  • Personal training studios

  • Yoga or pilates studios

  • Rented public spaces

  • Their own studio

  • Outside

Will It Pay The Bills?

Flaticon Icon United States

The average wage for a fitness instructor in the United States is $19.42 an hour or $46,474 annually.

Kim Kardashian swiping bills towards you

Flaticon Icon Canada

The average wage for a fitness instructor in Canada is C$24.54 an hour or C$51,038 annually.

Look For Another Career Path If...

  • A 9-5 job sounds more appealing. Fitness trainers often work evenings and weekends to suit the schedule of their clients who work during the day.

  • You like to dress professionally and you aren't into wearing yoga pants and tanks to work every day.

  • You hate to sweat and a shower is necessary the minute after a workout session.

Animal turning head and saying,

Pick The Future Fitness Instructor

Flaticon Icon Pam

  • Gets a workout in before going to work

  • Changes into yoga pants as soon as she gets home from work

  • Enjoys creating workouts for her friends and family to help them reach their goals

Flaticon Icon Jason

  • Enjoys being home in the evenings to relax and watch TV

  • Goes to the gym to work out a few times a week

  • Takes weekend trips to visit his parents who live out of state

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  • Favorite form of exercise is yoga because she doesn't get very sweaty

  • Makes goals often, but needs reminders from friends to work on them

  • Invites friends over on weekends to cook healthy meals and do yoga


Who sounds like the best fit for a career as a Fitness Trainer?

Take Action

Boy riding in car saying,

Does a fitness trainer sound like a good career for you?

If it does...


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