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Career as a Fitness Trainer: Jobs, Career Path & Relevant skills for Fitness Trainer role

Author: Sheetal Yadav
by Sheetal Yadav
Posted: Jun 04, 2020

Fitness trainers and instructors lead, instruct, and motivate individuals or groups in exercise activities, including cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and stretching, or yoga. They work with people of all ages and skill levels.

Fitness trainers are hired to help people achieve and maintain good physical health, plan and implement exercise routines as well as giving advice on diets, nutrition, and other essential areas. It involves helping people achieve their goals and making sure that they become and stay in shape and health.

There is no dearth of employment opportunities for qualified fitness instructors. In fact, the fitness industry is undergoing a phase of boom owing to the massive upsurge of lifestyle-related concerns, especially in the urban areas. Another factor that is boosting this industry is the increased level of awareness amongst common men with regards to physical fitness and wellness and of course, social media.


Career as a Fitness Trainer: Roles and Responsibilities

  • Demonstrate how to carry out various exercises and routines.
  • Observing and supervising clients’ exercises and showing or telling them correct techniques to minimize injury and improve fitness.
  • Evaluating clients current fitness level, personal goals, and skills and creating a
  • Give alternative exercises during workouts or classes for different levels of fitness and skill, catering to the goals of their clients
  • Monitor clients’ progress and adapt programs as needed.
  • Keeping clients motivated and giving information or resources about nutrition, weight control, and lifestyle-related issues to achieve their goals.
  • Explain and enforce safety rules and regulations on sports, recreational activities, and the use of exercise equipment.
  • Planning the classes and remaining up to date on any new updates and developments in their field.

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Career as a Fitness Trainer: Becoming a Professional

Mostly personal fitness trainers often start out by taking classes to become certified. If you’ve decided personal training is for you, your first step is to get certified. Then they work alongside an experienced trainer before they are allowed to train clients alone.

The education and training required to pursue a career as a fitness trainers and instructors vary by type of specialty, and employers often hire those with certification. Personal fitness trainers, group fitness instructors, and specialized fitness instructors each need different preparation. Requirements vary by facility.

The most important factor is whether the certifying organization has been accredited. Certifying organizations have their certification procedures and protocols accredited by an independent third party, such as the NCCA. Some of the noted ones are:

THE AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EXERCISE (ACE): Trainers certified from ACE are very well accepted in the fitness industry. Divided into two parts (ACE PRO & ACE BASIC) you can select the course as per your need. This course also offers an option to choose if a person wants to attempt the certification exam.

THE NATIONAL STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING ASSOCIATION (NSCA): It is one of the oldest fitness certification courses available in the world. NSCA offers the fitness certification to those who are minimum 18 years old and are already CPR and AED certified.

INTERNATIONAL FITNESS PROFESSIONALS ASSOCIATION (IFPA): This course provides more than 70 certifications. Its personal training certification is considered as one of the tops in the fitness industry. It teaches all the proper tools and techniques

Qualifications are an important part of being a fitness instructor for securing a job, as well as making sure that you are running a safe practice. Employers usually require a qualification from a recognized body such as the REP, Register of Exercise Professionals.

Fitness trainers also need certificates in first aid to show that they know how to perform CPR as well as public liability insurance. An A level qualification in Physical Education or Sports studies is a start to gaining qualifications and is backed by gaining a B.Sc in sports studies, health and fitness management, sports science, or any other related field. (Universities for which are suggested below)


Personal fitness trainers work with a single client or a small group. They may train in a gym or in the clients’ homes. Personal fitness trainers assess the clients’ level of physical fitness and help them set and reach their fitness goals.

Group fitness instructors organize and lead group exercise sessions, which can include aerobic exercise, stretching, muscle conditioning, or meditation. Some classes are set to music. In these classes, instructors may select the music and choreograph an exercise sequence.

Specialized fitness instructors teach popular conditioning methods such as Pilates or yoga. In these classes, instructors show the different moves and positions of the particular method. They also watch students and correct those who are doing the exercises improperly.

Fitness directors oversee the fitness-related aspects of a gym or other type of health club. They often handle administrative duties, such as scheduling personal training sessions for clients or creating workout incentive programs. They often select and order fitness equipment for their facility.


Customer-service skills. Many fitness trainers and instructors must sell their services, motivating clients to hire them as personal trainers, or to sign up for the classes they lead. Fitness trainers and instructors must, therefore, be polite, friendly, and encouraging to maintain relationships with their clients.

Analytical skills: Fitness trainers and instructors must be able to listen carefully to what clients tell them to determine the client’s fitness levels and desired fitness goals.

Effective Motivational skills. Getting fit and staying fit takes a lot of work for many clients. To keep clients coming back for more classes or to continue personal training, fitness trainers and instructors must keep their clients motivated.

Physical fitness. Needless to say, fitness trainers and instructors need to be physically fit because their job requires a considerable amount of exercise. Group instructors often participate in classes, and personal trainers often need to show exercises to their clients.

Persistent and nurturing: Fitness trainers and instructors must evaluate each client’s level of fitness and create an appropriate fitness plan to meet the client’s individual needs and must be nurturing towards the client.

Communication skills. Fitness trainers and instructors must be good communicators because they should be able to explain exercises and movements to the clients, as well as motivate verbally during exercises.


Employment of fitness trainers and instructors is projected to grow 13 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Employment growth will be seen from the continuing emphasis on exercise for young people to combat obesity and encourage healthier lifestyles. In the last 5 years, there are more than 10 start-up companies ventured into the fitness domain, which shows the demand for this space and this is going to increase in the next 5 years.

We hope this is going to be helpful if you are planning to pursue a career as a fitness trainer. For more guidance, feel free to connect with us. Read the complete blog here:

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We focus on all-round career consulting.Our expertise lies in Career Counselling, Study Abroad, and Career Enablement services.

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Author: Sheetal Yadav

Sheetal Yadav

Member since: May 28, 2020
Published articles: 4

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