Fitness Instructor Career Facts

Fitness instructors have the challenging task of motivating people to create healthy exercising habits. A career as a fitness instructor can be exciting and rewarding, but also has the potential to be hectic and time consuming. Some fitness instructors work for well known gyms, while others prefer to work independently as a personal trainer. Because there are so many responsibilities you can take on as a fitness instructor, schedules, salary and work load vary greatly.

Types of Fitness Instructor Jobs

There are many types of fitness instructor jobs, including personal trainers, group exercise instructors, and health and wellness directors. Many fitness instructors wear several hats on any given day. Personal trainers meet one-on-one with clients to enhance the client's fitness routine, teach them better exercise techniques, and encourage them to make progress in their exercising routine. Personal trainers are often looked to for advice on all matters relating to fitness and health. It is the responsibility of the personal trainer to take the initiative to stay educated on the latest health and fitness information.

Group exercise instructors typically lead several types of classes at private or public fitness establishments. Cardiovascular classes are a fun way to get in shape, and it is the responsibility of the group exercise instructor to choreograph a routine which will engage participants while also keeping their heart rates up. Because exercise classes typically include people of all fitness levels, it is important for group exercise instructors to be prepared to offer suggestions to make the workout easier for people who are coming in at a beginning level, as well as ideas to make the workout more difficult for advanced attendees.

Health and Wellness Directors are responsible for creating group fitness education programs, schedule group fitness classes, and meet one-on-one with individuals who would like to create a wellness plan. Health and Wellness Directors are expected to have proper training and an up-to-date knowledge of the fitness world.

Fitness Instructor Schedule and Salary Possibilities

Schedules and salary vary depending on the type of fitness instructor. In order to adjust to their clients' schedules, fitness instructors often work very early mornings, sometimes as early as 5 a.m. They can also work very late in the evenings. Waking up early can be tough, but having a flexible schedule makes it all worth it. The typical day of a fitness instructor includes a couple of early workouts with clients, followed by instructing new members on how to engage in a safe workout. The day may end with teaching a group exercise class, or two. It is important to take note that working as a fitness instructor at a fitness center or gym can have increased responsibilities and a less-flexible schedule. 

The salary of a fitness instructor can range depending on experience level and the number of clients the instructor has acquired. Over time, instructors are likely to increase their fees and the number of clients, thus increasing their salary. Most fitness centers and gyms take a percentage of the fitness instructor's hourly fee, sometimes as much as 50 percent.