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Fitness instructor

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

Annual Salary

£17,000 to £27,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

35 to 37 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends; as customers demand

Future employment

There will be 0.5% more Fitness instructor jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

As a fitness instructor you could:

  • assess people's fitness and create personal exercise programmes
  • demonstrate activities, exercise machines and weights
  • help people exercise safely and give advice on having a healthy lifestyle
  • lead group exercise classes
  • update client records
  • follow health and safety guidelines and maintain equipment

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
  • the armed forces

You can do a recognised qualification in gym instructing or fitness instructing.

For more information

You could do a Leisure Team Member Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship, or a Community Activator Coach Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship, to give you some of the skills needed for this role.

For more information

You could work as a leisure centre assistant and do part-time fitness 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
  • group based training
  • gym instructing

You could train in a similar role as a physical training instructor in the armed forces.

You can find out more at:

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 have a basic level of fitness and to know about how to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Professional and industry bodies

You can join the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity for professional recognition and development.

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You could:take further training to become a personal trainer; take a course so you can teach extra activities; become a senior instructor or manager; 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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