If you’re very much interested in fitness and health in its many aspects, and if you enjoy working with different kinds of people, then being a fitness instructor could be the ideal profession for you. It helps to be outgoing, friendly, and an extrovert to succeed in this field. It is also a plus if you can inspire and motivate people.
Fitness instructor requirements
To realize your dream of becoming a fitness instructor, you may finish schooling in a college or diploma course that is recognized in your country. The qualifications and time needed for graduating in such a course, including the various competency exams, may vary. Alternately, you may also start working in a gym or sports center in a capacity as assistant instructor, and then gradually complete the job-based training in order to qualify as an instructor & higher training.
Fitness instructor Schooling
One recognized course is a certificate in Fitness Instruction. This program has many areas of specializations. These include fields such as: physical activity geared for children; water-based exercises; exercising to music; and gym-based exercises.
Other qualifications or degrees can be taken as well. An example includes a diploma course on fitness, exercise and health instruction. Different private training institutions and colleges may have different courses or course titles. You may check with them regarding the programs they offer.
After completion of the course requirements, you may apply for inclusion as a member of the country’s Register of Exercise Professionals or REPs (associations’ names differ in various countries), if the course you took is comprehensive enough to qualify you for membership. Being a registered member will show prospective employers that you are quite competent in the fitness training job you are applying for. Membership thus improves career prospects. REPs has a list of approved private training schools in their website, as well as information on membership registration.
Fitness instructor Training
If you opt to do your training while already on the job, you will begin in the position of assistant instructor, and then complete the training under the guidance of a certified instructor. This is usually done by working towards the diploma for Instructing Exercise & Fitness, which also offers the various areas of specialization in the diploma course mentioned above.
This path is made possible through a kind of Apprenticeship scheme, several of which may exist in your location. Information about their programs may be found in their websites. Due to the nature of physical fitness training, online education may not be available, nor is it recommended. Actual personal attendance is the only way to provide instruction effectively and gauge your progress.
Fitness instructor Apprenticeships
Before working as an instructor, a public liability insurance &/or first aid training certificate may be required. This may include a CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) certificate. Lifeguard qualification may also be needed in some job positions. When aiming to work with vulnerable groups such as children, background checks may be required by the DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service). They have a website that provides more information.
Fitness instructor Length of Study
Fitness certification training could take anywhere from six months to six years. The time needed will depends on the type of certification and education taken. Currently, no standard requirements exist for personal trainers.
Fitness instructor Further Training
Further training will develop and broaden teaching skills. Some qualification levels include training in Personal Trainer Status; Fitness Instructing & Personal Training; Exercise Referral; Low Back Pain Management; Exercise & Nutritional Intervention for Diabetes & Obesity; and Weight Management.