Fitness Instructor

Job Description:

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

Job Category:
Culture, Media & Sport

What you will do:

In this role you could:

  • assess people’s fitness and create personal exercise programmes
  • demonstrate activities, exercise machines and weights
  • help people exercise safely
  • lead group exercise classes like circuit training or aerobics
  • give advice on healthy eating and lifestyle
  • update client records
  • follow health and safety guidelines and maintain equipment
  • market your classes to gain new clients


You’ll need:

  • the ability to teach, motivate and inspire people (creativity)
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

As well as:

  • a desire to help people
  • excellent communication skills
  • planning and organisational skills
  • customer service skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • physical fitness and endurance
  • physical skills like movement, coordination, dexterity and grace
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations (leadership skills)
  • sensitivity and understanding
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a fitness instructor, there are no specific requirements, but certain subjects and skills can be helpful in pursuing a career in this field. Fitness instructors help individuals achieve their fitness goals by designing and leading exercise programs. Here are some recommended subjects and considerations:

  1. Physical Education (PE): PE or similar courses can provide a good foundation in anatomy, physiology, and fitness principles. It can also help you understand exercise techniques and the importance of physical activity.
  2. Biology: A basic understanding of human biology can be valuable in explaining how exercise affects the body, including topics like muscle growth, metabolism, and cardiovascular health.
  3. Mathematics: Basic math skills are helpful for calculating fitness metrics, tracking progress, and managing schedules and appointments.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • specialist courses run by private training organisations


You can do a recognised qualification. In the UK, for example, courses:

  • Certificate in Fitness Instructing
  • Diploma in Instructing Exercise and Fitness
  • Diploma in Fitness Instructing and Personal Training


Apprenticeships that may give you some of the skills for this role include:

  • an intermediate leisure team member or community activator coach apprenticeship
  • an advanced personal trainer apprenticeship

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


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

Career tips

It’s useful to be fit and healthy yourself and to know about how to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Working Hours and Environment:

A typical week consists of 32-34 hours of work. You could be required to work as a contractor/be self-employed as customers demand.

You could work in the community, at a school, at a health centre or in a park. Your working environment may be physically demanding.

Career Path & Progression:

You could take further training to become a personal trainer or teach extra activities.

With experience and qualifications, you could become a senior instructor or manager. You could also start your own fitness club.