Fitness trainers and instructors work in facilities such as recreation centers, health clubs, and yoga studios. Many work variable or part-time schedules that may include nights, weekends, or holidays.
About 65,500 openings for fitness trainers and instructors are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.
Fitness trainers and instructors lead, instruct, and motivate individuals or groups in exercise activities, including cardiovascular workouts (for the heart and blood circulation), strength training, and stretching. They work with people of all ages and skill levels.
Fitness trainers and instructors work with individual clients or prepare or choreograph their own group classes. They may do a variety of tasks in addition to their fitness duties, such as managing the front desk, signing up new members, giving tours of the facility, or supervising the weight-training and cardiovascular equipment areas. Fitness trainers and instructors also may promote their facilities and instruction through social media, by writing newsletters or blog posts, or by creating posters and flyers.
Most fitness trainers or instructors have certification related to the area of fitness in which they specialize. Personal trainers usually must be certified before they begin working with clients or with members of a gym or health club. Group fitness instructors may begin work without certification, but employers often encourage or require them to get their credentials. Most fitness instructors receive certification for their preferred type of training, such as yoga, kickboxing, or strength training.
Many organizations offer certification. For example the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) accredits certifying organizations in the fitness and wellness industry, including several that offer personal trainer or general certification. In addition, some private companies offer certification in the types of classes they offer.
Customer-service skills. Many fitness trainers and instructors 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 encouraging, friendly, and polite to maintain relationships with their clients.
Personal trainers may advance to a head trainer position and become responsible for hiring and overseeing the personal training staff or for bringing in new personal training clients. Fitness trainers and instructors also may go into business for themselves or open their own fitness centers.
The median annual wage for fitness trainers and instructors was $40,700 in May 2021. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $22,960, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $75,940.
As employers continue to recognize the benefits of health and fitness programs for their employees, incentives to join gyms or other types of health clubs are expected to increase the need for fitness trainers and instructors. For example, some organizations may open their own exercise facilities onsite to promote employee wellness.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Fitness Trainers and Instructors, at -care-and-service/fitness-trainers-and-instructors.htm (visited March 16, 2023).
Qualified personal trainers or certified personal trainers (CPTs) recognize their own areas of expertise. If a trainer suspects that one of their clients has a medical condition that could prevent the client from safe participation in an exercise program, they must refer the client to the proper health professional for medical clearance.
The scope of practice for a personal trainer has a primary focus on prevention and involves enhancing components of health and fitness for the general, healthy population or those cleared for exercise.
Proper exercise prescription may result in improved body composition, physical performance, heart condition, and health outcomes. The decision to hire a personal trainer may be related to a perceived health threat, a lack of knowledge, a personal belief in one's ability to begin and adhere to an exercise program, or some sort of psychological effect. Often clients will seek the guidance of a personal trainer for factors related to motivation and adherence. A personal trainer pays close attention to the client's exercise technique, workout routine, goals, values, and nutrition. Personal training in men and women has been shown to improve the benefit-to-concern ratio for exercise (decisional balance), and increase confidence to choose exercise in the face of other time demands (scheduling self-efficacy). Personal training results in higher strength, higher workout intensities, and higher perceived exertion during exercise.
The profession is generally not restricted by the venue, and personal trainers may work in fitness facilities, in their own homes, in client homes, over live video (also called "virtual personal trainers"), or outdoors. Almost all exercise professionals work in physical fitness facilities, health clubs, and fitness centers located in the amusement and recreation industry or in civic and social organizations. Personal training is not regulated in any jurisdiction in the United States except for Washington D.C. which adopted registration requirements for personal fitness trainers in February 2014. Some employers, such as gyms require personal trainers to be certified. However, this is not always the case and some personal trainers can find work without certification. Overall, personal trainers must possess certain skills, such as a passion for fitness and helping others achieve their goals, industry knowledge, leadership, and the ability to communicate effectively with their clients.
Personal trainers may specialize in a certain training type, training philosophy, performance type, exercise modality, or client population. In general, most personal trainers develop exercise plans for aerobic exercise, resistance exercise, and/or flexibility training. With aerobic exercise prescription, personal trainers determine the type of exercise, duration of exercise, and frequency of exercise. For resistance exercise prescription, the type of exercise, total session volume, rest period, frequency, and intensity are determined. Personal trainers may also be involved in the prescription of stretching routines or other approaches. Personal trainers help clients to perform exercises with correct techniques, minimizing the risk of injury. While some discuss nutrition, ergogenic supplementation, and spiritual practices with clients, there is debate within the industry as to whether it fits within their scope of practice and training qualifications.
Personal trainer accreditation is a process that provides certification of competency as a personal trainer. Qualification standards for personal trainers vary between countries. Personal trainer accreditation is also viewed as experience in the field with many testimonials from clients on their achievements working with their personal trainer.
The International Confederation of Registers for Exercise Professionals (ICREPs) is an international partnership between registration bodies around the world that register exercise professionals. Member countries conform to the international standards set by ICREPs for personal training (and other exercise education credentials) and are transferable to other member countries. The current members of ICREPs (as of 2019) are: Fitness Australia, NFLA Canada, REPs India, REPs Ireland, REPs New Zealand, REPs Poland, REPs South Africa, REPs United Arab Emirates, REPs United Kingdom, USREPs, and IranREPs.
In Australia, personal trainers may work independently with suitable insurance or choose to be a member of a registering body (Fitness Australia or Physical Activity Australia). The qualifications levels include; Level 1 - Certificate III in Fitness, Level 2 - Certificate IV in Fitness and Level 3 - Diploma of Fitness. These can be obtained from nationally accredited colleges (TAFE, Australian College of Sport & Fitness, Fitness Industry Training, Global Fitness Institute, Australian Institute of Fitness, Australian Fitness Academy). Once working in the industry, trainers who are members of associations are also required to complete short courses to obtain continuing education credit (CEC) points they need to keep their registration. A minimum of 20 CEC points every two years is required. Many personal trainers also have additional qualifications in weight loss, strength training, kid's fitness, and nutrition, which is in part due to the CEC program. CEC courses can cover a wide variety of topics such as different training techniques, nutrition, exercise styles, health conditions, physiology, lifestyle, and rehabilitation.
In Brazil, personal trainers must have a bachelor's degree in "Physical Education" (a degree that combines knowledge in the fields of Exercise Science and Healthcare science) and be registered with the Conselho Federal de Educação Física (Federal Council of Physical Education), and risk criminal charges if they operate without these two requirements.
In Canada, the main certifying bodies are Canadian Fitness Education Services (CFES), Canadian Fitness Professionals (CanFit Pro), Certified Personal Trainers Network, the Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology (CSEP), and the National Fitness Leadership Association (NFLA). CSEP requires a diploma or degree in the exercise field, most other organizations require experience and/or workshops to qualify for a credential. Many personal trainers receive a CFES, CanFit Pro, NFLA or an NCCA accredited certification, but there are no certifications required by law. Fitness instruction in Canada is an unregulated industry. 041b061a72