Career Detail


Fitness Trainers / Personal Training Career
“No Pain, No Gain”
Fitness workers lead, instruct, and motivate individuals or groups in exercise activities, including cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and stretching.
Average Pay: $18,000 - $40,000    Qualifications: Certification Usually Required
The Job
Fitness workers usually work in the three different catagories of personal trainer, group exercise instructors, or fitness directors. Personal trainers work one-on-one with clients either in a gym or in the client's home. They help clients assess their level of physical fitness and set and reach fitness goals. Trainers also demonstrate various exercises and help clients improve their exercise techniques. They may keep records of their clients' exercise sessions to monitor clients' progress toward physical fitness. They may also advise their clients on how to modify their lifestyle outside of the gym to improve their fitness. Group exercise instructors conduct group exercise sessions that usually include aerobic exercise, stretching, and muscle conditioning. Fitness directors oversee the fitness-related aspects of a health club or fitness center. They create and oversee programs that meet the needs of the club's members, including new member orientations, fitness assessments, and workout incentive programs. They also select fitness equipment; coordinate personal training and group exercise programs; hire, train, and supervise fitness staff; and carry out administrative duties.
Work Environment
Most fitness workers spend their time indoors at fitness centers and health clubs. Fitness directors and supervisors, however, typically spend most of their time in an office.
College Majors
exercise science, physical education, kinesiology
Minimum Qualifications
Most trainers must obtain certification in the fitness field to gain employment. Group fitness instructors do not necessarily need certification to begin working. The most important characteristic that an employer looks for in a new fitness instructor is the ability to plan and lead a class.
Personality traits helpful for this career
should be outgoing, excellent communicators, good at motivating people, and sensitive to the needs of others.
Quick Facts
  • Job prospects are expected to be good.
  • Many fitness and personal training jobs are part time, but many workers increase their hours by working at several different facilities or at clients' homes.
  • Most fitness workers need to be certified.
Compensation and Outlook
Median annual wages of fitness trainers and aerobics instructors in May 2008 were $29,210. The middle 50 percent earned between $19,610 and $44,420. The bottom 10 percent earned less than $16,120, while the top 10 percent earned $60,760 or more.
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