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Aerobics Instructor Job Description, Career as a Aerobics Instructor, Salary, Employment

Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

Training/Educational Requirements: Bachelor’s degree in health or fitness desired; certification required.

Median Salary: $25,910 annually; varies widely

Job Prospects: Excellent

Job Description

Aerobics instructors and fitness trainers lead and instruct individuals and groups through various exercise activities. They may work one-on-one offering insight, direction, and even motivation into workout routines. They may also lead group classes through rigorous exercise activities to get people fit. Aerobics instructors and fitness trainers are expected to have proper insight into exercise and what makes up a good regimen.

Aerobics instructors tend to lead a group class focused on cardiovascular activities. They are usually in great shape and have stamina to be able to make it through and effectively lead a class. They offer classes at different fitness levels, and mainly focus on aerobic exercise. Most aerobics instructors work within a group setting at a gym or other local facility such as a community center.

Fitness trainers tend to work on a one-on-one basis. They work with individuals on creating an appropriate workout routine incorporating cardiovascular exercise with strength training and other elements. They are well versed on how to properly work various muscle groups in the body and can help devise a regimen that works well for each individual. They work with individuals to help them reach their workout goals, such as losing weight, toning, or simply adding exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Aerobics instructors and fitness trainers focus on a variety of specialties. Depending on their certification, they can teach specialized classes such as yoga or Pilates; take a more general approach and lead a variety of classes; or, they can help individuals with their fitness goals.

Training/Educational Requirements

Many facilities encourage aerobics instructors and fitness trainers to have a bachelor’s degree. It is also recommended they have general knowledge and comprehension of health and exercise. More importantly, however, is a certification. This is a steadfast requirement for most positions. The one exception is with an aerobics instructor, who can occasionally lead a class without being certified. Certification is recommended for those wanting to pursue this career path.

As fitness trainers working one-on-one with clients, it is required have a certification. In addition to being certified, sometimes they are required to have a high school diploma and be registered in CPR. It can be an involved process to get certification since it requires a strong comprehension of exercise and fitness. Additionally, if an individual wishes to teach or direct individuals within a specialized exercise such as yoga, Pilates, Zumba, or other exercise routine, they are usually required to be certified within that area.

How to Get Hired

If an individual considers themselves to be physically fit or particularly knowledgeable within a certain exercise, they can look into teaching a group class. This is how most individuals become an aerobics instructor and fitness trainer. One way to learn how a group class works is to take the class. Observation is key in perfecting the skills and moves required for a class.

Working in a gym or related fitness facility privides individuals wishing to become an aerobics instructor or fitness trainer a great start. Observation is a key component along with taking a wide array of classes to gain knowledge and experience. Earning a degree in exercise science, physical education, or kinesiology can have a great edge over other candidates. A degree, combined with practical experience, is how individuals advance to the next level.

Most people working towards such a career start off as support staff or as an aerobics instructor for a short time before moving up. Getting certification to become a fitness trainer is the ultimate step for an individual looking for advancement. Building a clientele is an important part of being a fitness trainer. Therefore, one-on-one experience with clients and working for a fitness facility can be an excellent springboard.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook, and Career Development

The demand for aerobics instructors and fitness trainers is expected to grow significantly. As a matter of fact, the growth is expected to move upward 27% by 2016. This makes it one of the fastest growing occupations, with excellent opportunities for those interested in the field. As more people are spending their money on their fitness, the need for workers will continue to grow. As more attention is given to exercise and staying healthy, the opportunities for aerobics instructors and fitness trainers will continue to increase. This is a boom, particularly when compared to occupations in other industries that don’t show nearly as much growth.

Gyms, health clubs, fitness facilities, and even local community centers continue to provide a number of services to their clients and members. As people continue to focus on their health and physical fitness, additional classes and personal training services will become available. Therefore, aerobics instructors and fitness trainers will continue to be a hot career with much potential for advancement.

Whether you start by working in a gym, working as an aerobics instructor, or are just interested in this field, there is potential for advancement. As the number of specialty classes increases, there is more potential to move into specialized areas. The need for fitness trainers will increase as well, since more people are focused on what they can do to improve their physical appearance and overall health and fitness.

Working Environment

Most individuals within this career will find their working environment is a gym or other fitness facility. Aerobics instructor and fitness trainer often work in a rather loud gym, with music blasting and people talking. Although there are quieter times, this environment constantly has people working out and using machines. Depending on the environment some facilities like a community center tend to be quieter or more family focused. Most fitness facilities are full of people exercising to background noise of either televisions or music.

If an individual works as a fitness trainer on a one-on-one basis, they can expect to split their time between an office and the gym itself. This allows for consultations with clients, and the ability to handle any necessary paperwork. For those working as an aerobics instructor, they can expect to work in an individual room within a gym teaching their class—often with loud music blasting in the background.

Individuals working in this position can expect to work long hours at times. Many group classes are offered at night after regular work hours, or on weekends. Most fitness facilities have extended hours, and cater to the people’s different schedules, offering evening and weekend classes, as well as holiday hours to appeal to their clients.

Salary and Benefits

The median salary for an aerobics instructor and fitness trainer is right around $25,910 per year. The range is usually around $18,010 to 41,040, depending on the individual’s status and their employer. Many individuals work part-time or work on contract, so salaries may vary. It is common for a fitness trainer or personal trainer to be self-employed and name their own rate, so there is no median salary range for this position.

Since so many individuals hold part-time or contract positions, they typically do not receive health benefits. They don’t usually receive paid time off , either. They typically work on an as needed basis or come in for specific classes or training sessions. The most common benefit is being able to use the gym or fitness facility free of charge.

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