What Do Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors Do?
Physical fitness is extremely important for optimum health and wellness, but many people don’t know where to begin on their fitness journey. Fitness trainers help people to reach their targets by teaching them specific exercises and demonstrating techniques. They help to plan a personalized routine based on individual goals, and provide helpful feedback to maximize impact and reduce the risk of injury.A continuous increase is expected in the field of fitness instructors and aerobics instructors; up to 13 percent over a 10-year period. The number of job openings projected is 6,500 each year, so it’s a great time to break into this field.
Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors Skills and Abilities
Although some paperwork and administrative tasks are involved, the main activity of a fitness trainer is working with people. Whether you work one-on-one or in a small-group setting, customer service, public speaking and teaching skills are vital. You’ll also need to be physically fit yourself, and have a strong knowledge of the human body and the principles of physical fitness.
Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors Duties
As a personal trainer, you will create individualized training plans for each client and help clients to put the plans into action. Specifically, you will:
- Interview each client to discern needs, experience and goals
- Develop a plan to meet client goals, within the limits of individual abilities
- Instruct clients on safety and wellness while working out
- Demonstrate proper technique, including breathing patterns
- Observe client’s technique and offer suggestions on how to improve
- Monitor and celebrate client progress
- Adapt the program to account for changes in client skill level and ability
- Keep up with the latest information and trends in the field
- Maintain equipment
- Be ready to administer first aid when necessary
When you teach group classes, you will use similar skills but in a different setting. Some of the duties specific to group training include:
- Planning music and routines ahead of time to prevent boredom for regular class attenders
- Planning routines that challenge a group of people with widely differing skills and abilities
- Planning and demonstrating alternative movements for those seeking more or less of a challenge in the routine
- Regularly observing the class as a whole in order to keep your routine relevant to the participants
- Cleaning and maintaining group equipment and studios
Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors Tools and Technology
The tools you’ll use as a fitness instructor range from free weights to machines to bikes and balance boards, depending on the class or technique that you’re teaching. Software and technology will also vary. For example, if you’re self-employed as a consultant, you’ll need some sort of contact management or project management software. For teaching group classes, you may need a head set and a public address system. If you’re working as an employee of a gym or training center, you may only need to learn how to use scheduling software and a point of sale (POS) system.
Education and Training for Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors
Personality, specialized knowledge and physical ability are the most important qualifications for this job. You may not need more than a high school diploma, or you may need a certificate from a training program in general health and physical fitness, coaching, or a specific practice such as yoga or Pilates. There may be short-term on-the-job training when you first join a team of trainers.
Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors Salary
The median wage for fitness trainers and aerobics instructors is $16.82 per hour, or $35,000 per year. Most people in this field earn between $8.71 and $32.48 per hour, or $18,100 to $67,600 per year. New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and California report the highest median wages, each around $22 to $23 per hour.
Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors Jobs by Geography
The majority of states have thousands of people working as fitness trainers, with at least nine states reporting over 10,000 in this position. New York and California have the highest number of fitness workers, while Massachusetts, Idaho and Utah expect the highest percentage of growth in the field.