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Fitness instruction Apprenticeships

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Helping you find a career in the Fitness instruction industry

It doesn’t matter what you studied at university, if you’re fit and passionate about exercise, there’s a place as a fitness instructor available for you! And it’s a rapidly growing industry: everyone and their mum is talking about fitness these days, so why not capitalise on that and become a fitness instructor?

That’s not to suggest your degree won’t be useful! A degree in sports science or biology will give you all the facts about nutrition and human physiology you’ll need to be a great fitness instructor. If you have a degree in a specific area, such as dance or teaching, it will also open doors to teach fitness in areas - such as state schools - that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.

Fitness instruction is all about helping clients achieve their fitness goals, and your job will be to help your clients set these goals and motivate them to achieve them.

Your schedule can be flexible as you’ll often set your own hours. This means that being a fitness instructor is not your typical 9-5 job. To begin with you may be based at a specific gym or fitness centre, or you may work with clients outdoors or visit them in their own homes.

With enough experience and rapport with clients, you may become a highly sought-after instructor and be able to work independently as a self-employed instructor outside of a specific gym. Maybe you’ll even get to open your own gym!

Skills & interests required for a career in Fitness instruction
Fitness instruction is obviously a highly physically demanding job, so you’ll need to keep fit and have a passion for exercise and self-improvement.

You’ll also have to motivate a wide range of clients to meet their fitness goals. This means you’ll need to be proficient at motivating different types of people to exercise their hardest. You’ll need to think about techniques that will or won’t work with certain types of people. All in all, it is important that you’re a friendly, approachable and personable person who customers feel comfortable and safe with.

Other important skills include:

-IT Skills
-First Aid training
-Knowledge of nutrition, physiology and biology
- Adaptability
- Communication
- Nutrition
- Self-Confidence
- Self-motivation
- Teaching
Fitness instruction apprenticeships & other career progress routes for school leavers
Your career progression will vary according to your position within the industry. Some positions will require training before you can become an instructor, and the time required for this can vary. A yoga instructor will need 2 years training under a Yoga teacher before they can become an instructor itself, while a personal trainer can be fully trained within six months.

With enough experience, you will be able to rise through the ranks. Highly sought after clients can become self-employed or open their own gyms. If you are especially well-trained (here’s where your degree may come in handy) and build an outstanding reputation, you may even be able to train a few celebrities!
Tips for getting into the field
While you're at university, join some sports and fitness societies to show your passion for exercise and learn new techniques. Some students even do part-time personal training for others during their study. This is a great way to earn money and gain experience as you study.

It can also be useful to contact local gyms or studios and see if they are offering work experience. If not, you could ask if you could shadow a trainer to get a feel for the industry.
What do Fitness instruction professionals get paid?
Your pay will be dependent upon your training, experience and role in the industry. But roles typically begin in the £15,000 area, moving up by around £10,000 throughout your career.

Self-employed fitness instructors’ earnings can be hugely varied, depending on their specialty. Typically you might start by earning around £12,000, but this can increase dramatically once you establish your reputation and secure enough regular clients to keep you busy. If your reputation is particularly exceptional, you may earn far beyond this if you work with high profile clients.
What qualifications do I need for a career in Fitness instruction?
A Level 2 Gym Instructor Qualification is required if you wish to work in a Gym. These are usually very short: a month or so at most if you’re studying part-time, or just days if you go full-time.

To become a personal trainer, you’ll need to get a Level 3 Personal Trainer Qualification, which can take five months if you study part-time, or 3+ weeks if done full-time.

You’re likely to need a First Aid Certificate as well. It will need to include a CPR certificate as part of it. This will only take a few days.

If you’re interested in more specialised roles, it may be useful to study certain areas at degree level so you stand out from the rest of the crowd as a potential employee, especially if you’re looking to work with more high-profile clients.
Read more about the Fitness instruction industry

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