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Career Profile: Exercise Trainers and Group Fitness Instructors

Instruct or coach groups or individuals in exercise activities for the primary purpose of personal fitness. Demonstrate techniques and form, observe participants, and explain to them corrective measures necessary to improve their skills. Develop and implement individualized approaches to exercise.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 309,800 people employed as exercise trainers and group fitness instructors in the United States. The median annual salary is $40,500. Entry level employees earn approximately $21,640 per year and senior employees earn approximately $76,550 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Plan physical education programs to promote development of participants' physical attributes and social skills.
  • Conduct therapeutic, recreational, or athletic activities.
  • Organize, lead, and referee indoor and outdoor games, such as volleyball, baseball, and basketball.
  • Teach individual and team sports to participants through instruction and demonstration, using knowledge of sports techniques and of participants' physical capabilities.
  • Promote health clubs through membership sales, and record member information.
  • Advise clients about proper clothing and shoes.
  • Advise participants in use of heat or ultraviolet treatments and hot baths.
  • Massage body parts to relieve soreness, strains, and bruises.
  • Organize and conduct competitions and tournaments.
  • Observe participants and inform them of corrective measures necessary for skill improvement.
  • Evaluate individuals' abilities, needs, and physical conditions, and develop suitable training programs to meet any special requirements.
  • Plan routines, choose appropriate music, and choose different movements for each set of muscles, depending on participants' capabilities and limitations.
  • Offer alternatives during classes to accommodate different levels of fitness.
  • Teach proper breathing techniques used during physical exertion.
  • Monitor participants' progress and adapt programs as needed.
  • Explain and enforce safety rules and regulations governing sports, recreational activities, and the use of exercise equipment.
  • Instruct participants in maintaining exertion levels to maximize benefits from exercise routines.
  • Teach and demonstrate use of gymnastic and training equipment, such as trampolines and weights.
  • Administer emergency first aid, wrap injuries, treat minor chronic disabilities, or refer injured persons to physicians.
  • Provide students with information and resources regarding nutrition, weight control, and lifestyle issues.
  • Maintain equipment inventories, and select, store, or issue equipment as needed.
  • Maintain fitness equipment.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
309,800
Annual Openings:
69,100
Increase in Openings by 2030:
39%
Annual Salary Range:
$21,640 - $76,550
Education Requirements:
High school diploma