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How to Become a Fitness Instructor

How do you become a Fitness Instructor?

The minimum requirement for becoming a Fitness Instructor is a Level 2 Fitness Instructor Qualification this can be gained from a Level 2 fitness instructor course.

To become a Fitness Instructor you need to qualify from a Level 2 Fitness Instructor course such as:

  • Level 2 Gym Instructor Certification
  • Level 2 Gym Instructor Qualification
  • Level 2 Certificate in Gym Instructing
  • Level 2 Diploma in Health, Fitness, and Exercise Instrutction

You’ll also want to make sure that the course you sign up for is accredited either by CIMSPA, as this is valued by most employers.

Level 2 fitness instructing course

Become a Fitness Instructor in 4 easy steps

Taking your first steps into the fitness industry is exciting, but we know that it can also feel pretty daunting. Below we’ve covered a quick 4 step overview of the route to becoming a fitness instructor.

Step 1

Research fitness instructor roles

The prospect of starting a career in the fitness industry can be both exciting and daunting so the first step is to research the career options and roles available to you.

A few things to research would be the difference between a fitness instructor and a personal trainer, Fitness Instructor Salaries and the discipline it takes to become a fitness or gym instructor so you can make sure you are a good fit for the role.

Step 2

Find the right Level 2 Fitness Instructor course for you

With such a wide range of courses out there, choosing one to invest in is no small task. Try to look for a course that focusses on giving you a well rounded knowledge of both the theoretical and practical applications of the role as well as equipping you to head out into the industry and start working.

Our Level 2 Gym Instructor Qualification ideal for beginners training to become a gym instructor or as a starting point for a Personal Training qualification.

Step 3

Learn & Get Qualified from a Level 2 Fitness Instructor course

With your personal trainer course chosen, you’ll need to get down to work of learning and practicing so you can qualify and start your new career.

Whilst some modules can be more challenging than others, anatomy and physiology for example, but if you’re willing to put in the time and the effort it’s 100% achievable. Most good training providers will support you with the process. (We provide exceptional, lifetime support to all our students—through our tutors, support team and career advisory serviceLearn more about why you should study with Future Fit.)

Step 4

Start working as a Fitness Instructor

Once you’ve qualified the next step is to secure yourself a job (if you haven’t already) and start working as a Fitness Instructor within a gym or health centre.

We’ve created guides and articles to help you with writing your CV as a fitness professional and preparing for an interview. Make sure you also explore our guaranteed interviews, one of the many benefits of studying with Future Fit.

For more information about Gym Instructor job roles and job search tips, take a look at our resource around Gym Instructor Job Descriptions.

Download your How to Become a Fitness Instructor Guide for full information about salary, qualifications and career progressions.

You'll also have the opportunity to speak with one of our experts Career Advisers, who can provide friendly, no-obligation advice about your options and help you get started if you're ready.

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What is the difference between Fitness or Gym Instructor and Personal Trainer?

There are a variety of roles and job titles within the fitness industry, and if can be difficult to figure out exactly which role is right for you. We've outlined a few key features of each role below and written an article which talks about the differences between becoming a Fitness Instructor or Personal Trainer.

Become a Fitness Instructor

You will be qualified to start working as a Fitness Instructor

  • Inductions; carrying out ‘how to’ sessions for new members
  • Basic/initial generic exercise programming
  • Basic fitness testing
  • Class teaching (qualification dependent – our L2 course includes Circuit Training so you could deliver group classes).
  • Gym maintenance - cleaning of equipment and facilities, opening or closing the facility.

Become a Personal Trainer

As a qualified Personal Trainer you will be able to:

  • Provide advanced, specific exercise programming; tailored for individuals and their specific needs.
  • Give nutritional advice; creating bespoke meal plans for your clients.
  • Work one-to-one (or with small groups) in order to provide a much higher level of support to help an individual reach their goals, and create a more valuable experience in doing so.
  • Able to charge their own rates, dependent on contract stipulations.

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Can’t find the answer you’re looking for?

Considering changing or advancing your career can be daunting, so we’ve answered common questions and linked to additional tips and resources that will help you figure out the best route forward.

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What qualifications do you need to become a fitness instructor?

If becoming a fitness instructor sounds like the right path for you, the minimum requirement to get started is a Level 2 Gym Instructor Qualification.

You’ll also want to make sure that the course you sign up for is accredited either by CIMSPA, as this is valued by most employers.

This type of course gives you the theoretical and practical knowledge to safely and effectively work in gym and health club environments.
How long does it take to complete a gym instructor course?

The typical time to complete your level 2 is around 4-6 months. If you can dedicate more time to learning you’ll finish sooner, and if you can dedicate less time you’ll finish later.

Whilst you may find some providers offer fast tracked qualifications in 2-4 weeks, in our experience, we've found that you just won’t learn enough or gain enough practical coaching experience in such short timeframes. This may leave you being thrown into the fitness industry without the appropriate skills and experience to really make it work.

What does a Gym Instructor do?

A gym instructor will spend a lot of their time circulating the gym, making sure that members are having a good experience. They will also usually be responsible for leading several exercise classes depending on their skill set and level of personal training qualification.

A typical day might involve

  • helping to open the gym and get it ready before members arrive
  • greeting members as they arrive
  • chatting with members
  • delivering a couple of classes
  • helping to ensure that the gym stays neat and tidy
  • delivering gym inductions, (which involve showing members around the gym and teaching them how to use the equipment safely)
How much money can you make as a fitness instructor?

Fitness Instructor roles are typically entry-level roles in the fitness industry, and salaries also tend to vary per location.

  • Across most of the UK you’re looking at a salary of around £17000
  • In London, you’re looking at a salary of around £19500

It’s also worth mentioning that most health clubs and gyms also offer free memberships, which is a nice perk, especially since some city gyms can cost £100+ per month to be a member.

Do you need insurance as a gym instructor?

You most likely won't need your own insurance if you are employed by a gym or fitness centre. however as insurance is faily low cost taking out your own insurance might be useful. For more information about what to get covered in your gym instructor insurance, be sure to download a copy of our How to Become a Fitness Instructor guide.