Duties and responsibilities
The main responsibility of a group exercise instructor is to lead and teach exercise to a group of people. Like all careers, the typical daily duties and responsibilities of a group exercise instructor will vary depending on who they work for and where they work. However, a group exercise instructor should expect to do the following:
- Demonstrate and explain how to perform various exercises and routines to minimize injuries in group training
- Choreograph your own classes. This may include cardiovascular exercise, strength training or both
- Tailor the classes to make them specific to the individuals being trained
- Watching each individual in the group to ensure that they are performing the exercise correctly
- Enforce safety rules and regulations whilst training a group of people
- Give emergency first aid if needed
- Give clients basic advice on weight loss and exercise
To become a group exercise instructor, you will most likely need a high school diploma. After achieving this, you will need to be a certified personal trainer, this means completing the relevant accredited courses. The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), lists certifying organizations that are accredited.
Skills and relevant work experience
To get hired as a group exercise instructor you will need to demonstrate a genuine passion for fitness. As well as an enthusiasm for fitness, employers will also look for the following skills:
- Communication skills as group exercise instructors will have to build relationships with each individual client
- Physical fitness as group exercise instructors will have to show clients how to do movements or help with the tidying of the gym, which will involve lifting and moving weights
- Teamwork skills are key as fitness directors will work in teams with other fitness professionals to give their clients the best possible experience
- Problem solving skills as group fitness instructors will have to evaluate each client’s level of fitness and create appropriate fitness plans
Group exercise instructors are likely to work more hours than other professions, with many finding themselves working around 50 hours per week. On top of this, group exercise instructors may be required to work antisocial hours, such as early mornings, evenings or weekends.
According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for fitness trainers and instructors is $40,390. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $21,110, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $75,400.
The employment of fitness trainers and instructors is projected to grow 13 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. This increase in employment is expected to continue as more and more people are realising the benefits of exercise.
Group exercise instructors can easily progress to specialized personal trainers with some additional training. There are also self employment opportunities for group exercise instructors and personal trainers.