Opportunities and avenues for better income as a fitness instructor have never been better before. With more businesses recognizing the importance of and benefits of healthy employees – more fitness programs are offered in large and small organizations. Wellness and fitness programs are also promoted in the corporate sector through benefits and compensating for the gym fees etc.

Aging baby boomers are healthy and they want to stay healthy – a fitness instructor or a fitness program is more in demand at health clubs these days.

Our younger generation needs adequate training as well – with obesity on the rise a fitness instructor can help a generation get on their feet and be healthy. You can be in the “do-good” “feel-good” job with added benefits to your health if you choose a career as a fitness instructor.

With health club memberships on the rise and the growing demand for this profession, it is most likely that the earning potential increases for those in wellness, fitness career.

If you are looking for a career as a fitness instructor it is first suggested to gain a thorough knowledge and requirements of the profession, you can get some very good tips here from Sheldon Wesley – a fitness instructor in the Bay Area, California, who might inspire you to take on a career as a fitness instructor.

As a fitness instructor you may find your career in a gym or a health club, in your own studio, as a personal trainer or even as a corporate fitness expert. It all depends on where your interests are how you want to diversify your talent and expertise.

An interview with Sheldon Wesley – FITNESS INSTRUCTOR

What Skills and personal attributes required to be a fitness instructor?


  • You body is your business card, be in the best of the shape.

You have to really like exercising. Keep yourself motivated and the best way to do that is to exercise everyday. You must have a passion for fitness.

  • Learn to get along with the people.

Being a fitness expert is a peoples’ job. Learn to know what your clients want even if they do not know what they want or not communicating to you entirely.

  • Gain knowledge.

Besides any of your formal education I would advice you to go for a personal training certification program. If you want to join health club then you need to have some sort of certification. The duration of the training can be over a week to a year. I would suggest that take up certification courses in Anatomy / Physiology/ Kinesiology and/or Nutrition. It would help a lot in understanding how the body and the heart work.

Although, the best education I got had nothing to do with certification it had only to do hanging out with the people in the fitness centers and clubs , again- you must learn to deal with people.

What advantages do you see in being a fitness instructor?

I am my own boss. From the time I get up. To making decisions on my daily schedule till the day ends. No one tells me what to do.

You make as much money as you build up on clientele.

Some drawbacks in this profession?

Drawbacks could be having some inconsistency in your profession. You don’t know how much you will bring in a particular month. Some days many clients sign up, other days some clients drop off and some months you do not have clients. You do not know how a many people you may get in a month.

Also, since many fitness instructors work part-time and not employed by an organization, they might have to take care of their own health benefits, insurance, or retirement plans.

But hey, you do get to use the gym to take care of your fitness!

What would be a fast and easy path to be a trainer / instructor?

The easiest way to personal training is to go to a gym say, 24 Hour Fitness. Apply as a trainer and they train you for free. Note: this is a no cost start-up that they offer you; you do not have to pay anything. When training is done, you work with the clients in the gym. When you have gained enough experience and feel that you are ready to move on, you can join bigger clubs or start on your own.

But hey, remember, the training is cost free, an incentive enough to be a fitness instructor!

What is a typical work day for you as a personal trianer?

You have to be ready to spent major hours on your daily schedule.

For me, the day starts really early, might start at 5 for an early morning crowd who want to workout before leaving for work. The morning slot lasts usually 5am till 10 or 11 am.

You might have some gaps in the afternoon when everyone is at worked then again you have the night time when people want to workout, usually 5 pm to 8 pm.

Usually when you training yourself or build your routines then afternoon is the slot you get for yourself.

Also remember for your own business you have to be on your own. You car may be your home for the whole day, be prepared and organize your food and clothes for the day if you are full time trainer. You don’t want to run back and forth when you are between client sites. Also be prepared to sleep in your car too!

Some tips


  • If you are working outside of the health club then have your own liability insurance.
  • Be prepared for the day before the day begins.
  • Keep fit, always.
  • Learn new techniques in fitness training to keep abreast of competition.

Contact Sheldon Wesley

Sheldon is willing to be mentor to those who want to take-up fitness training as a career. You can find Sheldon’s contact information and bio at http://www.footworksfitness.com/


Career Path as a Fitness Instructor

Quoting Michael Farr in the book titled 100 Fastest Growing Career:

Personal trainers may advance to head trainer, with responsibility for hiring and overseeing the personal training staff and for bringing in new personal training clients.

Group fitness instructor may be promoted to group exercise director, responsible for hiring and coordinating exercise classes.

A next possible steps is the fitness director who manages fitness budget and staff. the general manager’s man focus is on financial aspect of the organization, particularly setting and achieving sales goals; in a small fitness enter however the general manager is usually responsible and involved with all aspects of running the facility.

Some instructors go into business for themselves and open their own fitness centers.


How much does a fitness instructor earn?

Of course it depends from country to country, working in a city or suburb, your experience, certification and training, your people’s skills as well as your personal marketing abilities. So there is no one answer to this question; you will have to ask around and do your research, what is presented here are some stats based on research on the internet:

In the US:

The U.S. national average salary for a certified personal trainer is $34,000 – $48,000. Why the range? Because of all those other factors listed above. Many trainers earn over $60,000 and if you start your own personal training business you can easily grow to over $120,000 per year ($150,000 if you sell complimentary products and services).(Source: http://www.aftacertification.com/ )

In today’s market, some personal trainers earn $50 – $150 per training session. After building a successful clientele, you can easily earn $50,000 – $ 80,000 per year!

In the UK:

(Source: http://www.discovery.uk.com/salaries-in-fitness.html )

As a rule of thumb, if you are employed by a gym then you should be looking to earn between £16k – £20k in your first year but this does vary wildly and each facility will have its own arrangements for remuneration.

Freelance Personal Trainer can get as high as £500 per month in some clubs.