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.

Sample of reported job titles: Aerobics Instructor, Fitness Instructor, Fitness Specialist, Fitness Technician, Fitness Trainer, Group Exercise Instructor, Group Fitness Instructor, Personal Trainer, Private Trainer, Yoga Instructor

Occupation-Specific Information

Tasks

  • 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.
  • 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.

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Technology Skills

Hot technology Hot Technologies are requirements frequently included in employer job postings.

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Occupational Requirements

Work Activities

  • Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

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Detailed Work Activities

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Work Context

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Experience Requirements

Job Zone

Title
Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education
Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience
Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples
These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.
SVP Range
1-2 years of preparation (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Training & Credentials

State training
Local training
Certifications
Apprenticeships
Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov external site to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.

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Worker Requirements

Skills

  • Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
  • Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.

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Knowledge

  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Psychology — Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

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Education

How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:

  • 57%
     
    responded: Post-secondary certificate required
  • 14%
     
    responded: High school diploma or equivalent requiredmore info
  • 10%
     
    responded: Associate’s degree required

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Worker Characteristics

Abilities

  • Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
  • Gross Body Coordination — The ability to coordinate the movement of your arms, legs, and torso together when the whole body is in motion.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Stamina — The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without "giving out" or fatiguing.
  • Dynamic Strength — The ability to exert muscle force repeatedly or continuously over time. This involves muscular endurance and resistance to muscle fatigue.
  • Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
  • Dynamic Flexibility — The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Gross Body Equilibrium — The ability to keep or regain your body balance or stay upright when in an unstable position.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.

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Interests

Interest code: SRE
Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
  • Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

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Work Values

  • Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

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Work Styles

  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

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Workforce Characteristics

Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2021)
$19.57 hourly, $40,700 annual
State wages
Local wages
Employment (2020)
309,800 employees
Projected growth (2020-2030)
Much faster than average (15% or higher)
Projected job openings (2020-2030)
69,100
State trends
Top industries (2020)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021 wage data external site and 2020-2030 employment projections external site. “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

State job openings
Local job openings

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More Information

Related Occupations

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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