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Careers In Fitness: A List of Fitness Jobs That Pay Well


Find out about the many different professional roles available to those seeking a career in the UK fitness industry: what they entail, how much they pay, and what's required to get into them...

Gym Instructor

Gym instructors are the foot soldiers of the fitness industry. These are the guys in gyms and fitness clubs who show patrons how to use exercise equipment effectively and safely.

The earning potential of gym instructors is limited, but the job is easy to do, provides an excellent opportunity to get experience working with people in a fitness setting, and makes an ideal stepping stone to a better role in the industry, such as a personal trainer.

Another useful thing about this role is that it enables fitness professionals to meet people who are interested in personal training, so they have a chance of getting clients ready for when they become a personal trainer, if that is their next step.

To be a gym instructor, you will need to complete a Level 2 Gym Instructor qualification. This course is quick and easy to do and does not have any entry requirements. We provide this course online, part-time or full-time at a very affordable rate.

Personal Trainer

A personal trainer is one of the most highly coveted positions in the health and fitness industry, because of the potential financial rewards, the easiness of self-employment and the job satisfaction that can be had.

Personal trainers usually work with clients one-on-one, but sometimes hold group training classes. Most personal trainers are self-employed, with the majority basing themselves in a single fitness establishment so as to get easy access to paying clients, and others being more peripatetic and training clients in outdoor locations or a client’s local gym.

Most personal trainers earn between £18k and £60k, depending on what their clients pay, the fitness establishment they are based in, and how well they market themselves. Some personal trainers manage to setup their own training brands with their own staff of personal trainers and earn income in the range of £80k to £100k.

To become a personal trainer, you need a Level 2 Gym Instructor qualification and a Level 3 Personal Trainer qualification. These courses can be purchased together or separately and done online, part-time or full-time with us. You will also need a First Aid Certificate, but that is included in our courses.

Aerobics Instructor

An aerobics instructor, also sometimes called an exercise to music instructor, delivers group exercise classes that are performed to music. This role, more than any other described here, requires one to be physically fit and have decent stamina, so as to perform the exercises along with the class in demonstration.

Most aerobics instructors are self-employed and work for multiple fitness clubs, invoicing each establishment for the time spent teaching there each month. Others work as in-house aerobics instructor for a single establishment.

Aerobics instructors normally teach about three or four classes a day, and make between £25 and £50 an hour, depending on the establishments they teach in and other things like how many participants are in their classes or what time of day the classes are.

Aerobics instructing, like gym instructing, is a role that makes an excellent starting point for a career in the fitness industry, as it provides valuable experience and opens doors to many other more challenging and more rewarding roles.

To become an aerobics instructor, you will need a Level 2 Exercise to Music qualification. We provide this course online, part-time or full-time at a very affordable price. The course has no entry requirements so anybody can do it.

Pilates Instructor

Pilates instructors usually work in this role in addition to something else health and fitness related, such as yoga, physiotherapy or some type or postural analysis. It is less common for gym instructors, aerobics instructors or personal trainers to branch out into Pilates instruction.

Pilates instructors tend to be female and middle-aged, and usually teach classes in different fitness establishments in the same way as aerobics instructors do, although some instructors work in dedicated Pilates studios.

There are several paths to qualifying as a Pilates instructor in the UK, one of which is the Level 3 Pilates Instructor qualification that we provide online, part-time or full-time.

Membership Sales Adviser

A membership sales adviser is an employee in a health club who is responsible for selling memberships in the club to members of the public.

Fitness establishments want people to occupy this role who are good at sales and have good conversation skills and personal magnetism. Qualifications are not necessary, but some establishments do prefer their membership sales advisers to have a Level 2 Gym Instructor qualification.

All sales advisers receive in-house training for this role that teaches them how to deal with people in person, over the phone or by email, how to answer the common questions that people ask, and how to handle things like discounts and bonus offers.

Membership sales advisers are usually paid a basic salary of about £16k or £17k a year, but they will often receive good bonuses if they meet sales targets, so moving into this role can be an excellent way for gym instructors in a health club to increase their earnings.

Some establishments in the prominent health club chain Fitness First have been known to give their entire sales force bonuses of up to £800 a month as a reward for individual and collective sales performance.

Health Club Manager

The manager of a health club or leisure centre is the individual ultimately responsible for the day-to-day running of the facility, ensuring the quality of its services, and marketing it as a business. Much of this is delegated to a deputy manager and a group of line managers of different departments.

There is no specific qualification that a person must possess in order to fill this role, but having some form of business or management qualification would likely be helpful to anyone aspiring to be a health club manager.

Most health club managers are people who have started in a role like a gym instructor or lifeguard and have worked their way up by advancing through middle roles like department manager, duty manager and deputy manager. Others are external appointments who acquired business and management experience in other fields.

A lot of health club chains prefer to train and promote their own people so that when an individual assumes the role of manager they will already have an excellent understanding of how an establishment works.

The managers of health clubs in the private sector usually earn in the region of £40k a year and are paid annual bonuses based on the income generated by their establishments.

To anyone wishing to one day manage a health club, we recommend getting a fitness qualification that will allow you to work as personal trainer or gym instructor in a health club, spend some time doing that job and getting very good at it, then gradually try to involve yourself more in the business side of things and ask about internal development schemes for staff.

Thanks for reading. If you have any questions, feel free to phone us on 0208 543 1017, or leave a comment in the section below and we will get back to you.


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