Fitness Instructor: Job Description & Responsibilities

fitness instructor job description

If you’re looking to kickstart your career as a fitness instructor, you’ll have to read a fitness instructor job description to understand what the role involves. 

To help you understand the role of a fitness instructor, we’ll provide you with guidance and information about the following topics:

Before we begin, did you know you can kickstart your career as a fitness instructor with OriGym’s Level 4 Personal Trainer Diploma?

Alternatively, you can learn about our full range of courses by downloading our FREE prospectus.


Become a Fitness Instructor

Become a certified fitness instructor with OriGym's award-nominated courses

What Are The Responsibilities Of A Fitness Instructor?

fitness instructor job description

When you read a fitness instructor job description, you’ll learn that your primary goal is to help people improve their physical health when you work in the fitness industry.

In this role, you’ll act as the first point of call for gym members, where you’ll be responsible for: 

  • Performing inductions- showing new members where changing facilities and fire exits are, where different equipment is situated and who the building’s first aider is.
  • Assisting members with technique and equipment use- help members maintain correct posture and proper form.
  • Keeping gym environments safe- provide frequent checks on equipment to make sure they’re functioning correctly and the floor is free from slippery surfaces and hazards
  • Teaching group exercise classes- planning classes that you later deliver to several gym members at once.

Besides working on the gym floor, you may also be responsible for answering emails, contacting management for assistance during your shift and registering new members.

When you apply for fitness instructor positions, you’ll see these responsibilities listed on a fitness instructor job description, such as this one from Ocean Fitness Centre in Galway, Ireland:

fitness instructor job description example

It’s important to note that this position is not the same as working as a personal trainer, which requires a greater level of expertise.

For example, as a fitness instructor, you won’t be able to:

  • Work with members 1-2-1.
  • Write training programmes that reflect the needs of individual members.
  • Perform medical assessments.
  • Work with high-risk members.

Now that you have an understanding of a fitness instructor’s responsibilities, you’ll next need to know what qualifications you require to become one.

What Qualifications Do You Need To Become A Fitness Instructor?

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When reading the job description of a fitness instructor, you’ll notice that you’ll need a level 3 gym instructor qualification to apply for jobs, such as this position at The Heritage in County Laois:

fitness instructor job description 38

A level 3 qualification in gym instructing is vital to your development as it can teach you a wide range of skills, including:

  • Understanding human anatomy and physiology
  • The principles of exercise and fitness
  • How to reduce the risk of injury to people

When enrolling in this course, make sure it is endorsed by CIMSPA and regulated by Ofqual. Your instruction, as a result, will be of a professional standard and recognized by employers.


Become a Fitness Instructor

Become a certified fitness instructor with OriGym's award-nominated courses

Insurance Requirements Of A Fitness Instructor

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When you’re reading the job description of a fitness instructor, you’ll discover that most companies require you to have insurance to apply for their position.

There are three essential types of insurance you’ll need to consider securing policies for, including:

  • Public liability
  • Professional indemnity
  • Personal accident

This is because some employers require you to have insurance coverage, whilst others may provide this for you- it’s important to check out the fitness instructor job description to see if you’ll need additional insurance or not. 

At Our Parks Ltd, for instance, they require you to have public and professional liability insurance to apply for their fitness instructor vacancy:

fitness instructor job description 33

If you’re not familiar with these types of insurance, we will provide you with further information to explain what each coverage provides you:

  • Public liability insurance-provides coverage in the event a person is injured whilst under your supervision or property is damaged or lost owned by a third party.
  • Professional indemnity insurance-covers you for claims of professional negligence that resulted in a person becoming injured or ill after following your advice.
  • Equipment insurance-this will provide you with financial coverage for any treatments you require, following an injury at work.

There are plenty of insurance providers who can provide you with this coverage, including Burke Insurance Ltd.

Now that you understand what fitness insurance you require to safely operate as a fitness instructor, you may be questioning what the earning potential of a fitness instructor is.

Salary Expectations Of A Fitness Instructor

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When you’re reading each job description for a fitness instructor, you’ll notice that location and the type of role being offered will influence the salary you could earn.

If you want to know whether a gym that wishes to employ you is offering you a competitive salary, you’ll need to learn what the average salary of a fitness instructor is.

Indeed, for instance, indicates that the average salary of a fitness instructor in Ireland is 25,392:

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This number can vary depending on the region where you plan to work. A Dublin fitness instructor can earn an average of €30,233 compared to €26,626 for a Galway fitness instructor.

This higher salary is largely due to the fact that instructors living in the capital have higher living expenses, thus they need a wage to offset the cost of their bills. 

This figure you can earn will reflect the type of establishment you work at, along with the qualifications and level of expertise you possess.

What Fitness Instructing Position You Can Apply For

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Once you have your qualifications as a fitness instructor and secured your insurance, you’ll notice in a job description of a fitness instructor, there are different places you can work at, including:

  • An employed position
  • Freelance position
  • Self-employed position

Let’s take a look at these employment types in more detail.

#1 Employed Position As A Fitness Instructor

One of the most traditional routes you can go down to get employed as a fitness instructor is to get a job working at a gym, typically with fixed hours per week.

For example, you could apply for this fitness instructor job at The Gym Limited which requires a fitness instructor to carry out fitness assessments and deliver fitness classes:

fitness instructor job description 2

It’s important to note that these types of jobs will require you to work at various times, which is the case here, as the ideal candidate will need to be able to work evenings and weekends too.

Alternatively, you could work as a fitness instructor as part of your community or in a school environment. 

#2 Freelance Positions As A Fitness Instructor

In this fitness class instructor job description, you’ll be responsible for planning and teaching classes.

You’ll also discover, as a result, that hours aren’t fixed, unlike an employed position. It will provide you with greater flexibility when choosing your hours of work which can complement the hours you decide to work at other gyms.

Intension in County Meath, for example, is looking for a Freelance Fitness Instructor, offering a flexible schedule to for the successful applicant:

fitness instructor job description 34

If you’re looking for control of your work schedule, working as a freelance staff member might be a great option for you. 

It’s a line of work you could undertake, particularly if you’re currently employed and are looking to boost your salary.


Become a Fitness Instructor

Become a certified fitness instructor with OriGym's award-nominated courses

#3 Self-Employed Position

If the idea of working in a gym doesn’t appeal to you and you’re looking for alternatives to work as a fitness instructor, then you could seek self-employed work.

This fitness instructor job description would see you renting a private space, likely in a gym/ fitness studio, and arranging classes yourself as well as sourcing your own clients. 

You’ll also need to make sure you have the relevant fitness insurance as covered in our insurance section above.

If you want to teach how you want and at hours that are convenient for you, being a self-employed fitness instructor is beneficial.

Additional Qualifications You Can Take To Improve Your Career Opportunities As A Fitness Instructor

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#1 Complete A Level 3 Personal Trainer Qualification To Become A Personal Trainer

After spending time working as a fitness instructor, you may want to advance your career by becoming a personal trainer.

In addition to carrying out your fitness instructing duties, it will enable you to engage with customers one-on-one and design customised training plans.

To apply for personal trainer positions, first, you will need to complete a level 4 personal training qualification- this is a necessity, as highlighted by this job advert from Unit 17 Health and Fitness in Dublin:

fitness instructor description 24

You’ll be able to earn more money as a PT, enabling you to maintain your role as a fitness instructor and become a personal trainer as a way to add another income stream! 

#2 Complete CPD Qualifications To Offer Specialised Services

Completing CPD qualifications is a great way to increase your employment prospects in the fitness industry.

They can help further your knowledge of health and fitness in general and help you develop specialist skills to improve your fitness instructing income, such as:

As you can see from this job advert from Rise Community, CPD skills are highly sought after in the fitness job market:

fitness instructor job description 35

Since you’ve developed skills in a specialist area, you’ll increase your chances of securing employment as employers will look to retain your skills for the betterment of their business. 

Alternatively, you can use your CPD knowledge to launch your own business if you wish to become self-employed. 


Become a Fitness Instructor

Become a certified fitness instructor with OriGym's award-nominated courses

#3 Complete A Level 5 Nutritionist Qualification To Expand Your Skill Set

Completing a Level 5 sports nutrition qualification is a great way to advance your career in the fitness industry.

You’ll be able to marry your nutritionist knowledge with your experience as a fitness professional to help clients optimise their performance in the gym.

You can recommend diets to help improve a person’s fitness levels and charge more for these additional, specialist services. 

You can then create packages that you could sell online if you wish to become self-employed, such as those offered by Bare Nutrition:

fitness instructor job description 37

This is a great qualification for you to complete at any stage of your fitness career as there are no prerequisites to enrol on the course.

Before You Go!

After reading this article we hope you have all the information you need to understand what’s included in a fitness instructor job description.

Remember, you can enrol on OriGym’s L4 PT Diploma to help kickstart your fitness instructor career. 

You can also learn about our courses by downloading our 2023 course prospectus.

Written by Chris Allsobrook

Senior Content Editor

Chris is a former English teacher, turned content editor. He holds a first-class honours degree in English Language and Creative Writing from the University of Central Lancashire, before going on to complete his teacher training, and obtain a PGCE at Liverpool John Moore’s.

Chris is a keen runner and is currently undertaking both his fitness instructing and personal training qualifications here at OriGym. 

Outside of fitness, you’ll often find him gaming, watching the football, cooking, or spending time with his family.

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