Blog

How To Become A Fitness Instructor

how to become a fitness instructor

Learning how to become a fitness instructor will be the first step that many take when entering the health and fitness industry. This process can be intimidating for newcomers, so to help with this OriGym has created this definitive guide covering topics such as:

A Personal Training Diploma is an entry-level qualification that can act as a launching pad for your career. Once obtained, you will be able to work as both a fitness instructor and personal trainer respectively.

For more information about the courses we offer, check out OriGym’s FREE prospectus.

 

Enquire to Become a Fitness Instructor

Kick-start your career in fitness today by enquiring about our Level 3 Fitness Instructing course!

Qualifications Needed to Become a Fitness Instructor

Graduate Qualifications Needed to Become a Fitness Instructor

In order to learn how to become a fitness instructor in Ireland, you will need to earn certain qualifcations! 

While the answer to this can vary from one employer to another, this section seeks to provide general insight into what qualifications you will need to obtain in order to find employment as a fitness instructor.

#1 - Level 3 Fitness Instructor Qualification

How to become a qualified fitness instructor Level 2

When discussing the necessary qualifications needed to become a fitness instructor, earning a Level 3 Gym Instructor Certificate is an essential requirement! 

This course will act as your definitive guide to becoming a fitness instructor, providing vital knowledge and skills required to succeed in the industry. For example, here you will learn how to plan and deliver exercise classes to groups of varying sizes. 

When researching job vacancies you will see why the Level 3 qualification is regarded as one of the most important steps to becoming a fitness instructor - Without this initial training you will be regarded as unqualified, and will not be able to apply for roles such as this:

How to Become a Fitness Instructor In Ireland

For reference - When researching these courses and job roles you will notice that the titles gym instructor and fitness instructor are used interchangeably. 

Now that you understand the necessity of this qualification, you will likely be questioning ‘how long does it take to become a fitness instructor?’. 

When enrolled on OriGym’s Level 3 Fitness Instructor Course the answer to this question will vary depending on how you choose to study. For example, we offer our student’s the following options:

  • Full-Time Course - This runs from Monday to Friday, 9am-5:30pm and is conducted from one of OriGym's private training centres. The full-time course combines both practical training sessions with classroom led theory teaching, typically completed in 4 weeks.
  • Part-Time Course - Combines in-person practical workshops with learning from OriGym’s online learning platform. Typically completed in 8 weeks.
  • Online Course - With no deadlines you can work on the qualification at your own pace using our online training platform!

Choosing a study method that works for you will ensure that you learn how to become a fitness instructor at a comfortable pace. 

#2 - Level 4 Personal Training Qualification

What qualifications do you need to become a fitness instructor PT Certificate

While employers will typically prioritise the Level 2 qualification, occasionally you will need to hold a Level 4 Personal Training Qualification in order to become a gym instructor at certain establishments.

Note - In order to enrol in the Level 4 PT qualification, you will first need to complete the Level 2 fitness instructor certification as a prerequisite.

While not a common occurrence, this qualification will be a necessity when employers hire you for a hybrid role - e.g. becoming a group fitness instructor and PT in their establishment. 

An example of this can be found below, where it’s started to both qualifications are listed as 'preferable' to become employed by Energie Fitness:

How to become a fitness instructor in Ireland Level 4

If you’re looking to become a gym instructor and PT in a hybrid capacity, it will be worth enrolling on a Personal Training Diploma. In doing so, you can earn both your level 3 & 4 qualifications in one course, rather than enrolling on each separately. 

Again the question of ‘How long does it take to become a fitness instructor and PT?’ is subjective to how you choose to study. When enrolled on the personal training diploma you can complete the course in the following ways:

  • Full-Time - On average completed in 4 weeks 
  • Part-Time - On average completed in 8 weeks
  • Online - On average completed in 12 weeks (No deadlines associated with this study method, you can take as long as you require)

Once the diploma is completed you can become a personal trainer alongside your regular fitness instructor duties, working with both classes and individual clients respectively.

Note - When enrolled on either of these courses to become a fitness instructor,  the quality of your education is guaranteed, as all of OriGym’s qualifications are regulated by CIMSPA (The Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity). 

Earning a CIMSPA recognised qualification will therefore help you become a gym instructor, as employers will know you’re trained to the highest possible standards.

How Much Does Fitness Instructor Training Cost?

How to become a certified fitness instructor online cost

When discussing these essential qualifications you may now be questioning ‘can I become a fitness instructor for free?’. 

In short, the answer is no - while there are technically free/cheap fitness instructor ‘training’ courses available online, these qualifications likely won’t be recognised by employers in the same regards as CIMSPA approved courses.

This means that you will have to pay a fee to learn how to become a fitness instructor in Ireland - The cost of which will vary depending on which provider you choose to study with.

At OriGym our qualifications to become a gym instructor start at just €699.00 for the Level 3 course. This comes with no hidden fees, and unlimited FREE exam resists.

Alternatively, you could choose to complete your training to become a fitness instructor as part of a package. Purchasing one of these deals will work out cheaper than paying for multiple courses separately, as evident from the following screenshot below:

become a fitness instructor with a Package IRELAND

Becoming a fitness instructor is somewhat of a pricey investment, to help with this OriGym offers 0% interest flexible payment plans for every one of our qualifications - ensuring you pay at a rate that’s financially feasible for you!

#3 - First Aid Qualification

How do I become a certified fitness instructor First Aid

When researching ‘what qualifications do you need to become a fitness instructor?’, the necessity of first aid training will often be brought into question.

Some employers will outright list first-aid training among the necessary qualifications needed to become a fitness instructor at their facility:

how to become a fitness instructor in Ireland First Aid

In this instance, you should seek training with respected providers such as The Irish Red Cross. For reference, these programmes can range in price but with the Emergency Course starting at €85 per person.

In addition to this, when discussing ‘what qualifications do you need to become a fitness instructor?’, it must be stressed that first-aid training is absolutely essential when running your own business

Through obtaining this certificate, you will be able to reassure your customers that they are in safe hands whilst attending your fitness classes.

In contrast, some employers may offer first aid training once you become a group fitness instructor under a contract. 

How to Become a Gym Instructor With Insurance 

How to Become a Gym Instructor With Insurance

Once you have obtained the necessary qualifications to become a fitness instructor you will need to invest in insurance.

Purchasing insurance is one of the necessary steps to becoming a fitness instructor, as with it comes legal protection in the event a client makes a claim against you/your practice - In severe cases insurance can save you from jail time, so purchasing it is a must! 

Those questioning ‘how can I become a fitness instructor with insurance?’, will have to conduct their own independent research to find a provider that meets their needs. On average you should look for coverage in the following areas:

  • Public Liability Insurance - Offers legal protection in the event a class attendee is injured or falls ill under your supervision - e.g. they can claim their injury is due to your faulty equipment.
  • Professional Indemnity Insurance - Will protect you in the event your teaching style is brought into question - e.g. a client blames their injury on the advice you provided.
  • Loss of Earnings Coverage - In the event you’re personally injured and can’t work for prolonged periods, this coverage will ensure you’re financially compensated. 
  • Equipment Insurance - If your personal equipment is damaged, stolen, or lost this coverage will provide financially compensation

Become a gym instructor in Ireland

First Ireland is an ideal provider for those who are looking to become a group fitness instructor, as their coverage complies with the aforementioned categories. 

When purchasing fitness instructor insurance you will be expected to pay a set fee every month - this will be specifc from one business to the next. Therefore, be sure to fill out information as it pertains to your business to generate an accurate quote from your insurance provider.

Be aware that some employers may provide insurance for their employees. This is typically reserved for full-time contracted fitness instructors, with freelancers expected to have their own.

Employment Opportunities When Becoming a Fitness Instructor

Employment Opportunities When Becoming a Fitness Instructor in The Uk

Those who are researching ‘how to become a fitness instructor’, will predominantly be interested in learning about the employment opportunities available to you following your training.

To highlight what prospects are available to you, this section will act as a guide to becoming a fitness instructor in the following positions:

  • Full-Time 
  • Part-Time
  • Self-employed

#1 - Becoming a Group Fitness Instructor in a Full-Time Contracted Position 

Becoming a Group Fitness Instructor in a Contracted Position

Those looking to become a group fitness instructor in a contracted position will typically work in one primary location. These sites include:

  • Gyms 
  • Health Clubs
  • Leisure Centers 

When employed in this capacity you will be expected to plan and teach fitness classes to the gym’s existing customer base, alongside a plethora of other duties such as:

  • Conducting gym inductions for new customers
  • Maintaining a presence on the gym floor to offer advice and guidance
  • Helping with fitness assessments 
  • Cleaning the equipment and facilities at various points throughout your shift

Such responsibilities can be seen in the following job description for a position within B-active Fitness Club:

Becoming a Group Fitness Instructor in a Contracted Position Ireland example

Note - This isn’t to say all employers will require you to complete these responsibilities. Some may ask more or less of you, which is why it’s important to read job descriptions diligently prior to applying.

When becoming a group fitness instructor in a contracted position you will be working part or full-time. Some of the benefits that come along with this include fixed hours, and a reliable salary.

These positions are regularly advertised on employment websites such as Indeed and Glassdoor, so be sure to check these sites regularly for vacancies within your area.

For those wondering ‘what do I need to become a fitness instructor in this capacity?’, be aware that employers will require you to submit both your CV and cover letter at a minimum

Any additional information or documents that are required will be outlined within the respective application.

 

Enquire to Become a Fitness Instructor

Kick-start your career in fitness today by enquiring about our Level 3 Fitness Instructing course!

#2 - How to Become a Qualified Fitness Instructor Working Part-Time 

What do I need to become a fitness instructor freelance

Alternatively, once you’ve earned the necessary qualifications and learned how to become a fitness instructor in Ireland, you may then decide to work on a part-time basis. 

When employed in this capacity your primary responsibility will be to plan and lead fitness classes. This means that you will only be expected to work reduced hours, as and when your employer requires you.

An example of the hours you can expect to work when becoming a certified fitness instructor on a part-time basis can be found below from Dublin's Raw Gym:

How to become a fitness instructor in Ireland Part-time

Pursuing this form of employment will allow you to work at multiple different locations throughout your working week. For example, you could spend 10 hours at the advertised Raw Gym site, and the rest of your time at other gyms in your local area.

If you want to become a fitness instructor, applying for part-time positions will allow you to have more control over your work schedule. This is therefore an ideal option for those who have other obligations, such as education or full-time employment elsewhere. 

#3 - How to Become a Gym Instructor With Your Own Business

How to Become a Gym Instructor With Your Own Business

Once you have gained initial experience working in a contracted or freelance position you may decide to pursue self-employment, and start your own business teaching fitness classes.

Learning how to become a fitness instructor on a self-employed basis can be a daunting task for some. To help with this process, this section will briefly touch on the necessary steps you must take in order to start your own business:

  • Step 1: Decide on What Fitness Classes You Want to Teach - This decision will influence every aspect of your business, from the marketing strategies you implement to the customers you teach. Try to think about how you can put your own ‘spin’ on popular classes to make your business stand out from competitors.
  • Step 2: Gain The Necessary Qualifications - Naturally you will need a Level 3 Fitness Instructor Qualification at a minimum, but additional CPDs can also help you teach specific classes - e.g. a Kettlebells CPD could teach you how to effectively incorporate this equipment into your sessions.
  • Step 3: Decide on a Location for Your Business - There are many options available to you - e.g. you could rent a space at a local gym, a publicly owned venue, or outdoors. 

PT Business How to become a gym class instructor

  • Step 4: Organise The Legalities - Beyond getting insured, you will also need to fulfil other responsibilities, such as registering your business with the Government, qualifying in First Aid, and completing a DBS check.
  • Step 5: Conduct Market Research - This can help with key components of your business, such as identifying your target demographic and identifying your competitors.
  • Step 6: Set Prices for Your Services - Your decision can be influenced by a variety of factors such as your location, how much others are charging, and the amount of prior experience you have.
  • Step 7: Market Your Services to Attract Clients - Marketing can range from creating social media accounts, to setting up a Google My Business account. This strategy must be as varied as possible in order to attract a larger number of clients.

This information is a simplified guide to becoming a fitness instructor on a self-employed basis. For a more in-depth look at this process, check out our exploration of how to start your own fitness class business.

If you’re looking to learn more about how to become a fitness instructor, then the following OriGym articles may also be of interest:

What Salary Can You Expect When Becoming a Certified Fitness Instructor 

Become a fitness instructor salary

When researching topics such as how to become a fitness instructor in Ireland, some readers will undoubtedly be curious as to what salary you can expect to earn when operating in this role.

It’s difficult to give an average estimate for this figure, as there are a number of variables that could influence your salary, such as:

  • Your location - On average fitness instructors in cities such as Dublin earn more than the rest of the country
  • The amount of experience you hold - Newly qualified instructors will earn less than those with years of experience
  • What capacity you work in - e.g.contracted, or self-employed
  • The number of hours you worked

Therefore, what is considered an ‘average salary’ for one fitness instructor may differ to another. 

To exemplify this, check out this stat from Indeed, which estimates that Fitness Instructors will earn base salary of €23K per year:

How do you become a fitness instructor Salary Ireland 2

In contrast to this, Salary Expert reprots a much higher annual base salary:

How do you become a fitness instructor Salary Ireland 1

These differing statistics prove how variables can influence the overall salary of a fitness instructor. You should therefore take these figures as mere estimates, and not concrete representations of what you can earn once you become a fitness instructor.

One thing to consider however, is that you’ll likely earn a higher wage when operating your own fitness instructing business. This is because you will have direct control over the pricing structure, rather than relying on an employer to set these rates.

For example, check out the following pricing package from Dublin-based BodyCoach to see how their pricing system opperates.

Bodycoach how to become a fitness instructor Ireland

With this information, you should be able to understand that a fitness instructor's salary will consistently vary, making it somewhat difficult to present an 'average' salary figure.

Career Progression Opportunities After Becoming a Fitness Instructor 

While the primary focus of this article is to discuss ‘how to become a certified fitness class instructor’, you may wish to progress onto other career opportunities once you have secured employment in this position.

To ensure you understand the options available to you, this section will breakdown career progression opportunities that become possible after becoming a group fitness instructor. 

#1 - Progress to Personal Training After Learning How To Become a Fitness Class Instructor

Progress to Personal Training After Learning How To Become a Fitness Class Instructor

After learning how to become a gym instructor many fitness professionals choose to advance their practice by becoming a personal trainer

By pursuing this career you will be able to train clients on a one-to-one basis, creating bespoke workout programmes in addition to teaching your regular fitness classes. 

In order to qualify for this position you will need to earn Level 4 Qualification in Personal Training - Remember, you can instead opt to enrol on the Diploma in Personal Training, which will combine both the Level 3 fitness instructor and Level 4 PT qualifications respectively.

Once you have earned a Level 4 qualification you will be able to add PT services to your self-employed fitness business, or apply for contracted positions such as the following example:

Becoming a Group Fitness Instructor in Ireland Level 4

As evident from the proposed wage above, you can expect to earn a decent salary as a personal trainer

This is supported by statistics gathered from Indeed users, which highlighted how PTs in Dublin can earn a base salary of €33k every year:

How do you become a fitness instructor Salary Ireland 3

One thing to keep in mind however, is that your total earnings as a PT can again be influenced by:

  • Your location
  • What capacity you work in - e.g. freelance, contracted, or self-employed
  • The number of clients you have
  • The services you provide - PTs who are a specialist in a specific area will likely earn more money than holistic trainers

With that being said, you will notice that your earning potential significantly increases once you become a fitness instructor who offers personal training sessions, in addition to their regular classes.

#2 - Progress and Develop a Fitness Class Niche

How to Become a Certified Fitness Class Instructor With a Niche

When it comes to progressing your career as a fitness instructor, developing a niche will allow you to teach specialist exercise classes that you would have previously been unqualified to lead.

Those questioning ‘how do I become a certified fitness instructor with a specialism?’ should look into Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses. For example, at OriGym we offer the likes of:

Through completing these training courses you will be able to apply for job roles other than a holistic fitness instructor. For instance, the following advertisement requires an instructor to hold a Strength and Conditioning CPD:

how to become a fitness instructor Ireland example s&c

As evident from this example, learning how to become a qualified gym instructor with a niche can increase your earning potential. This is due to the fact that you’ll be regarded as an expert within that particular field, and thus your teachings will be more valuable.

This won’t just positively affect the earnings of your contracted fitness instructors, as if you’re self employed you could justify charging an increased price for this expert guidance. 

#3 - Become a Fitness Instructor Who Offers Nutritional Advice

How to Become a Fitness Instructor Who Offers Nutritional Advice

Another way to advance your career after becoming a certified fitness instructor is to earn a Level 5 Advanced Sports Nutrition qualification.

This course will offer beneficial insight into the relationship between nutrition and physical activity, allowing you to become a fitness nutrition specialist in the process.

Upon earning this qualification, you will be able to incorporate nutrition-based services into your role as a fitness instructor. For example, you could start creating meal plans that help to facilitate the goals of your class attendees.

This can be seen in the following online fitness class package from Sheer Fitness, which offered meal plans that help class attendees looking to shape and tone their bodies:

Ireland Qualifications Needed to Become a Fitness Instructor

These meal plans/nutritional advice can help to elevate the value of your fitness classes. Once included in your packages, you will therefore be able to charge a higher price, and earn a greater salary.

In addition to this, incorporating this additional service can allow you to attract a new demographic of clients who would have otherwise opted to go for a competitor.

#4 - Progress Your Career By Becoming a Fitness Tutor/Assessor 

After Becoming a Gym Instructor Progress on as a Fitness TutorAssessor

When looking to progress your career as a gym instructor, you could also pursue opportunities as a fitness tutor. 

For reference, this role will see you teaching and qualifying aspiring fitness professionals. Typically, fitness tutors will work with training providers or colleges, ensuring that all students meet the necessary requirements to work in the industry.

This is an ideal job role, as you already know how to become a qualified fitness instructor. You can thus use this experience to better educate another crop of aspiring fitness professionals, all of whom want to work in a similar field to you.

In order to pursue vacancies such as the example below, you will need to complete a Fitness Teaching Course. Once graduated you can expect to earn a lucrative annual salary of €39k, according to the Ecconomics Research Institute.

How to become a fitness trainer Ireland salary

For more information on this position, check out our in-depth exploration of how to become a Fitness Tutor.

Before You Go! 

Now that you understand how to become a fitness instructor, you can begin pursuing this position in whatever capacity you deem fit. For some this will involve applying for contracted roles, while others will prefer to become self-employed.

Regardless of which form of employment you decide to pursue, a Diploma in Personal Training will help to present you as an ideal candidate, capable of training both classes and individual clients respectively.

You can also download our FREE course prospectus for further information about all of OriGym’s courses.

 

Enquire to Become a Fitness Instructor

Kick-start your career in fitness today by enquiring about our Level 3 Fitness Instructing course!

Written by James Bickerstaff

Content Writer & Fitness Enthusiast

James holds a BA (Hons) in Creative Writing and Film Studies and has recently gained a MA degree in Film, both of which he attained from Liverpool John Moores University. After taking up the couch to 5K challenge on a whim, James found a new passion for running, which he combines with his love for healthy cooking and writing. All of this led him to becoming a copywriter for OriGym.  

When he is not writing content for the site, James can be found researching new recipes, writing music reviews, reading and watching latest film releases.

Recommended Posts

What Does a Personal Training Course Involve?

What Does a Personal Training Course Involve? 

You may know what the job of a personal trainer is but just what does a personal training course involve? There’s a lot more to becomi …
Fitness Instructor: Job Description & Responsibilities

Fitness Instructor: Job Description & Responsibilities 

If you’re looking to kickstart your career as a fitness instructor, you’ll have to read a fitness instructor job description to …
Fitness Instructor vs Personal Trainer: What is The Difference

Fitness Instructor vs Personal Trainer: What is The Difference 

Determining the differences between the role of a fitness instructor vs personal trainer can be difficult, especially if you’re a newc …