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Fitness Trainer or Aerobics Instructor

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1-2 years post-secondary training

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What They Do

Exercise Trainers and Group Fitness Instructors Career Video

About This Career

Instructs or coaches groups or individuals in exercise activities for the primary purpose of personal fitness. Demonstrates techniques and form, observes participants, and explains to them corrective measures necessary to improve their skills. Develops and implements individualized approaches to exercise.

This career is part of the Human Services cluster Personal Care Services pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Evaluates individuals' abilities, needs, and physical conditions, and develops suitable training programs to meet any special requirements.
  • Observes participants and informs them of corrective measures necessary for skill improvement.
  • Plans routines, chooses appropriate music, and chooses different movements for each set of muscles, depending on participants' capabilities and limitations.
  • Offers alternatives during classes to accommodate different levels of fitness.
  • Teaches proper breathing techniques used during physical exertion.
  • Monitors participants' progress and adapts programs as needed.
  • Instructs participants in maintaining exertion levels to maximize benefits from exercise routines.
  • Explains and enforces safety rules and regulations governing sports, recreational activities, and the use of exercise equipment.
  • Teaches and demonstrates use of gymnastic and training equipment, such as trampolines and weights.
  • Administers emergency first aid, wraps injuries, treats minor chronic disabilities, or refers injured persons to physicians.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Maintaining a body position that prevents falling when in an unstable position
  • Moving the arms, legs and torso together when the whole body is in motion
  • Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching quickly and repeatedly
  • Using muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring
  • Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Exerting oneself physically over long periods of time without getting out of breath
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Private Trainer
  • Fitness Technician
  • Fitness Instructor
  • Fitness Specialist
  • Group Exercise Instructor
  • Group Fitness Instructor
  • Personal Trainer — Provides a comprehensive one-on-one educational fitness program through realistic goal setting and education.
  • Yoga Instructor


  • Email Support
  • 1-800-GO-TO-XAP (1-800-468-6927)
    From outside the U.S., please call +1 (424) 750-3900
  • North Dakota Career Resource Network
    ndcrn@nd.gov | (701) 328-9733