Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Fitness Trainers

Fitness Trainers 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.

Becoming One
Post-secondary certificate
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth

Interest Match

Job description

Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors instruct or coach groups or individuals in exercise activities. Demonstrate techniques and form, observe participants, and explain to them corrective measures necessary to improve their skills.

  • Offer alternatives during classes to accommodate different levels of fitness.
  • Plan routines, choose appropriate music, and choose different movements for each set of muscles, depending on participants’ capabilities and limitations.
  • Evaluate individuals’ abilities, needs, and physical conditions, and develop suitable training programs to meet any special requirements.
  • Observe participants and inform them of corrective measures necessary for skill improvement.
Read more about what does a Fitness Trainer and Aerobics Instructor really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.


Average salary
$44580 per year

Average hourly wage
$21 per hour

Fitness Trainers with little to no experience tend to make between $20160 and $25780 while the more experienced ones can earn over $56760 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
NY $29 $59,520
MA $29 $59,350
DC $27 $56,670
WA $26 $54,220
NJ $26 $54,200

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Fitness Trainer and Aerobics Instructor is to move to a higher paying state like NY. Right now, the highest paying states for Fitness Trainers are NY, MA, DC, WA and NJ.

However, a higher pay at NY doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at NY might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Fitness Trainer and Aerobics Instructor is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Recommended degree level
Post-secondary certificate

We asked other Fitness Trainers what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a Post-Secondary Certificate followed by an Associate’s Degree.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Physical Education Teaching and Coaching
Health and Physical Education/Fitness, General
Sport and Fitness Administration/Management
Physical Fitness Technician
Yoga Teacher Training/Yoga Therapy
Read more about how to become a Fitness Trainer and Aerobics Instructor and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Fitness Trainer and Aerobics Instructor.

Suitable for people who likes to help and teach others
Suitable for people who values relationships between co-workers and customers and wants to work in a friendly non-competitive environment
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
Short working hours (Less than 40 hours per week)
Not suitable for people who likes to follow routines
Salary is below average

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

71% of Fitness Trainers said they were satisfied with their job and 85% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

Ocean Rehab and Fitness

I am the head adaptive fitness coach at Ocean Rehab and Fitness and a fitness educator at North American Council of Inclusive Fitness (NACIF). My Typical Day My day starts at 6:30am where I meet clients downtown Vancouver to train at a studio. Then at 7:30am I will use the gym to complete my own … Read More

Healthy Body Healthy Mind

As a professional fitness trainer, I can vouch that my lifestyle is glamorous. From athletic clothes to working in high maintenance gyms and health centers is something that I enjoy everyday. Personally, I wake up around 4:30 am and get ready for my daily activities. Some of my friends who are also trainers work at … Read More

Whole Intent

My typical work day can vary depending on how many clients I currently have and how many appointments I have booked for that day. In general, I will start my workday around 8:30 am-9:00 am, but may wake up earlier for specially requested client appointments. Throughout the day, I will bounce around the Denver metro … Read More

A digital studio and box gym

I work part-time in the industry, but I teach 6 days a week, with 1-2 classes per teaching day. If it’s a weekday, I will head straight to the gym after work, arriving early for classes in order to deal with any technical difficulties, getting students set up properly for class (for indoor cycling, fitting … Read More


As a former DI athlete who played baseball and basketball in college and suffered a multitude of injuries, I wake up early every morning to ensure that I have enough time to work through my corrective exercise before I begin my own strength and golf-specific training. I start to see clients before the sun rises … Read More


Assuming I have clients booked in, my day starts pretty early. Many clients like to train before they go to work so that means I have to be prepared to rise before most. So I’ll usually wake up at around 5:00 am. If you’re not an early bird I wouldn’t worry as neither was I. … Read More

Typically as a trainer, a good majority of the day can be spent one-on-one with clients. This can be in half hour or hour long sessions, and can go anywhere from 5am in the morning until 10pm at night (occasionally there will be training times outside those hours if you want them, at fitness centers … Read More

Radiance Wellness

I spent 20 years in the fitness industry as a Personal Trainer, Fitness Director, and Personal Training Manager. The workday of a personal trainer has 2 modes: on the floor, and off the floor. The time on the floor is when you are ‘on’, and it is like a performance. A personal trainer must make … Read More

9 To 5 Nutrition

Before I start any day in the studio, I’ll check my timetable so I can see how many clients I have booked in and when. I’ll also review each clients’ progress from their last session, so I can better plan out what they should be doing on the day. I’ll usually have 3-4 sessions booked … Read More

Genesis Fitness

As a personal trainer, my day starts early, really early! 5am is the standard wake up time for most PT’s, why you might ask? Personal trainers are the first in and last out of the gym. While our clients enter the gym anywhere from 6:30am – 9am, it’s our responsibility to ensure not only the … Read More

I’m a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach and ACE Certified Personal Trainer. Personal Training and Coaching offer a ton of flexibility with your time. Don’t let that fool you into thinking that all you need to do is train clients and enjoy your free time. A typical day includes much more than working … Read More

Dick's Sporting Goods

I was a Certified Fitness Trainer at Dick’s Sporting Goods. I would sell fitness equipment and warranties, greet every customer, and answer their questions. Track and display inventory by merchandising them on the shelves and fixtures. My day started out with getting keys and a walkie-talkie. I would talk to my manager to see what … Read More

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Helpers and The Builders

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others..

They also like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

Learn more about Fitness Trainers

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Related career information

Fitness Trainers job description, Fitness Trainers salary, Fitness Trainers information, what is the job of a Fitness Trainer and Aerobics Instructor like, pros and cons about Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors, colleges and universities for Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors, is Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors the right career for me, careers in Personal Care and Service

Similar careers

Aerobics Instructor, Aerobics Teacher, Exercise Specialist, Exercise Teacher, Exerciser, Fitness Coordinator, Fitness Director, Fitness Instructor, Fitness Specialist, Fitness Teacher

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