Fitness Instructor: Job Description & Responsibilities

fitness class instructor job description

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 a Level 2 Fitness Instructor? This gives you the best start into the fitness industry and is the first step if you're looking to become a personal trainer.

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

What Are The Responsibilities Of A Fitness Instructor?

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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 (UK), such as this one from Let’s Get Healthy in Birkenhead:

fitness instructor job description 6

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 2 gym instructor qualification to apply for jobs, such as this position at Sefton Council:

health and fitness instructor job description

A level 2 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.

Insurance Requirements Of A Fitness Instructor

job description of a fitness instructor

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:

job description for fitness instructor

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 Markel Direct and Insure4sport.

If you would like to find out more about the different types of insurance available for fitness professionals, you can read about them in this article.

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.

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Salary Expectations Of A Fitness Instructor

job description fitness instructor

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.

Glassdoor, for instance, indicates that the average salary of a fitness instructor in the United Kingdom is £23,196:

fitness instructor job description 8

This number can vary depending on the region where you plan to work. A London fitness instructor can earn an average of £26,215, compared to £21,872 for a Birmingham instructor.

It’s important to note that depending on the role you undertake, you can earn up to £30,000, according to data held by Payscale

job description for a fitness instructor

This figure 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 Sefton Council which requires a fitness instructor to work at their different fitness centres:

job description of fitness instructor

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. 

For example, if you were looking to provide fitness services to young people, you might be interested in this job at The Birtenshaw Group:

fitness instructor job description 5

Roles like this are a great opportunity to transform the health of the underprivileged or people with special needs. 

#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.

In this job description below from Our Parks, you can see the hours you’re required to work, including the requirement to work mornings, evenings and weekends depending on demand:

fitness instructor job description 6

If you’re looking for control of your work schedule then working as a freelance member of staff 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.

#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.

If you’d like more details on how to become self-employed, then there are steps you can follow in our article to become a fitness instructor with your own business!

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 3 personal training qualification- this is a necessity, as highlighted by this job advert from NMotion in London:

fitness instructor job description

You’ll be able to earn more money as a PT, with the national average of a personal trainer in the UK reported to be £6,000 higher than a fitness instructor at li.

You can always 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:

  • Group Training
  • Kettlebell
  • Circuit Training
  • Boxing & Pad Work

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 uk

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. 

#3 Complete A Level 4 Nutritionist Qualification To Expand Your Skill Set

Completing a nutritionist course 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 give recommendations for 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 class instructor job description

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 L2 Fitness Instructor to help kickstart your fitness instructor career. 

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


Become a Fitness Instructor!

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

Written by Chris Allsobrook


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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