How to Become a Group Fitness Instructor

Become a Group Fitness Instructor

If the idea of teaching fitness classes appeals to you, then you should consider learning how to become a group fitness instructor. This article will guide you through this process, covering: 

You can launch your career today as a group fitness instructor by qualifying with OriGym's Personal Training Diploma. In doing so, you will be able to lead both group and 1-1 sessions! 

Alternatively, you can learn about OriGym’s other courses by downloading our free course prospectus!

What Is The Role Of A Group Fitness Instructor?

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Learning about the roles and responsibilities associated with this position will help you develop a better understanding of how to be a group fitness instructor. 

Whilst in this position, you’ll be responsible for leading class members through a group workout session. 

The actual content of these classes can vary depending on what style you’ve been hired to teach, with popular variations including:

  • Circuit training
  • Indoor cycling 
  • Dance fit

You can also expect to prepare equipment for relevant classes, liaise with management and adhere to safety policies as highlighted by this position at Murray City Corporation

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The hours you’ll work aren’t set in stone and can be influenced by the way in which you’re employed. For example: 

  • In a contracted role, you’ll work hours set by your employer to help meet the demand of their services which can include working mornings, evenings and weekends.
  • Self-employed group fitness instructors can decide their own working hours. Whilst working in this position you’ll also be responsible for sourcing a location for your class, and the marketing material.
  • Finally, as a freelancer, you could work for multiple different gyms teaching classes when you are required.

The way in which you work can also influence the content of your class. For example, self-employed group fitness instructors will have a greater sense of freedom and creative control and will be able to choreograph their own routines.

Whereas, contracted instructors may have to adhere to routines that have been created and approved by their employers. 

How Much Can A Group Fitness Instructor Earn?

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If you’re interested in pursuing this position, you will naturally question ‘How much does a group fitness instructor make?’. The answer to this is dependent on a variety of factors such as:

  • Your location 
  • The way in which you’re employed 
  • The amount of experience you have 
  • The number of hours you work 

As to be expected, experienced group fitness instructors will earn more than those who have just qualified. This is because they will have more skills and knowledge to pull from, and will be regarded as ‘experts’ in the industry.

But to understand the influence your location can have on your salary, check out these stats: According to Glassdoor, the average salary of a group fitness instructor in Manchester is £30,825, whilst in London it is £31,236.


Do You Want to Become a Group Fitness Instructor?

OriGym's Personal Training Diploma will help you take your first steps towards a successful career!

As you can see group fitness instructors in London will typically earn a more lucrative salary, but this is in line with their much higher expenses - e.g. rent, utility bills, travel costs etc. 

Likewise, when it comes to the way in which you work, those who are self-employed will likely earn more than those who are contracted. 

This is because they’re able to set their own prices, for example, take JD Aerial Fitness which charges £10 per class:

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If you followed a similar pricing structure, you could earn £100 from teaching just 10 clients for one hour! 

So be prepared for your earning potential to vary between each group fitness instructor position you have an interest in pursuing. 

What Qualifications Do I Need To Become A Group Fitness Instructor?

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Becoming a group fitness instructor isn’t a complicated journey! All you need is a Level 2 Gym Instructor qualification. - The great news is there are no prerequisites to enrol on this course, you simply need to be over 16 years of age!

Getting this Level 2 qualification is absolutely essential, as it is the minimum requirement that the majority of employers will ask for when advertising group fitness instructor positions.

Whilst enrolled on this course, you will develop vital knowledge and skills required to become a successful group fitness instructor. For example, you will learn how to keep your class attendees engaged with your training, providing motivation that pushes them to reach new heights. 


Do You Want to Become a Group Fitness Instructor?

OriGym's Personal Training Diploma will help you take your first steps towards a successful career!

Likewise, you’ll gain experience in tailoring group workout sessions to meet the demands of different groups. This is vital for ensuring that your classes are accessible and enjoyable for a wide range of attendees. 

If you want to learn more about the qualifications you require, you can read our guide ‘Qualifications to Teach Fitness Classes’.

How Do You Find The Best Course To Become A Group Fitness Instructor?

Those looking to answer the question ‘how do I become a group fitness instructor?’, should always look for a course that meets their needs. But how do you find the right training provider? 

First and foremost, you’ll want to look for a Level 2 Fitness Instructor course that has been endorsed by The Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA)

This organisation regulates the UK’s sports and fitness industry, ensuring that vocational training providers meet the same industry standards. 

Likewise, you should look for a qualification that has been regulated by Ofqual (The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation). This is a governing body which provides vocational training courses with regulated examinations, qualifications and assessments. 

At OriGym, we want to provide our students with the highest possible standard of training, which is why our Level 2 Gym Instructor course is both Ofqual-regulated and accredited by CIMSPA.

Before settling on a training provider, you should ask yourself the following questions, regarding the validity of the training provider:

  • What payment options are available? - Good training providers will take your financial situation into account. For example, OriGym offers interest-free instalments, with flexible payment plans to suit your needs.
  • Do they offer post-course support? - Look for a training provider who offers career services. We help our graduates by distributing CVs and securing guaranteed job interviews. 
  • Are there any hidden fees? - Some training providers may charge you extra for services such as examination resists. OriGym will never subject you to this, we even offer FREE unlimited resists. 
  • Does the course come with free CPDs? - CPDs can help to bolster your experience and skill set. This is why we offer package deals, offering these courses for FREE as part of package deals.
  • What do previous students say?- Read reviews to see what former students have to say. Thankfully, OriGym is among the highest-rated training providers in the UK, you can even see our 4.9-star rating on Trustpilot

By asking these questions, you’ll be able to find the right course provider to help you become a group fitness instructor.

Do Group Fitness Instructors Need Insurance?

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As your understanding of the group fitness instructor role grows, you’ll naturally question - ‘What does a group fitness instructor do about insurance?’.

For immediate clarity, purchasing insurance is absolutely vital. Accidents can always happen, regardless of what kinds of classes you teach, insurance provides you with legal protection in the event that a claim is made against you.

When purchasing this be sure to opt for a reputable provider that offers both public liability and indemnity coverage -  such as Insure4sport. By selecting a package which contains these policies, you’ll be protected against claims such as:

  • Professional negligence 
  • Injury or illness suffered by you or your clients
  • Providing incorrect exercise guidance to clients 

Reputable insurance providers like Insure4Sport will also provide you with the option of covering your equipment, in the event it’s lost, stolen or damaged.

If you’d like to learn more about different types of insurance, you can read OriGym’s article on the different types of personal trainer insurance.


Enjoying this article so far? Here are three more you’ll find beneficial: 

Opportunities for Progression as a Group Fitness Instructor

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Now that you know how to become a group fitness instructor, you can begin to plan your career and look towards your future. With this in mind, let’s discuss some ways you progress professionally within the fitness industry.

Start Your Own Fitness Class Business

What does a group fitness instructor do

After becoming a group fitness instructor you will have gained enough freeland or experience working at a gym to start your own fitness class business.

When running your own business you’re in control! This means you can make all the important decisions, such as:

  • How to market your services
  • What hours you'll work
  • The kind of classes you’ll teach 

For example, you could decide to specialise in dance fit sessions for postnatal mothers, or in-door cycling classes that promote wellbeing in elderly individuals - the possibilities are limitless! 

Running your own business also comes with unlimited earning potential. This is because you have direct control over the prices of your classes, rather than being confined to a fixed salary.

To learn more about how you can do this yourself, check out our in-depth guide on  ‘How To Start A Fitness Class Business’. 

Progress By Qualifying As A Personal Trainer

How to become a group fitness instructor

After becoming a group fitness instructor, you may wish to pursue additional qualifications and become a certified personal trainer.

In doing so, you can begin to work with clients on a one-to-one basis, creating tailored workout programmes that help them achieve their specific fitness goals. 

Other responsibilities of a personal trainer include conducting assessments to assess a client’s current fitness levels and providing check-ins that monitor their progress throughout the programme.

This exciting career allows you to work across a variety of locations, including:

  • Gyms
  • Fitness centres
  • Parks
  • Client's homes 


Do You Want to Become a Group Fitness Instructor?

OriGym's Personal Training Diploma will help you take your first steps towards a successful career!

You can also explore different employment opportunities, whether that’s in a fixed contracted position or becoming self-employed and starting your own business.

Whilst working in this highly lucrative position, you could potentially earn up to £X every year, a drastic increase from the salary of a group fitness instructor.

This will allow you to potentially earn an average salary of £39,860 according to Glassdoor.

Consider Nutrition Coaching

What is a group fitness instructor

Becoming a Sports Nutritionist is an exciting opportunity that allows you to expand your services.

Alongside teaching group fitness classes, you will be able to provide class attendees with nutrition advice and recommend meal plans that help to facilitate their health-related goals.

After qualifying, you can even begin to expand beyond in-person group classes and establish an online nutrition business.

In short, becoming a sports nutritionist will set you apart from other competitors, as you will be able to provide services that they don’t offer. 

If this sounds appealing to you, then you will first need to complete a Level 4 Sports Nutrition qualification

In doing so, you will receive the highest possible standards of training in the industry, as our courses are regulated and approved by Ofqual.

Expand Your Existing Knowledge With Fitness CPDs

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Continuous Professional Development Courses (CPDs) are a great way to develop your existing skills and provide you with additional experience. 

Having more knowledge in different areas of fitness will also bolster your CV and increase your employment prospects. Examples of CPD courses we offer at OriGym include:

Completing any of these courses will allow you to carve out a niche in a highly competitive industry. Through this, you can target a specific demographic and charge a higher price for your experience.

Before You Go

Now that you know how to become a certified group fitness instructor it’s time to take your first steps towards this career.  

Completing a Personal Training Diploma acts as a great launching pad for your future career. Upon completion, we will help you make an immediate impact in the industry, with a guaranteed job interview! 

For more information on what to expect throughout this course, you can download our FREE course prospectus.

Written by James Brady

Fitness Writer & Enthusiast

James graduated with an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Manchester. His desire to find a place where he could combine his passion for writing and love of fitness is what brought him to OriGym. He believes his passion for daily exercise, especially running, is imperative in keeping him motivated and productive. As a result, he has a particular interest in the psychology of health and fitness and the relationship between physical and mental health. Outside of work, James enjoys reading, swimming, writing short stories, watching classic movies and has a keen interest in journalism and filmmaking.

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