Certified Aerobics Instructor Certification and Career

Becoming a certified aerobics instructor requires passing several exams. Formal training isn't required for this job, but you can enroll in some workshops to help prepare you for the exams. Learn about the organizations that offer certification, what you'll be tested on in the exams, and how much you could earn as an aerobics instructor. Read more about the job duties of these fitness professionals. Schools offering Education - Sports Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Certified aerobics instructors must pass a series of exams to become certified by an organization. There are workshops and online courses that will prepare you for these exams.

Certification Offered by several organizations; must be approved by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies; workshops are offered along with online courses for preparation; must pass a series of exams to be a certified instructor.
Future Career Options Fitness workers teach, either full-time or part-time, in gyms and health club settings, while others are self-employed or act as personal trainers for clients.
Responsibilities Teaching aerobic exercises, demonstrating proper use of equipment, training other instructors, and modifying exercises for class members; should be well-versed in first-aid and emergency procedures for minor injuries.

How Do I Become a Certified Aerobics Instructor?

There are several organizations that can certify you as an aerobics instructor, but they should be approved by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. One such organization is the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, which offers workshops around the U.S. to help prepare for certification exams, as well as online courses and the exams themselves (www.afaa.com). It also offers recertification and ongoing education courses for instructors who are already certified.

Why Do I Need to Get Certified?

While you do have several choices on which organization you choose to certify through, you'll find that most employers will require you to be certified in order to teach aerobics classes. Certification consists of passing a series of exams, depending on which association you use for certification. Workshops and classes are used to help prepare you for these exams but aren't technically necessary for certification.

What Will the Exam Cover?

The certification exams typically ask you general fitness questions. They are usually multiple-choice and computer-based. Exam eligibility typically requires you to be at least 18 years old and have current cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillator (AED) certificates. Some certifying associations require documented teaching experience for certification. There's a fee, both for the preparation classes and the exams, which vary by organization. These topics may be covered on your exam:

  • Proper stretching and warm-up techniques
  • Nutrition guidelines
  • Weight management
  • Exercise basics
  • Leadership
  • Motivational skills
  • Class design
  • Anatomy

What's the Career Outlook?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that the majority of fitness workers teach, either full-time or part-time, in gyms and health club settings (www.bls.gov). Others are self-employed and act as personal trainers for individual clients. The BLS estimated the median salary for fitness trainers and aerobics instructors to be $39,210 as of May 2017, though the top 10% earned $74,520 or more. The hourly wage for the majority of fitness trainers and aerobics instructors ranged from $9.44-$35.83, with the median hourly amount falling close to $19.

What Duties Could I Expect?

Aerobics instructors not only teach aerobic exercises and demonstrate the proper use of equipment, but they may also train other instructors. They advise class members on how to modify exercises and stretches to accommodate disabilities and different levels of skill and fitness. These types of instructors often choreograph exercises to music. Many aerobics instructors are able to choose their own schedule and are often allowed to teach at more than one fitness facility at a time. The career of aerobics instructor is physically demanding and several hours of training are needed to certify and remain current on changing trends in the field. Additionally, they must be well-versed in first aid and emergency procedures and able to treat minor injuries.

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