What Are the Requirements to Be a Water Aerobics Instructor?

Water aerobics instructors typically need certification training in life guarding, CPR, and water fitness. Read on to see if water aerobics instructor training is a path you may want to explore. Schools offering Education - Sports Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

Water aerobics instructors plan and teach water fitness classes to people of all ages. Generally, as a water aerobics instructor, you'll know how to plan a water workout for people of all fitness levels. In addition to leading workouts, you'll typically be in charge of life guarding the pool and monitoring the safety of the participants in your classes.

Important Facts About This Occupational Field

Job Outlook (2012-2022) 21% (for athletic trainers and exercise physiologists)
Required Education High school diploma (for fitness trainers and instructors)
Median Salary (2014) $34,980 (for fitness trainers and aerobics instructors)
Key Skills Physical fitness, speaking, customer service, listening, problem solving, motivational (for fitness trainers and instructors)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Employment Requirements

Aside from most facilities requiring CPR and First Aid certification, there are no specific guidelines for becoming a water aerobics instructor. However, you can take classes and earn certifications that may make you a more desirable job candidate.

First Aid and CPR Certification

In order to earn these required certifications, you'll need to take a class called First Aid/CPR/AED. In this class, you'll learn to administer First Aid and CPR to adults and children and to operate an automated defibrillator machine. This training prepares you to help with injuries, cardiac emergencies, and respiratory emergencies that your water aerobics students could potentially suffer.

Life Guarding Certification

Most water aerobics instructor courses require you to be a certified life guard before beginning your training. The American Red Cross provides certification for life guarding (www.redcross.org). If you're 16 years old, you can become a life guard and be qualified to teach adults and children to swim.

Training Classes

Although most water fitness instructor facilities require CPR and life guard training, some will also require experience teaching water fitness classes. Opportunities are available to take classes and workshops and to earn certification with the Aquatic & Fitness Professional Association - International (www.aquacert.org).

Formal Education

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), more and more fitness instructors are completing a bachelor's degree in exercise science to be more competitive in the field. By earning a Bachelor of Exercise Sciences degree, you'll learn how to develop exercise routines for healthy and unhealthy individuals, interact with clients, and treat sports injuries. After completing your bachelor's degree, you will still need to complete CPR and life guard training to become a certified water aerobics instructor.

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