Fitness Instructor Correspondence Courses

If you dream of being the next Jillian Michaels or Bob Harper, consider a career as a fitness instructor. Fitness instructors, also known as personal trainers, help clients reach their athletic goals. The position requires flexibility and creativity, as each client has a different set of needs and goals. On a typical day, a fitness instructor might develop a personalized workout routine, create a nutrition plan and encourage a client to run one more mile when he wants to give up. An effective fitness instructor makes weight loss and fitness goals seem less intimidating.

Prerequisites and other requirements

Before you enroll in fitness instructor correspondence courses, make sure that you are eligible. Eligibility varies, but most schools require all incoming students to obtain at least a high school diploma prior to admission. Don't get discouraged if you still need to finish your high school education. Many of the same schools that offer fitness instructor correspondence courses also have high school diploma programs. Some colleges require students to pass a few basic prerequisite courses, such as English 101 or Intro to Biology, before they enroll in fitness instructor courses.


Fitness instructor correspondence courses aren't limited to costly online colleges. Some personal training companies offer their own fitness instructor certification courses. Many community colleges and local universities also offer distance learning fitness courses -- at a fraction of the tuition price that some online schools charge. However, each type of school comes with its own set of pros and cons. The College Board reports than in 2010, the average four-year college had yearly tuition charges of €7,605. General arts and science courses toward an Associate's degree at the University of Phoenix , an online college, were €365 per credit hour, plus an €80 electronic materials fee per course. That equals €9700 per year for a student enrolled in 12 credit hours each semester. Many online colleges cost more than brick and mortar colleges, and they do not always accept Pell grants or federal loans.

They may offer fitness-related courses year round, though, while a traditional college only has spring, fall and occasionally summer classes. Traditional colleges tend to have a high demand for online classes, and the amount of students who want to take online courses often exceeds the amount of online teachers. Students at traditional colleges may spend a year or longer on a waiting list for a distance learning degree program.

Employment options

Fitness instructors work in a variety of settings and locations. They are often independent contractors who set their own schedule and decide where to work each day. Fitness instructors train clients at gyms and healthcare facilities, as well as parks and trails. Some instructors even work from home or meet clients at their houses. They also travel to businesses, hospitals and schools to teach fitness classes. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 40 percent of fitness trainers have a part-time position and earn an average of €14.95 per hour, or €31,090 per year as of May 2010.

Job outlook

The outlook for fitness instructors is promising. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the demand for fitness workers will increase 29 percent from 2008-2018. The demand is a result of the growing interest in fitness and health that many Americans have, as well as the aging baby boomers that need assistance with fitness-related activities. Fitness instructors with a strong knowledge of fitness, including new technologies and procedures, have the most favorable job outlook. Keep up with health and fitness-related changes and developments to secure your future as a fitness instructor.

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