How to Become an Aerobics Instructor

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Aerobics is a form of fitness instruction that involves the combination of rhythm aerobic movements and strength training and stretching. Aerobic instructors are trained fitness professionals that teach and lead aerobic classes to help people improve their physical fitness.


Hey, I'm Joshua T. Osborne

In 2015, I said goodbye to 16-hour days and hauling boxes up and down stairs for a living (I was a mover). I became a full-time entrepreneur, and I made my money by helping business owners make money.

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What does an aerobics instructor do?

Aerobics instructors teach a variety of aerobics classes such as step aerobics, water aerobics, high and low impact aerobics, sports conditioning, and kickboxing. They choreograph many different exercise movements to music and provide instruction to individuals at a variety of skill levels. They lead classes and demonstrate the proper movement techniques. They observe participants and give constructive criticism to help them improve their skills. They plan out exercise routines, select the appropriate music, and choose different exercises to target certain muscle groups. Aerobic instructors often work at health clubs, fitness centers, community centers, universities, and other fitness facilities.

What kind of training does an aerobics instructor need?

Many aerobic instructors typically need at least a high school diploma or GED, but many have formal postsecondary training in fitness, exercise science, physical education, or other related field. Prospective aerobic instructors often complete courses in kinesiology, exercise physiology, motivational methods, and nutrition. Majority of employers require that aerobic instructors be CPR certified. Many aerobic instructors start out as assistants to experienced instructors and begin teaching independently as they gain the necessary skills and experience. Many aerobics instructors gain certification from professional organizations such as the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) and American Council on Exercise (ACE) to remain competitive in the field. Aerobic instructors often complete additional training throughout their careers to maintain their certifications and keep their skills current.

What are the prospects for a career as an aerobics instructor?

Employment of aerobics instructors is expected to grow much faster than average for all professions, increasing 29% from 2008 to 2018 (1). The growing population and increase in construction of fitness facilities will drive job growth.

Job prospects should be good, especially for aerobics instructors with advanced training and extensive experience. Many job openings will arise from the need to replace aerobics instructors that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.

How much do aerobics instructors make?

As of April 2010, the average annual salary for aerobic instructors is $27,000; average annual aerobic instructor salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).

A career as an aerobics instructor is a great choice for people with a strong interest in coordinating aerobic exercises for a variety of individuals. Aerobic instructors must have a solid understanding of aerobic exercise and a variety of teaching techniques. Patience, detail orientation, good coordination, and good leadership skills are necessary characteristics. Aerobic instructors must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to motivate and encourage a variety of exercise participants. They must be able to effectively work independently as well as part of a team.

Joshua T Osborne

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