Fitness Instructors and Personal Trainers

Fitness instructors are one of the largest and most important careers in the fitness, sport, and recreation industry. Fitness instructors generally direct and guide individuals or groups towards a physical health goal.

The role of a fitness instructor is largely defined by where you are working in the sector, meaning there could be different terms for similar roles. The terms you could see used by different employers include personal trainer, fitness instructor, or gym instructor.

Where You Might Work

Fitness Instructors rarely have a home base. Their expertise in the fitness industry may sometimes require them to work at places other than a gym. These areas include: 

Key Responsibilities

Fitness instructors must undergo many different tasks throughout the day to effectively plan and conduct fitness sessions. These responsibilities are:

The Attributes and Skills You Will Need

Fitness Instructors have attributes that they must display to get the most out of their clients. These attributes could include:

Future growth rate of 9.8%
30,600 employed.
Full-time share of 23%
Female share of 60%
Average age of 35 years old

Retrieved from Labour Market Insights.

Salary: The average entry-level full-time salary for a fitness instructor is $65,000, according to


A career as a fitness instructor will allow you to become knowledgeable in health and fitness. Your clients will depend on you for your expertise and know-how. The guides listed below display the main qualifications that allow you to explore jobs for fitness instruction.

Course ListCareer OpportunitiesFurther Study Beyond QualificationCourse Duration or Number of elements/units
Certificate III in Fitness (SIS30321)Cert III fitness instructors may plan and deliver GROUP exercise sessions and develop gym-based programs for individuals where the level of personalised instruction and ongoing client monitoring is limited.Certificate IV in Fitness
  • Course Length: 1 year
  • Contains 15 units recognised by the Australian Qualifications Framework (11 core units, 4 elective units)
Certificate IV in Fitness (SIS40221)

Cert IV fitness instructors can develop, instruct, and evaluate personalised exercise programs for clients who are healthy and considered a low risk inside the gym.

Cert IV fitness instructors can also plan, conduct, and evaluate the effectiveness of group fitness sessions.

The experience gained from working in a gym with these qualifications can make a fitness instructor more employable for a role in gym management and sometimes membership sales.

Our partner, AUSactive, partners with Fitness Education Online to deliver relevant training to personal trainers and instructors. Some of these added courses include:

  • Course Length: 1 year
  • Contains 17 units recognised by the Australian Qualifications Framework (10 core units, 7 elective units)

Already qualified? Head to the AUSactive jobs board for the best selection of positions currently available in the fitness industry.

AQIA is here to support you in your career goals. Download this printable resource to plan your career path.