According to the Fitness Industry Workforce Report 2012, commissioned by Fitness Australia, Australia’s fitness industry is looking good. For example, the report found that as far as revenue and employment are concerned, fitness is the fastest growing sub-group within the sports and recreation industry. Over the coming years, more Australians are expected to take a greater interest in their personal fitness and will participate in more fitness-related activities. And, innovation within the industry is strong.
Given that fitness instructors are responsible for people’s physical well-being, they need to be properly qualified and certified. According to Physical Activity Australia, if you want to work as a fitness instructor the absolute minimum requirement is a TAFE Certificate III in Fitness. You don’t have to stop there, however, as a diploma course will allow you to specialise in certain fields, and will make you eligible for some really great jobs, like working with professional sports teams.
Let’s look at some of the fitness courses available.
Certificate III in Fitness
As mentioned, this is the minimum requirement if you want to work as a fitness instructor. The nationally accredited course qualifies you to become a gym instructor, aqua instructor, and a group exercise instructor. Subjects include fitness program development, exercise science and instruction, anatomy and physiology related to fitness programs, and nutrition, as well as sport and recreation law, advanced first aid, client services, and other matters pertinent to building and maintaining a successful career, such as workplace relationships and basic computing.
Certificate IV in Fitness
If you want to upgrade from a fitness instructor to a fitness trainer then you need to complete TAFE Certificate IV in Fitness. You’ll be able to work as an exercise trainer, personal trainer, aqua trainer, program coordinator, and also work with children and older clients. Subjects include business marketing and planning, motivational psychology, planning and delivering exercise programs for children and older clients, and planning and delivering endurance training and strengthening and conditioning programs, as well as staff recruitment and selection, team coordination, and small business financial management.
Diploma of Fitness
According to Physical Activity Australia, the diploma is necessary if you want to become a Specialised Exercise Trainer (SET), which will allow you to work with serious athletes and with people with chronic injuries or illnesses. Subjects include delivering prescribed exercise to clients with various medical conditions, such as cardio-respiratory, metabolic and musculoskeletal conditions and neurological impairments, planning and implementing high-performance training and recovery programs, delivering hydrotherapy programs, implementing and monitoring occupational health and safety policies, small business legal and risk management requirements, and collaboration with medical and allied health professionals.
According to the American Kinesiology Association, there are 36 careers in sport and fitness. TAFE certificates and diplomas in fitness will qualify you for the following:
- Aquatic therapist
- Athletic trainer (school, college or university)
- Personal trainer
- Group exercise instructor
- Strength and conditioning coach
- Fitness centre owner or manager
- Fitness leader in gerontology settings
- Fitness specialist
- Sport instructor
- Sport official
- Sport facility operations manager