Instructing individual and group exercise programs are a great choice if you have a passion for educating, engaging and empowering yourself, other military members and your local community to take an active role in personal health.
The fitness industry is booming. Between 2016 and 2026, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the industry to grow at a faster than average rate of 10 percent. With a median salary of $39,820, being a fitness instructor can be a great part-time job for supplemental income or an extremely flexible full-time job. Maybe the best part of all is that no lengthy education requirements are necessary to be a fitness instructor. At a minimum, you need a high school diploma or equivalent and the required specialty certificate or license.
You can obtain countless certifications or licenses to further your portfolio and expand your capabilities as a fitness instructor. Most trainers or instructors are required to obtain a certification in cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, before being able to work as an instructor. The American Red Cross can help you find a course near you.
Many organizations offer varying types of fitness certifications. The CareerOneStop License Finder tool lists certifying agencies, licenses and organizations that offer accredited fitness programs. Achieving a certification in a specific fitness program will better prepare you to teach that specialty and can help legitimize your training abilities and credentials. Visit the Department of Labor Military Spouse License Recognition Map for up-to-date legislation and licensure information for your specific state.
Working as a fitness trainer can also mean that you get to be your own boss. You can use your training skills and set up your own personal business. The MySECO website has a great section dedicated to starting up your own business with articles like Calculate Your Startup Costs, Create Your Business Plan and Apply for Business Licenses and Permits. Many installations also offer positions in the fitness industry on a full-time, part-time or contract basis.
Once you have taken the steps to become a fitness trainer, you will need to find ways to build your client base. As your network grows, you will find it becomes easier to find referrals as you relocate to new duty stations. Check out the MySECO Networking section to learn more about how to expand your professional network.
Visit the Military Spouse Employment Partnership Job Search to search for open positions with hundreds of companies and organizations committed to hiring military spouses, including 24 Hour Fitness and Aliron International.
To explore additional information related to starting your own fitness and training business, check out the Entrepreneurship and Self-Employment section of MySECO. If you need additional information on obtaining the proper license or certification as part of your portfolio, read the Advantages of Licensure article in the Education, Training and Licensing lifecycle stage of MySECO. You can also speak with a SECO career coach by calling Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 or use the Live Chat feature on the MySECO website to discuss any questions or concerns you may have.