If you're the kind of person who runs 10K before breakfast, enjoys eating healthily and is always on the lookout for the latest news on training and fitness, then a job in the health and fitness industry could be just right for you. It's a sector that has grown exponentially over the last decade, and even when times are tough, it seems gym membership is not the first luxury that people forego when they're tightening their belts.
The first thing to do is to check out the various fitness instructor courses on offer. There are a lot of them around and they're not all accredited by the industry's governing bodies, so make sure the one you're thinking of doing will actually give you the accreditation you need. Look out for courses that are approved by CYQ or Active IQ and make sure they feature on the Register of Exercise Professional's (REP) website. If you're still not sure about some of the courses you come across and whether or not they're right for you, then it might be a good idea to give your local gym a call and ask them what kind of qualifications they look for and if they have any preference. The gym manager will be able to tell you which ones always leap out when he's looking through CVs and this will help you make your final decision.
The next thing to do is decide whether you want to look at full time or part time fitness instructor courses. If you're already working and think that you might like a career change, then a part time course would probably be the best option for you. That way you can stay working at your current job and see how you get on with the course before you make the decision to change careers totally. It will take you a bit longer to qualify, but it's probably the more sensible option.
If you've just finished school or college and you're pretty sure that a career in fitness is the way to go, then check out the full time courses on offer. It would also be worth considering any areas of specialisation that might interest you, like strength training or diet and nutrition. The more strings you have to your fitness bow, the more employable you become and the better chance you have of bagging that job in a top gym.