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Career and Education Opportunities for Fitness Instructors in Des Moines, Iowa

There are many career and education opportunities for fitness instructors in the Des Moines, Iowa area. There are currently 2,540 working fitness instructors in Iowa; this should grow by 20% to about 3,030 working fitness instructors in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for fitness instructors are expected to grow by about 29.4%. Fitness instructors generally instruct or coach groups or individuals in exercise activities and the fundamentals of sports.

Fitness instructors earn approximately $10 per hour or $21,630 annually on average in Iowa. Nationally they average about $14 per hour or $29,210 per year. Compared with people working in the overall category of Fitness and Recreation, people working as fitness instructors in Iowa earn less. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Fitness and Recreation nationally.

The Des Moines area is home to fifteen schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Des Moines where you can get a degree as a fitness instructor. The most common level of education for fitness instructors is a Bachelor's degree. It will take about four years to learn to be a fitness instructor if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Fitness Instructor

Fitness Instructor video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, fitness instructors instruct or coach groups or individuals in exercise activities and the fundamentals of sports. They also demonstrate techniques and methods of participation.

Fitness instructors observe participants and inform them of corrective measures needed for skill improvement. They also instruct participants in maintaining exertion levels to maximize benefits from exercise routines. Equally important, fitness instructors have to offer alternatives during classes to deal with different levels of fitness. They are often called upon to teach proper breathing techniques used during physical exertion. They are expected to formulate routines, choose appropriate music, and choose different movements for each set of muscles, depending on participants' capabilities and limitations. Finally, fitness instructors advise patrons about proper clothing and shoes.

Every day, fitness instructors are expected to be able to use lower back and abdominal strength. They need to do heavy work over long periods of time. It is also important that they exert themselves over and over again for long periods of time.

It is important for fitness instructors to evaluate individuals' abilities and physical conditions, and design suitable training programs to fit any special requirements. They are often called upon to administer emergency first aid, wrap injuries, treat minor chronic disabilities, or refer injured persons to physicians. They also conduct therapeutic or athletic efforts. They are sometimes expected to organize and referee indoor and outdoor games such as volleyball and basketball. Somewhat less frequently, fitness instructors are also expected to massage body parts to relieve soreness and bruises.

They also have to be able to organize and conduct competitions and tournaments And finally, they sometimes have to formulate routines, choose appropriate music, and choose different movements for each set of muscles, depending on participants' capabilities and limitations.

Like many other jobs, fitness instructors must be reliable and have a strong concern for others.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Des Moines include:

  • Recreation Coordinator. Conduct recreation activities with groups in public, private, or volunteer agencies or recreation facilities. Organize and promote activities, such as arts and crafts, sports, and hobbies, taking into account the needs and interests of individual members.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Fitness Instructor Training

Simpson College - Indianola, IA

Simpson College, 701 North C St, Indianola, IA 50125. Simpson College is a small college located in Indianola, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,052 students and an admission rate of 88%. Simpson College has 2 areas of study related to Fitness Instructor. They are:

  • Physical Education Teaching and Coaching, bachelor's degree.
  • Sport and Fitness Administration/Management, bachelor's degree.

Grand View University - Des Moines, IA

Grand View University, 1200 Grandview Ave, Des Moines, IA 50316. Grand View University is a small university located in Des Moines, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,936 students and an admission rate of 95%. Grand View University has 3 areas of study related to Fitness Instructor. They are:

  • Physical Education Teaching and Coaching, postbaccalaureate certificate which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Health and Physical Education, bachelor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Sport and Fitness Administration/Management, less than one year which graduated 5 students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Personal FitnessTrainer: A three-day certification workshop including lectures, practical demonstrations and written and practical exams.

For more information, see the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America website.

AFAA Challenge Exam: Any AFAA Certification may be challenged, however, it is recommended that you attend the preparatory workshop for that certification offered prior to the exams (Primary, Step, KickBoxing - 1 or 2 days, Personal Fitness Trainer - 3 days).

For more information, see the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America website.

Post Rehab Conditioning Specialist: This entry level certification is for fitness professionals who are just starting in the post rehab arena.

For more information, see the American Academy of Health, Fitness, & Rehabilitation Professionals website.

Certified Health Fitness Specialist: The ACSM Certified Health Fitness Specialist (HFS) is a degreed health and fitness professional qualified to pursue a career in university, corporate, commercial, hospital, and community settings.

For more information, see the American College of Sports Medicine website.

Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist: Becoming ACSM Certified as an Exercise Specialistsays a lot about you.

For more information, see the American College of Sports Medicine website.

Certified Personal Trainer: The ACSM Certified Personal TrainerSM is a fitness professional involved in developing and implementing an individualized approach to exercise leadership in healthy populations and/or those individuals with medical clearance to exercise.

For more information, see the American College of Sports Medicine website.

Group Fitness Instructor Certification: The ACE Group Fitness Instructor certification is for individuals wanting to become fitness professionals teaching any form of exercise in a group setting.

For more information, see the American Council on Exercise website.

Personal Trainer Certification: The ACE Personal Trainer Certification is designed for trainers providing any form of one-on-one fitness instruction.

For more information, see the American Council on Exercise website.

Lifestyle & Weight Management Consultant Certification: Your clients want to lose weight.

For more information, see the American Council on Exercise website.

Clinical Exercise Specialist Certification: The ACE Clinical Exercise Specialist is an advanced personal trainer certification that demonstrates your ability to work with special populations.

For more information, see the American Council on Exercise website.

Certified Personal Trainer: AFPA Personal Trainer graduates are prepared to start a personal training business of their own from their home, train clients in the client's own home gyms, work at community recreation centers, hospital fitness facilities, universities and local colleges, heath clubs, gyms and YMCAs.

For more information, see the American Fitness Professionals and Associates website.

Cycle Instructor Certification: The AFPA Cycle Instructor Certification course is designed for the instructor who wants to expand their teaching capabilities to indoor cycling.

For more information, see the American Fitness Professionals and Associates website.

Certified Pilates Fitness Instructor: The AFPA Pilates Fitness Instructor Certification - Mat Level I program is designed to instruct beginner and intermediate students.

For more information, see the American Fitness Professionals and Associates website.

Sports Nutrition: The optimum way for you or your clients to get the most out of their workouts and feel their best is to develop an energizing, performance-enhancing nutrition plan, tailored to their body's specific needs.

For more information, see the American Fitness Professionals and Associates website.

Sports Conditioning Specialist: The AFPA Sports Conditioning Specialist Certification program presents the principles and practices of a new era of athletic training.

For more information, see the American Fitness Professionals and Associates website.

Functional Training Specialist: The AFPA Functional Training Specialist Certification program is designed to teach the Functional Training protocols to improve total athleticism, enhances performance, and reduces injuries through exercise progressions that will spur development potential for specific movement patterns commonly use in sport.

For more information, see the American Fitness Professionals and Associates website.

Yoga Instructor Level I: The AFPA Yoga Fitness Instructor Certification program emphasizes safe, effective, and inspiring teaching methods that prepare you to be a confident and competent Yoga Fitness Instructor.

For more information, see the American Fitness Professionals and Associates website.

Stability Ball Trainer: The AFPA Stability Ball Trainer Certification program was developed to promote safe yet challenging ball exercise to instructors and personal trainers.

For more information, see the American Fitness Professionals and Associates website.

Sport Safety Training (6 1/2 hours): The American Red Cross and the United States Olympic Committee have joined forces to develop an exciting coach for coaches who want to keep their athletes safe.

For more information, see the American Red Cross website.

AmSAT Certified Teacher: Certified Alexander Technique Teachers have completed a 3 year, 1600 hour course at an AmSAT certified teacher training center.

For more information, see the American Society for the Alexander Technique website.

Aquatic Fitness Professional: This 100-question, multiple-choice and true/false written exam is designed to test a standard level of theoretical and practical competence and skill for aquatic fitness professionals.

For more information, see the Aquatic Exercise Association website.

Functional Trainer: Functional training is a complete system of athletic development that focuses on training the body the way it will be used in competition, making it the most efficient and effective form of training today.

For more information, see the International Fitness Professional Association website.

Master Personal Fitness Trainer Track: The Master Personal Fitness Trainer Track includes the following certifications: IFPA Personal Fitness Trainer OR .

For more information, see the International Fitness Professional Association website.

Flexibility Coach: You want to be at the "top-of-your-game," and the IFPA Certified Flexibility Coach gives you tools to set you apart.

For more information, see the International Fitness Professional Association website.

Boxing Level I: This 1 day certification provides an overview of the theoretical knowledge and practical skill necessary to teach a safe and effective Boxing and or Kick Boxing class.

For more information, see the International Sports Conditioning Association website.

Kick Boxing Level I: This 1 day certification provides an overview of the theoretical knowledge and practical skill necessary to teach a safe and effective Boxing and or Kick Boxing class.

For more information, see the International Sports Conditioning Association website.

Personal Training: This 2 day certification involves a combination of lectures, discussion groups and hands-on practical sessions.

For more information, see the International Sports Conditioning Association website.

Yoga Ball: This 1 day certification combines Yoga, Pilates and Balance & Stability training with the Stability Ball.

For more information, see the International Sports Conditioning Association website.

Youth Fitness Trainer: Youth fitness training is one of the fastest-growing segments in the health club and fitness industry.

For more information, see the International Sports Sciences Association website.

Certified Fitness Trainer: If you enjoy staying in shape and helping others, there has never been a better time to become a Certified Fitness Trainer (CFT).

For more information, see the International Sports Sciences Association website.

Group Exercise Certification: Beginning instructors with little or no experience gain insight into the basics of teaching group exercise.

For more information, see the National Exercise Trainers Association website.

Personal Trainer Certification: NETA Personal Trainer Certification includes 14 hours of lecture, demonstrations and practical, hands-on applications.

For more information, see the National Exercise Trainers Association website.

Pilates Certification: Learn the ABC's of Pilate's Principles: Alignment, Breathing, Control, and Stability.

For more information, see the National Exercise Trainers Association website.

Certified Weight Management Course: This course can be taken for CEU's or for Certification in Weight Control.

For more information, see the National Strength Professionals Association website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines, Iowa
Des Moines, Iowa photo by BinaryBoyXP

Des Moines is located in Polk County, Iowa. It has a population of over 197,052, which has shrunk by 0.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Des Moines, 79, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Des Moines cost $175,000 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, one hundred sixty-five new homes were built in Des Moines, down from three hundred nine the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Des Moines are finance and insurance, health care, and educational services. For men, it is construction, finance and insurance, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 21.8% of Des Moines residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.5%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Des Moines is 7.1%, which is greater than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Des Moines residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 48.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Epworth United Methodist Church, Union Park Baptist Church and Seventh Day Adventist Church are all churches located in Des Moines. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Des Moines is home to the Activities Center and the Blank Park Zoo as well as M L King Park and Des Moines Botanical Garden. Shopping centers in the area include Merle Hay Mall, Des Moines Park Fair Mall and Southridge Mall. Visitors to Des Moines can choose from Palace Inn, Holiday Inn Express Des Moines and Casa Bella Motel for temporary stays in the area.