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Career and Education Opportunities for Fitness Instructors in St. Louis, Missouri

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for fitness instructors in the St. Louis, Missouri area. There are currently 4,500 working fitness instructors in Missouri; this should grow by 9% to 4,880 working fitness instructors in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for fitness instructors, which sees this job pool growing by about 29.4% over the next eight years. Fitness instructors generally instruct or coach groups or individuals in exercise activities and the fundamentals of sports.

Fitness instructors earn about $10 per hour or $22,640 annually on average in Missouri and about $14 per hour or $29,210 annually on average nationally. Earnings for fitness instructors are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Fitness and Recreation in Missouri and better than general Fitness and Recreation category earnings nationally.

There are eight schools within twenty-five miles of St. Louis where you can study to be a fitness instructor, among seventy-one schools of higher education total in the St. Louis area. Given that the most common education level for fitness instructors is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years training to become 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 St. Louis 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

Lindenwood University - Saint Charles, MO

Lindenwood University, 209 S Kingshighway, Saint Charles, MO 63301-1695. Lindenwood University is a large university located in Saint Charles, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,253 students and an admission rate of 40%. Lindenwood University 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 and master's degree which graduated one and six students respectively in 2008.

Missouri Baptist University - Saint Louis, MO

Missouri Baptist University, One College Park Dr, Saint Louis, MO 63141-8698. Missouri Baptist University is a small university located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,764 students and an admission rate of 67%. Missouri Baptist University has 2 areas of study related to Fitness Instructor. They are:

  • Physical Education Teaching and Coaching, bachelor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Sport and Fitness Administration/Management, less than one year, bachelor's degree, and master's degree which graduated two, nine, and four students respectively in 2008.

McKendree University - Lebanon, IL

McKendree University, 701 College Rd, Lebanon, IL 62254-1291. McKendree University is a small university located in Lebanon, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,258 students and an admission rate of 65%. McKendree University has a bachelor's degree program in Physical Education Teaching and Coaching which graduated one student in 2008.

Fontbonne University - Saint Louis, MO

Fontbonne University, 6800 Wydown Blvd, Saint Louis, MO 63105-3098. Fontbonne University is a small university located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,967 students and an admission rate of 82%. Fontbonne University has a bachelor's degree program in Sport and Fitness Administration/Management.

Maryville University of Saint Louis - Saint Louis, MO

Maryville University of Saint Louis, 650 Maryville University Drive, Saint Louis, MO 63141-7299. Maryville University of Saint Louis is a small university located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,522 students and an admission rate of 54%. Maryville University of Saint Louis has a bachelor's degree program in Sport and Fitness Administration/Management.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville - Edwardsville, IL

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Il State Rte 157, Edwardsville, IL 62026-1001. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is a large university located in Edwardsville, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 13,602 students and an admission rate of 89%. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has 2 areas of study related to Fitness Instructor. They are:

  • Physical Education Teaching and Coaching, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Health and Physical Education, bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, and master's degree which graduated fifty-one, zero, and forty-four students respectively in 2008.

Principia College - Elsah, IL

Principia College, 1 Maybeck Place, Elsah, IL 62028-9799. Principia College is a small college located in Elsah, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 520 students and an admission rate of 84%. Principia College has a bachelor's degree program in Sport and Fitness Administration/Management.

University of Missouri-St Louis - Saint Louis, MO

University of Missouri-St Louis, One University Boulevard, Saint Louis, MO 63121-4400. University of Missouri-St Louis is a large university located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 15,591 students and an admission rate of 46%. University of Missouri-St Louis has a bachelor's degree program in Physical Education Teaching and Coaching which graduated fourteen 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: St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis, Missouri photo by Dschwen

St. Louis is located in St. Louis City County, Missouri. It has a population of over 354,361, which has grown by 1.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in St. Louis, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in St. Louis are priced at $111,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred fifty-seven new homes were built in St. Louis, down from two hundred sixty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in St. Louis are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 25 minutes. More than 19.1% of St. Louis residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in St. Louis is 10.9%, which is greater than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

Nativity of Our Lord Church, Church of the Good Shepard and Church of the Holy Communion are among the churches located in St. Louis.

St. Louis is home to the Terminal Railroad Association Building and the Memorial Home as well as Washington Park and Willmore Park. Shopping malls in the area include Hampton Village Shopping Center and Loughborough Shopping Center.