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Career and Education Opportunities for Fitness Instructors in Charlotte, North Carolina

Fitness instructors can find many career and educational opportunities in the Charlotte, North Carolina area. Currently, 5,220 people work as fitness instructors in North Carolina. This is expected to grow by 29% to about 6,700 people 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%. In general, fitness instructors instruct or coach groups or individuals in exercise activities and the fundamentals of sports.

Income for fitness instructors is about $13 hourly or $27,130 annually on average in North Carolina. Nationally, their income is about $14 hourly or $29,210 per year. Fitness instructors earn more than people working in the category of Fitness and Recreation generally in North Carolina and more than people in the Fitness and Recreation category nationally.

There are forty-three schools of higher education in the Charlotte area, including seven within twenty-five miles of Charlotte where you can get a degree to start your career 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 Charlotte 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

University of North Carolina at Charlotte - Charlotte, NC

University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 9201 University City Blvd, Charlotte, NC 28223-0001. University of North Carolina at Charlotte is a large university located in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 23,300 students and an admission rate of 75%. University of North Carolina at Charlotte has a bachelor's degree program in Health and Physical Education which graduated thirty students in 2008.

Johnson C Smith University - Charlotte, NC

Johnson C Smith University, 100 Beatties Ford Rd, Charlotte, NC 28216-5398. Johnson C Smith University is a small university located in Charlotte, North Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,567 students and an admission rate of 46%. Johnson C Smith University has 2 areas of study related to Fitness Instructor. They are:

  • Health and Physical Education, bachelor's degree.
  • Sport and Fitness Administration/Management, bachelor's degree which graduated 14 students in 2008.

Catawba College - Salisbury, NC

Catawba College, 2300 W Innes St, Salisbury, NC 28144. Catawba College is a small college located in Salisbury, North Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,261 students and an admission rate of 61%. Catawba 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.

Livingstone College - Salisbury, NC

Livingstone College, 701 W Monroe St, Salisbury, NC 28144. Livingstone College is a small college located in Salisbury, North Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 994 students and an admission rate of 57%. Livingstone College has a bachelor's degree program in Sport and Fitness Administration/Management which graduated eleven students in 2008.

Lenoir-Rhyne University - Hickory, NC

Lenoir-Rhyne University, 625 7th Avenue NE, Hickory, NC 28601. Lenoir-Rhyne University is a small university located in Hickory, North Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,548 students and an admission rate of 81%. Lenoir-Rhyne University has 3 areas of study related to Fitness Instructor. They are:

  • Physical Education Teaching and Coaching, bachelor's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Health and Physical Education, bachelor's degree.
  • Sport and Fitness Administration/Management, bachelor's degree.

Winthrop University - Rock Hill, SC

Winthrop University, 119 Tillman Hall, Rock Hill, SC 29733. Winthrop University is a medium sized university located in Rock Hill, South Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,018 students and an admission rate of 70%. Winthrop University has 2 areas of study related to Fitness Instructor. They are:

  • Physical Education Teaching and Coaching, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated twenty-three and five students respectively in 2008.
  • Sport and Fitness Administration/Management, bachelor's degree which graduated 9 students in 2008.

Wingate University - Wingate, NC

Wingate University, 220 North Camden Road, Wingate, NC 28174-0157. Wingate University is a small university located in Wingate, North Carolina. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,126 students and an admission rate of 55%. Wingate University has 2 areas of study related to Fitness Instructor. They are:

  • Physical Education Teaching and Coaching, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated four and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Sport and Fitness Administration/Management, bachelor's degree which graduated 20 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: Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte, North Carolina
Charlotte, North Carolina photo by Alaskan Assassin

Charlotte is located in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. It has a population of over 687,456, which has grown by 27.1% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charlotte, 86, is well below the national average.

The three big industries for women in Charlotte are health care, finance and insurance, and educational services. For men, it is construction, finance and insurance, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 36.4% of Charlotte residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charlotte is 9.7%, which is less than North Carolina's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Charlotte residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 48.0%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. New Hampton Church, New Emmanuel Church and New East Stonewall Church are all churches located in Charlotte. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.

Charlotte is home to the Crown Point Plaza and the Providence Square as well as Kilborne District Park and Little Rock Road District Park. Shopping malls in the area include Heckinger Shopping Center, Hampshire Hills Shopping Center and Providence Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Charlotte can choose from American Motel, Extended Stay America - Charlotte/Tyvola and Drury Inn and Suites Charlotte for temporary stays in the area.