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Career and Education Opportunities for Fitness Instructors in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Fitness instructors can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. Currently, 11,450 people work as fitness instructors in Pennsylvania. This is expected to grow 10% to 12,550 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%. Fitness instructors generally instruct or coach groups or individuals in exercise activities and the fundamentals of sports.

Fitness instructors earn approximately $10 hourly or $22,670 yearly on average in Pennsylvania. Nationally they average about $14 per hour or $29,210 annually. Fitness instructors earn less than people working in the category of Fitness and Recreation generally in Pennsylvania and more than people in the Fitness and Recreation category nationally.

There are eighty-three schools of higher education in the Pittsburgh area, including six within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh where you can get a degree to start your career as a fitness instructor. Given that the most common education level for fitness instructors is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years studying 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 Pittsburgh 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

California University of Pennsylvania - California, PA

California University of Pennsylvania, 250 University Ave, California, PA 15419-1394. California University of Pennsylvania is a medium sized university located in California, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,519 students and an admission rate of 61%. California University of Pennsylvania has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Sport and Fitness Administration/Management which graduated 103 and 361 students respectively in 2008.

Robert Morris University - Moon Township, PA

Robert Morris University, 6001 University Boulevard, Moon Township, PA 15108-1189. Robert Morris University is a small university located in Moon Township, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,767 students and an admission rate of 75%. Robert Morris University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Sport and Fitness Administration/Management which graduated three and one students respectively in 2008.

Community College of Beaver County - Monaca, PA

Community College of Beaver County, One Campus Drive, Monaca, PA 15061-2588. Community College of Beaver County is a small college located in Monaca, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,695 students. Community College of Beaver County has an associate's degree program in Health and Physical Education.

Community College of Allegheny County - Pittsburgh, PA

Community College of Allegheny County, 800 Allegheny Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233-1895. Community College of Allegheny County is a large college located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 19,366 students. Community College of Allegheny County has an associate's degree program in Health and Physical Education which graduated two students in 2008.

Bethany College - Bethany, WV

Bethany College, , Bethany, WV 26032. Bethany College is a small college located in Bethany, West Virginia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 825 students and an admission rate of 96%. Bethany College has 2 areas of study related to Fitness Instructor. They are:

  • Physical Education Teaching and Coaching, bachelor's degree which graduated 20 students in 2008.
  • Health and Physical Education, bachelor's degree.

University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus - Pittsburgh, PA

University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus, 4200 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus is a large university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 27,562 students and an admission rate of 56%. University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Physical Education Teaching and Coaching which graduated twenty-eight, twenty-nine, and thirteen students respectively 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: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.