Finding Fit: The ultimate guide to finding your career in fitness

 

Turning your passion into your career

Health and fitness isn’t just a fad for you. You live, eat and breathe it. You’re the person your friends look to for ‘fitspo’, support, or as a workout buddy, and you genuinely care about helping others feel healthier.

If this is you, a career in health and fitness could be your calling. But what does it take to turn your love of fitness into an actual career? Firstly, a passion for it – which you obviously have because you have found yourself here. Secondly, you’ll need to get qualified with a certified institution. And thirdly, once you’re in it, you’ll need to stay motivated through regular professional development, keep on top of the business side of things, and keep your passion for fitness alive.

It’s no walk in the park (well, some of it might involve work outs in the park), but you have to work hard for what you really want. So let’s get started…

The right fit: is a career in fitness right for you?

The great thing about a fitness career is that it suits a wide range of people with a wide range of skills. The underlying factor that connects people who have a career in fitness is a genuine love of it.

Some people prefer to focus their attention and enjoy one-on-one interactions with their clients – these people often go into Personal Training, Remedial Massage or nutrition coaching, whereas others thrive off the energy of a group class so become Group Fitness Instructors. Some people take their qualifications and do something entirely different. A career in fitness is really what you make of it.

The main thing is to focus on your own strengths and where your passion for fitness lies. Then you can determine which course is right for you as you take steps to beginning your own career in the fitness industry.

Here are five things we love about working in the wellness industry and why you’ll feel good becoming part of it.

Hot trends that keep us on our toes

Often literally! Body weight training, strength training, personal training, functional fitness, fitness programs for older adults, and exercise and weight loss – all topped the list of hot fitness trends for last year.

It’s never too late to start

30% of fitness professionals are over 30 years of age*. Many of our graduates have traded in draining day jobs for a fulfilling career in fitness and never looked back.

*WORLDWIDE SURVEY OF FITNESS TRENDS FOR
2016: 10th Anniversary Edition Thompson, Walter R. Ph.D., FACSM.

Working in a growth sector

Growth is expected to continue for fitness industry services. As our population grows and ages, the government invests in preventative health and infrastructure and improved links are created between the health and fitness sectors*.

*WORLDWIDE SURVEY OF FITNESS TRENDS FOR
2016: 10th Anniversary Edition Thompson, Walter R. Ph.D., FACSM.

Feeling good about what we do

The most recent Sportspeople salary shows over 85% of fitness professionals were either satisfied or very satisfied with their job. Whether you are helping someone lose weight, recover from injury or improve their general wellbeing, it feels amazing to help others achieve their fitness goals.

Promoting the health benefits of physical activity

Type 2 diabetes is expected to become the leading cause of disease burden for males and the second cause for females by 2023, mainly due to the expected growth in the prevalence of obesity in Australia. Positive preventative measures and an increase in the links between the health and fitness industries are key to a brighter – and lighter – future for a fit and healthy nation.

"Loved it, did an online course with FIA and had a blast. They took special care of me, I'm not too good with computers but they helped me whenever I asked and I really liked the course content. You're never too old to do what you love!!!"

Garry Jones, October 2019

Fitting study into your life

For most, undertaking any kind of study involves considering how this will fit into your already busy life. We understand that studying will be an important part of your life, but won’t be the only thing in it. There are factors like work, homelife and finances you need to think about before you enrol in a course.

Fortunately, there are many ways you can be supported while you are studying from both a financial and flexibility standpoint. Be sure to look into what various educational institutions offer before enrolling. Factors to think about include:

Payment options: Look for an educational institution that offers a range of payment plans including instalment options and study loans. That way you can pay your course fees in a way that works best for you.

Study options: Many students are looking for flexibility in their studies so be sure to check if your course can be taken online, subjects deferred if needed and if they have a team of support staff available to help you when you need it.

Getting qualified

When you look at a career in fitness there are a wide range of options available to you.

Help people achieve their health and fitness goals by becoming a Personal Trainer. These courses will get you there:

Master Coach (Fitness)SIS30315 & SIS40215

Certificate IV in FitnessSIS40215

PT Express SIS40215 + PRE-REQS SIS30315

Diploma of Fitness SIS50215

Personal Trainer

Motivate and inspire people every day through being a Group Exercise Instructor. These courses will get you there:

Master Coach (Fitness)SIS30315 & SIS40215

Certificate III in FitnessSIS30315

Group Exercise Instructor

Be a part of a healthier world by helping people make better nutrition choices. This course will get you there:

Nutrition Coach

Health and Food Coach

Support an older demographic by becoming a Mature Age Trainer. These courses will get you there:

Master Coach (Fitness)SIS30315 & SIS40215

Certificate IV in FitnessSIS40215

PT ExpressSIS40215 + PRE-REQS SIS30315

Diploma of FitnessSIS50215

Mature Age Trainer

Tap into the corporate market and help businesses maintain a healthy and happy workforce. These courses will get you there:

Master Coach (Fitness)SIS30315 & SIS40215

Certificate IV in FitnessSIS40215

PT ExpressSIS40215 + PRE-REQS SIS30315

Diploma of FitnessSIS50215

Corporate Health Coach

Be involved in the research and development of food, or develop your own recipes. This course will get you there:

Nutrition Coach

Food Technologist

Find your niche and become a Specialised Exercise Trainer. This course will get you there:

Diploma of FitnessSIS50215

Specialised Exercise Trainer

Take pride in owning your own business while enjoying the flexibility in choosing your own hours and specialisation. These courses will get you there:

Master Coach (Fitness)SIS30315 & SIS40215

Certificate III in FitnessSIS30315

Certificate IV in FitnessSIS40215

PT ExpressSIS40215 + PRE-REQS SIS30315

Diploma of FitnessSIS50215

Nutrition Coach

Business owner


Of course, you aren’t limited to just these careers. With an ever-changing landscape, opportunities in the fitness industry are dynamic and evolving.

Personal Trainer
Group Exercise Instructor
Health and Food Coach
Mature Age Trainer
Corporate Health Coach
Food Technologist
Specialised Exercise Trainer
Business Owner
Master Coach
SIS30315 & SIS40215
Certificate III in Fitness
SIS30315
Certificate IV in Fitness
SIS40215
PT Express
SIS40215 + PRE-REQS SIS30315
Diploma of Fitness
SIS50215
Nutrition Coach
Personal Trainer
Group Exercise Instructor
Master Coach
SIS30315 & SIS40215
Certificate III in Fitness
SIS30315
Certificate IV in Fitness
SIS40215
PT Express
SIS40215 + PRE-REQS SIS30315
Diploma of Fitness
SIS50215
Nutrition Coach
Health and Food Coach
Mature Age Trainer
Master Coach
SIS30315 & SIS40215
Certificate III in Fitness
SIS30315
Certificate IV in Fitness
SIS40215
PT Express
SIS40215 + PRE-REQS SIS30315
Diploma of Fitness
SIS50215
Nutrition Coach
Corporate Health Coach
Food Technologist
Master Coach
SIS30315 & SIS40215
Certificate III in Fitness
SIS30315
Certificate IV in Fitness
SIS40215
PT Express
SIS40215 + PRE-REQS SIS30315
Diploma of Fitness
SIS50215
Nutrition Coach
Specialised Exercise Trainer
Business Owner
Master Coach
SIS30315 & SIS40215
Certificate III in Fitness
SIS30315
Certificate IV in Fitness
SIS40215
PT Express
SIS40215 + PRE-REQS SIS30315
Diploma of Fitness
SIS50215
Nutrition Coach

How long does it take to get qualified?

It depends on the qualification you’re looking at. A SIS30315 Certificate III in Fitness can take anywhere between 13 and 26 weeks, whereas a SIS50215 Diploma of Fitness can take anywhere between 36 and 78 weeks.

The beauty of these courses is their flexibility. You choose to study part time or full time, take subjects online and continue your employment while you study. If you have lined up a job in fitness and need to get qualified as soon as possible, talk to one of FIAFitnation’s admissions team who will be able to help you in choosing a course and planning your subjects so you can get started in a job sooner.

 

Will it be worth it?

Ready to make a career switch? Here’s what you need to know

So, you’re ready to make the move into the fitness industry. That’s great! Here are a few things to know to help set you up for success as you change careers.

It’s about (your) timing icon

It’s about (your) timing

There is no specific “best time” to change careers. Realistically, the best time to switch is when you have considered the various factors in your life (work and home commitments), have a firm understanding of what the course requires of you and a clear idea of what you want to do once you graduate.

Know your strengths and weaknesses icon

Know your strengths and weaknesses

This is important as you’ll essentially be your own business. By having an understanding of these you can play to your strengths and improve your weaknesses (and know when to seek help when you need it)

Be career focussed icon

Be career focussed

Have an idea of what you want to do after you graduate. Is it Personal Training? Owning your own gym? Being a Nutrition Coach? This will help to dictate what course you to do.

It’s not all high fives icon

It’s not all high fives

Let’s be real here. In any kind of study there are probably some parts of the course that may not be as interesting as others. However, even if they seem a bit boring, they are essential parts of the course and provide the building blocks for your knowledge. You may even end up referring back to this information in the future!

There’ll be a transition period icon

There’ll be a transition period

Like with any new business, there may be a period of transition where you aren’t making a lot of money. It’s advisable to either have a good amount of savings or maintain another job while you are getting your business up and running. The beauty of the fitness industry is that it typically isn’t a 9 to 5 job which gives you lots of flexibility around the hours you do. There will be challenging times, but try to remember why you got into this in the first place and let it drive you to continue.

Adapt and thrive icon

Adapt and thrive

Be adaptable. You don’t know what the future will bring, so make sure you’re able to quickly pivot. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, gyms had to close meaning many had to quickly move to an online model in order to keep their businesses going. Quick thinking and creativity will help you thrive in the long run

Fitness courses

The fitness industry is responding to changes in consumer expectations and the current climate. People want more personalised service, which is reflected in the booming market for group personal training and personalised nutrition. The opportunities for moving into the digital space are huge and it’s a great time to move into this dynamic industry.

FIAFitnation provides a range of fitness courses depending on where you want your career to take you.

How do I find the right fitness course?

Need advice on which course is right for you?

Schedule a call with our enrolments teamView FAQs

or call us now

Course delivery

The ins and outs of studying

For some of us, studying is a very recent memory. For others it may have been years since you hit the books. Either way, it’s important to be prepared for life as a student.

The fear of failure is a real thing. But don’t worry, you’re not alone. From the get-go you will be supported – even before you enrol. The enrolments team will work with you to make sure you are adequately prepared for study life and will offer advice and study loads in order to set you up for success. If at any point you’re struggling in your studies or are unsure about something, help is just a phone call or email away.

We pride ourselves on the flexibility of our study options and will support you in creating a learning environment that works for you, be that learning on campus, online or a combination of the two.

FIAFitnation - Ins and outs of studying

Study online, anywhere, anytime

Our online learning platform is set up to simulate an on-campus experience. Online learning facilitators use live webinars, Skype and YouTube clips to create a rich student experience. Each of your subjects will be broken down into easy to handle segments, which you will find organised and prioritised in our online platform. Even if the whole concept of online study is new to you, you will be 100% supported to get you up to speed with the technology.

Had the best experience with FIA. Completed Cert III in Fitness on campus with awesome teachers who were always willing to not only educate, but share their stories and experiences with us. Went on to complete my Cert IV in Fitness online and still had such great support from the online team – honestly could not recommend FIA enough!!!

Sarah Chappell
SIS30315 Certificate III in Fitness

FIAFitnation - Testimonial - Sarah Chappell

How can I make online study work for me?

On campus study, face-to-face learning

FIAFitnation has 3 campuses located centrally in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Some people just love learning in a classroom environment. If this is you then you will appreciate that FIAFitnation provides options for designing your own on-campus study program. Talk with your career consultant about the availability of day, night and weekend classes for your course.

You’ll complete your theoretical, practical and first aid certificate (if required) learning on campus and complete at-home study, workbooks and exams with the support of our online learning platform.


Enrol me now

FYI, it’s business as usual at FIA

We are still operating as usual with no major change in our operations except for moving to an entirely online study model. With more time at home, it could be the perfect time for you to start a fitness course online.

So you’ve graduated, now what?

Once you have gained your qualifications, you’re ready to get out there into the real world. Throughout your studies you have been learning about all aspects of the fitness industry – including the business and marketing side of things. These foundations will help get you set up and get your first clients, if you haven’t already got them.

FIAFitnation have an extensive network of fitness professionals across the country so are able to support you in career advice and connections once you graduate.

Industry connections

FIAFitnation have an extensive network of fitness professionals across the country so are able to support you in career advice and connections once you graduate. We can help you with internship placements and give you access to our job boards to help get your foot in the door. We also host presentations from employers to you while you’re studying which gives you a chance to network before you’ve even graduated.

After the course ended, we were also introduced to career opportunities at multiple fitness centres, including some of the biggest names in the industry… would highly recommend to anyone thinking of a career in fitness!

Anup Mohite, February 2020

FIAFitnation - Testimonial photo

Start planning… now!

Even before you have your qualifications it is important to start planning for life beyond study. Think about what kind of trainer you want to be, what your training philosophy is, and what your goals are for your business. It’s also a good idea to consider how you can become more efficient with non-client facing hours – this means you work less but get paid the same.

It’s also a good time to consider what the client journey looks like – how will you contact your leads and store their information? What templates will you use to write programs? How will you track their progress? We suggest looking for free trials of software use you can use to write programs like goXpro or Trainerize.

Getting clients

This can be a big hurdle for new graduates, but that’s not to say it’s impossible! Here are some practical steps in generating (and keeping!) your first clients:

  • Practice delivering sessions on family and friends so you’re ready to hit the ground running when you get your first client
  • Start with group exercise. This exposes you to large groups of potential clients
  • Pick a business model or form of employment that suits you. For example, if you’re not confident in getting clients yourself, look for an employed model to guarantee a wage while you’re building your confidence
  • Look at using technology to generate clients. This could be a third-party platform like Fit Finder or even through social media channels
  • Be ready to sell. It might not be what you thought you’d be doing in the industry, but it is required if you’re going to be a successful Personal Trainer.

 

Discover Sarah's journey

Professional recognition

After you’ve completed your qualification you’ll need to register with Fitness Australia. Professional registration has been a requirement in Australia since 1980.

These registering bodies verify and hold record of your qualification and keep you up to date with what’s happening in the industry in terms of forecasting trends and reporting on new research. Remember to maintain your registration so your qualifications remain current.

Each of the registering bodies has slightly different requirements for maintaining registration, but this usually involves some continuing education, for which you will gain a certain number of credits or points (commonly referred to as CECs or PDPs). This continuing education serves to demonstrate that you are keeping your knowledge of the industry current.

We advise all our students to check current registration requirements with either Fitness Australia or Physical Activity Australia direct.

International recognition

Different countries have constantly changing requirements when it comes to working in the fitness industry and we encourage students to speak with potential overseas employers, or contact Fitness Australia to understand what may be needed to transfer qualifications gained in Australia to a specific
overseas country.

 

Frequently asked questions

Do I get a certificate at the end of my course?
Students will receive a Certificate or Statement of Attainment on completion of their chosen program, to FIAFitnation’s required standards.
Do you have payment plans?
Yes. You can either pay for your course in full up-front (and there are advantages in doing so!) or opt for one of our flexible and affordable payment plans.
How much does it cost?
This depends on what you choose to study and how! We have a variety of courses and a range of flexible study options – online, on-campus, part or full-time.
What is FIAFitnation’s online learning experience like?
Our online learning platform uses the latest technology to create a rich and engaging learning experience. There you will find extensive resources, dedicated online trainers and opportunities to interact with your virtual classmates.
How do I get started?
If you are ready to get started on your fitness career, give us a call on 1300 136 632 or submit a course enquiry. Our Career Consultants are ready to work with you to decide the best study pathway for you. They will give you all the details about how to enrol.

Student story

FIAFitnation graduates share their own unique stories and experiences. See how they got started and where they are today.

Emma Jones

As a female sailor, Emma Jones knows exactly what it takes to be strong enough to take on the men.

Read her story to find out how she sailed all the way through to the top

FIAFitnation - Student Story - Emma Jones

Emma studied

SIS30315 Certificate III in Fitness

fia-pillar-cour-certificate-iii-fitness

Find out more

Meet the team

FIAFitnation - Ewan Birnie photo
Ewan Birnie National Academic Manager

Ewan is an experienced fitness educator having taught in the field for 12 years in the UK and Australia, as well as working within the industry for over 16 years. He is passionate about creating and delivering high quality and current learning experiences to fitness students. His fitness interests lie in working with young athletes, with a history of employment in sports coaching and strength and conditioning in a variety of sports. He is also a big believer in creating simple and sustainable exercise solutions for the general population that can have a meaningful impact on health and wellbeing.

FIAFitnation - Anthony Turri photo
Anthony Turri National Programme Manager

Anthony is an accredited sports scientist, exercise physiologist, remedial massage therapist, educator and entrepreneur. In professional practice and lecturing since 2001, Anthony has extensive experience in the massage & fitness industries, having worked with numerous national teams, Olympians, professional athletes, and business leaders.

He still practices and also currently works with NRL players and the Junior Socceroos. He has taught and developed a range of subjects, courses, online programs, and apps in these fields. Anthony’s commercial experience includes; four allied health clinics, the first ever massage clinic in an Australian airport, and a national corporate health company.

FIAFitnation - Sophie Scott photo
Sophie Scott Senior Trainer & Assessor

Sophie is a qualified nutritionist and has worked as a Personal Trainer, Group Exercise Coordinator and Group Exercise Instructor, teaching classes including boot camp, yoga, Pilates and functional training. Sophie started teaching at a gym in Vanuatu, then moved to Wellington, New Zealand where she ran her own business, Fit and Fed, focussing on women’s health and fitness. She is now the Head Trainer, Nutrition at FIAFitnation. Sophie has over 18 years’ experience in the education field, initially working in the area of environmental education, assisting people green up their lives. She loves ocean swimming and training at the beach and is also an alumni ambassador for Lululemon Athletica.

FIAFitnation - Rupert Thomson photo
Rupert Thomson Senior Trainer & Assessor

Rupert is our Senior Trainer and Assessor for FIAFitnation, Melbourne. He holds Certificate III and IV in Fitness, Diploma in Fitness, Certificate IV in Assessment and Training and holds a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science. Rupert likes to keep up to date with all the developments within the fitness education industry and is currently completing a Masters in Exercise Physiology.

FIAFitnation - Alicia Turner photo
Alicia Turner Senior Trainer & Assessor

Alicia holds her Certificate III, IV and Diploma of Fitness, a Bachelor of Food Science and Human Nutrition and currently completing her Master’s in Public Health. Alicia has specialised in small group training for eight years in both a corporate and outdoor training environments. She has been a mentor to many Personal Trainers starting out and lives and breathes the health and fitness industry.

FIAFitnation - Graham Fletcher photo
Graham Fletcher Senior Trainer & Assessor

Graham originally comes from a Dance background where he was a Professional Ballet dancer for 13 years. He started with the Queensland Ballet and then spend the majority of his dance career working in overseas companies. On retiring as a dancer Graham made the transition into the fitness industry.

For the last 17 years he has run his own PT business and worked in additional roles as PT manager for six years and Les Mills Presenter for Body Balance. His interest in Fitness is broad and inclusive with particular interest in CrossFit, Corrective Exercise and everything in between.

FIAFitnation - Rob Devereaux photo
Rob Devereux Trainer & Assessor

Rob was raised in Hong Kong and has worked in the fitness industry his entire adult life, both in Asia and Australia. His continual thirst for knowledge led Rob to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Studies, a Master’s degree in Exercise and Nutrition Science and most recently a Master’s degree in Physiotherapy.

Currently, Rob is a practicing physiotherapist, lecturer for both FIAFitnation and Endeavour College of Natural Health on their vocational and higher education courses. He is also a Personal Trainer and Massage Therapist. Rob’s primary ambition is to continue raising the academic level in the fitness industry, bridging the educational gap between fitness professionals and allied health/medical professionals.

FIAFitnation - Adam Edwards photo
Adam Edwards Trainer & Assessor

Adam has been working in the fitness industry in a variety of roles for over 15 years. He’s been a working as a Personal Trainer for all 15 of those and a Strength and Conditioning coach for 12. Adam has taught Cert III and IV in Fitness for over 10 years and when he’s not busy training clients or teaching in the classroom – you’ll find him in the gym, on the track, or completing his Exercise Science degree. He loves most sports, especially athletics, American team sports and any strength based activity.

FIAFitnation - Lucinda Zammit photo
Lucinda Zammit Trainer & Assessor

Lucinda is a qualified Nutritionist who is fervent about healthful eating and activity to get the most out of your body and of life. With a background in fitness, Lucinda moved into Nutrition studies to round out her healthy approach. Lucinda has more than 14 years of experience in health and fitness and working with a variety of clients to help them reach their goals. Lucinda has worked on course development, as a trainer and assessor, a menu developer to health resorts and regularly contributes as a Nutrition consultant to Women’s Health & Fitness magazine. Lucinda enjoys cooking, reading and tropical holidays.

Kick-start your career in health and fitness!

Enrol today

Download FIAFitnation's ultimate course guide which showcases our personal training certificate courses, diplomas, short courses and membership.