Stay-at-Work Mom: Fitness Instructor

By Trillia Newbell

The fitness industry is here to stay. Whether it is personal trainers, group fitness instructors, small studios or multi-faceted gyms, there will always be someone interested in fitness. With the current obesity epidemic it’s also a great time to be a part of an industry that generally strives to help individuals practically care for their health. The industry is also filled with jobs perfect for moms.


When I was looking for something I could do while at home the first thing I thought of was renewing my Group Fitness certification.  It was really a no-brainer. I had taught group fitness for a non-profit Christian organization but had allowed my certification to lapse. One of the biggest draws for me is that I knew I wouldn’t be working five to eight hours a day. The job is incredibly flexible.

Most fitness instructors teach one or two classes a day (and not necessarily everyday). You generally set your hours by turning in the days and times that you are able to teach. If your children are sick you can call on a group of instructors to assist you. In many ways, it’s completely up to you how much or how less you teach. And of course, you can choose to teach classes on your own in a church, in the community, at your home, or at a business.


Most fitness facilities allow their group fitness instructors (and sometimes personal trainers) to bring their children to work with them! Whenever I have a class or two I bring my kids with me and they play with the staff designated to care for kids of employees and members of the facility. I have not been to a location yet that hasn’t been kid-friendly-I’m sure they are out there but it hasn’t been my experience by the grace of God.

Health Benefits

The obvious benefit is you get to exercise as a group fitness instructor. Though you may not exercise to your maximum capacity (since you must also talk) you do get to work out! If you are a personal trainer you coach rather than exercise, but your awareness of the benefits of exercise will motivate you to do it yourself.

Another benefit is, unless you are in sales, it is a generally pressure-free job. You go in the door, teach your class, laugh with members, and walk out the door. There are many potential stressors everyday- fitness is a nice breath of fresh air. The general affect is just the opposite. You may leave energized, calm, refreshed, and strengthened.

Fellowship and Outreach

I personally believe getting to fellowship, encourage, and motivate others is the biggest benefit for me. I love people and this is one way I get to be with people outside my circle. I’ve had the opportunity to pray with students who became my friend, to help the woman who is struggling with an illness move, and invite new friends to lunch or church.

Cost and Pay

Everyone who teaches group fitness classes or does fitness training of any kind ought to obtain a nationally recognized fitness certification. Each facility has their own requirements so if you think you are going to work with a gym, contact the gyms you are interested in prior to getting certified. This will guarantee that you know what you need. If you are doing it on your own I would suggest nationally recognized certifications. They are usually accepted at any facility.

The costs for certifications can run from $99-over $1000 depending on how specialized you are going (i.e. Crossfit).  Many certifications must be renewed every two years with a few requiring every year. Renewal is accomplished by taking CEC credit classes which many can be completed online. There is usually a small fee for renewal.

Earnings for group fitness can be anywhere from $15-$40 per class depending on your specialty and your gym. Fitness trainers may be paid slightly more or less depending on how many clients, the length of the personal training session and the facility.

National Certifications

There are many fitness providers out there these days. As fitness professional I can recommend the following:







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