I wanna be a fitness instructor

Nancy Chan

Rocky Chow, 30

Rocky is a fitness instructor and regional director at California Fitness. He says a passion for exercise and good communication skills are a must in his profession.

What qualifications do you need?

To get started, you have to attend a fitness foundation course. There are many fitness educators in Hong Kong who run these courses.

What sort of person does the job suit?

You need to have an out-going personality. Since this is a people-oriented industry, you have to enjoy working with different kinds of people each and every day. Communication skills are crucial because our job is to help people understand what is best for their health. You must also like to exercise!

What is the best way into the industry?

There are two different ways: either as a group exercise instructor in a gym or as a personal trainer. To become a person trainer, you will need to start as a gym instructor. Some fitness educators have an internship programme that offers students the opportunity to gain work experience in different fitness centres.

What work hours do you keep?

It depends on the type of fitness instructor you become.

Is there a clear career path?

As long as you treat this as a full-time job, there is a clear career path. This is a growing industry with advancing career opportunities. However it does depend on the size of the company you are working for and its growth plans.

What is the best part of your job?

Working with people every day! You learn and experience a great deal and at the same time you stay fit and healthy.

What is the worst part of your job?

I guess it must be the working hours; shift work sometimes eats into weekends since most gym members work out when they have free time. You have to organise yourself to stay on top of your social life.

Salary range?

As a gym fitness instructor, starting salaries range between $8,000-$12,000 a month. As a personal trainer, you can earn up to $40,000.

Last word?

In order to be successful, you have to look at this as a full-time profession. Although the first three to five months are tough, as long as you believe in this profession and you are willing to put in the time, you stand a very good chance of becoming successful.