Fitness Instructor – Recreation Career Opportunities In Hospitality Industry

Career Profile

Duties: Teaches fitness and exercise classes in a hotel, resort, or cruise ship fitness center.

Alternate Title(s): Exercise Instructor; Aerobics Instructor   

Employment Prospects: Good  

Advancement Prospects: Good  

Best Geographical Location(s): All, particularly big cities and heavy tourist areas; regions with major hotels, resorts, and spas  


Education and Training—Varies, but a degree or certificate in exercise or fitness is required for many positions  

Experience—Experience taking and teaching fitness classes  

Special Skills and Personality Traits—Energetic and enthusiastic; good stamina and technical ability in type of exercise taught (e.g., yoga knowledge); strong communication and teaching skills; patience  

Special Requirements—Accreditation and/or certification may be required for many positions  

Career Ladder

Health Club/Fitness Center Director  


Fitness Instructor  


Fitness Student

Position Description

Many people’s lives and daily routines include physical activity. This is also true when they are on vacation or away on business. Hotel guests expect to continue exercising even when they are not at home. Hotel, resort, and cruise ship fitness centres frequently have cutting-edge equipment where guests can run on treadmills or lift weights and train. Many also provide exercise classes to motivate and tone visitors. Fitness Instructors lead these classes.

Fitness instructors instruct classes that can last anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour or more. Aerobics (step or regular), spinning, cardio, yoga, martial arts, Pilates, and other classes are available. Classes may be held on equipment such as bicycles or balance balls, or on the floor on mats. Fitness instructors are specially trained to teach these classes in order to maximise health benefits while minimising injury. They may be experts in one or more of these areas.

Fitness Instructors set up the room and bring out the equipment before each class. They create fitness routines for various skill levels or populations. There are, for example, fitness classes designed for senior citizens as well as those designed for pregnant women. Creating each class may include selecting music and choreographing move sequences. Fitness instructors apply their knowledge to create a workout that achieves the class’s goal, whether it’s to increase heart rate or tone stomach muscles. This becomes the fitness class syllabus.

Classes must strike a happy medium between being challenging and being too difficult. Fitness instructors must be proficient in all required moves and be able to assist students in achieving them, especially in classes like yoga and Pilates that require specific stretching positions. They must be able to motivate and instruct others in order for them to participate. In addition, Fitness Instructors frequently collect information from guests who sign up for their classes. People fill out forms about their medical history, and Fitness Instructors try to ensure safety and take special needs into consideration. They may suggest a different class for someone with a medical condition or make other accommodations as needed.

Working with people is essential for Fitness Instructors. They contribute to a guest’s overall experience in the hospitality industry and must be a positive representative of their property. Fitness Instructors must be knowledgeable about all of the property’s amenities and special events in order to be helpful when speaking with guests. Furthermore, they must be able to respond calmly and confidently to all feedback and problems, with a customer-service orientation, to ensure that the guest is satisfied.

Additional duties may include:
  • Providing coverage for assigned classes and/or filling in for other instructors
  • Ensuring that guests complete necessary paperwork
  • Handling special requests and paperwork
  • Promoting special services and programs within the hotel
  • Being knowledgeable about property policies and procedures
  • Explaining benefits of different types of exercise
  • Reporting any problems to management
  • Teaching aquatic fitness
  • Keeping up on new fitness trends and equipment
  • Keeping equipment clean and working properly

Fitness Instructors should be knowledgeable in CPR and other first aid and emergency procedures. They must adhere to safety standards at all times. At times, they may be asked to stand in for other staff, from desk attendants to managers. They may also be knowledgeable about other health-related areas such as weight management or nutrition.  

Employment Prospects  

Employment prospects for Fitness Instructors in the hospitality industry are good. Most hotels have gyms now and are expanding their repertoire of services. The need for qualified people to staff these fitness centers and teach classes will grow. For those Fitness Instructors with certification and specialty areas, opportunities will be best.  

Advancement Prospects  

Advancement prospects are also good for Fitness Instructors. They can move to more prestigious properties or to spa facilities where they may teach more classes, earn more money, and have more responsibility. Some may move up to manage the fitness center at a hotel, or manage all its fitness services. Others might seek certification as a personal trainer, where they can take on private clients and earn considerably higher incomes.  

Education and Training  

The education and training required varies depending on the type of classes taught by a Fitness Instructor. Most Fitness Instructors who teach group classes start out by taking a lot of classes and developing their own style. Yoga and Pilates instructors must receive specialised training in these disciplines before teaching them.

Furthermore, many Fitness Instructors have college degrees in subjects like exercise science, physical education, recreation, health, and others. In addition to or instead of certification, some employers prefer to hire instructors with bachelor’s degrees. Experience, abilities, and personality characteristics Fitness instructors typically enter the field after years of participating in and enjoying fitness classes. Exercise is a hobby that they have turned into a career.

To be a good teacher, a Fitness Instructor must be friendly and patient, with excellent communication skills. He or she must be able to lead by example and motivate others. Also, he or she must be able to improve the performance of students and correct mistakes while being encouraging rather than critical.  

Extremely high energy and enthusiasm are needed, as well as the ability to keep these up for the duration of not only one class, but several classes in the same day. This requires being in good physical shape and health with extended stamina. Technical skill in their fitness discipline is essential, as well as commitment to health, wellness, and exercise.