The Business of Fitness: Adventures of a Fitness Industry Educator

Part 1: Becoming a Fitness Industry Certification Specialist

So you want to work in the fitness industry? You attend your first group exercise instructor certification workshop. You meet the person or persons leading the workshop, only to leave at the end of the day thinking to yourself “their job seems so awesome!”


Very few people realize the amount of time, patience, and financial investment it takes to become that “person” leading such an educational seminar of sorts.

The numerous hoops you jump through after you’ve become certified in your desired fitness specialty, then apply, audition,  and interview for the position to lead workshops for that particular certification.

The most cumbersome part,  is the apprenticeship. Before you can lead a workshop on your own, you have to prove that you can, through co-presentation with an established and experienced presenter.

Availability of workshops can be scarce or not fit your schedule, and often get cancelled last minute due to low registrations, so be prepared to hurry up and wait. This also continues once you gain your official examiner and/or presenter position as well.

The typical route to becoming a certification specialist is to first apply to become an examiner for the certification workshop you want to someday present. In this instance, if you also apply for the presenter position as well, you can utilize your check-off time wisely and finish your unpaid examiner check-off as well as practice presenting at the same workshop,  so on your next workshops visit you can get checked off on presenting and paid for examining the workshop candidates as well.


So before you begin to think it’s all glitz glam high life being a fitness educator, remember it can take as long as a year just to complete the application process, get scheduled at at your minimum two workshops for your presenter apprenticeship, or your one practice workshop for your examiner check-off, which is unpaid and not reimbursed, unless you are progressing onward through the presenter apprenticeship process, then at your second apprenticeship workshop you can serve as an examiner as well and receive compensation for it.

Part II: Working as a Fitness Industry Certification Specialist

As fitness education specialist, we also at times have to travel a long distance from home,  for a weekend, usually a day trip only or so, depending on the workshop length, location, and format, and put up with any and everything that could take place once we arrive. Issues can arise anywhere from rude staff and inadequate facilities,  to ill-prepared, unsafe participants that refuse to adopt company policies and philosophy,  as well as just being in an unfamiliar city for a day.

Luckily,  most of these extremes I’ve been blessed to not encounter,  but they happen according to fellow colleagues in the industry.

However,  at the end of it all, this role is very rewarding in that you have the opportunity to enrich the lives of pure strangers for a day and help them launch their dreams of becoming the best fitness professional they can be, with national credentials to boot. Something to be very proud of.

Until next time…I AM Candice Maria

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