An Active Career?

Have you been thinking about a career in exercise?

With inactivity and lifestyle diseases a leading cause of illnesses and early death it is fair to say that those who work in our industry truly save lives!  For many exercise enthusiasts, moving into active careers such as personal training or fitness coaching can often be a perfect fit.  And it’s not just for the young- with many facilities seeking trainers with life experience as well as a passion for exercise and life.

The New Zealand exercise industry is fun, vibrant and continuously growing.  A career in this industry is a hugely rewarding one.  Career opportunities range from part time to full time and include group exercise, sales, personal training, facility management, small business ownership and as is quite common, a bit of everything.

  • There are over 600 gyms/exercise facilities and around 400 yoga providers ranging from studios to independent yoga teachers.
  • The industry supports and employs over 5000 individuals, around 3000 of these are exercise professionals.
  • Estimated turnover in the industry is between $200 and $250 million a year.

With support of organisations such as Exercise New Zealand that works to advocate and support exercise  businesses, and REPs (The Register of Exercise Professionals) which is the standard setting body for exercise facilities and professionals, a career in the exercise industry is no longer something that people fall into, but rather a sustainable career choice, that does not require a degree qualification to embark on and has a culture of on job upskilling and career development.

Whether straight from school or seeking a second career in exercise it’s important to be able to get the right information, tools and an understanding of what their chosen career choice means in terms of education and career startup and progression.  To support people making these choices REPs has developed an industry guide, a tool to assist new and potential exercise professionals understand what it takes to a personal trainer, group instructor or another exercise professional.   The guide aims to provide information about a career in the exercise industry and to help with career choices.

We recommend students ask themselves the following questions:

  • Do I want to undertake a full-time or part-time course?
  • Do I want to train locally or am I willing to travel for a short course? What types of exercise industry courses does my local education institution provide?
  • Do I prefer lecture-based, online or workplace training? (All forms of training have practical experience elements included)
  • What facilities do I want to target for employment? What training provider do they typically source their staff from?

The guide is available as a download at

For those looking at an Active Career, either in exercise, outdoor or community recreation, performing arts, etc, Skills Active has a career pathway tool which is available online to take learners through the career options available in a range of active sectors.

For more expert advice, inspiration, products and services; head along to the NZ Fitness & Health Expo on October 28-29 at Auckland’s ASB Showgrounds, Greenlane.  Tickets available now at