The results of our annual survey are in! There have been some surprises, shocks, lessons, and lots of good news after releasing our survey to our amazing students. Find out why our students join us, the myths they’ve learned are simply not true about the fitness industry, and what our students want from the future.
What Are Our Students Studying?
The first big reveal is that most of our current students are studying for a gym instructor qualification. That’s followed by a joint number two, with 31% of students learning for a qualification in either Personal Training or the Level 3 Award in Supporting Pre and Post Natal Clients with Exercise and Nutrition.
What’s really awesome is that according to the results of the survey, we don’t have any unhappy students! Most said they were satisfied with the course they are studying, with a whopping 35.7% letting us know that they are extremely satisfied with their current course.
Employment before Joining Us
We certainly have some students coming from different backgrounds too. Just under a quarter had a full-time job before they began studying, and just over 17% were working part-time. The biggest surprise is that an impressive 48.8% of our current students are also managing to keep working as they study!
Of the people who either had worked before they started their course or were still working while studying with us, the vast majority were in employment that had very little to do with health and fitness. Exactly half of our students were working in totally unrelated fields! Fewer than a quarter were already working in the health and fitness sector.
Before deciding to become a fitness professional with The Fitness Group, over half of our students were either satisfied or neutral about their previous employment. But 23.8% were either dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their last position, hence the focus on a career change!
Reasons for Studying with the Fitness Group
So why are our students deciding to sign up for our courses? It turns out that there are a variety of reasons why people are becoming more interested in the career possibilities that come with nationally recognised health and fitness qualifications. Over half (52.4%) simply love fitness and want to work in an industry they’re passionate about, which makes a lot of sense.
Not surprisingly, the second most popular reason for wanting a career in this exciting industry is to both work with and help other people.
The final reasons for starting a new career with our courses are all down to ambition and the type of work this sector entails. A combined 16.6% of our students either wanted to be their own boss and dictate their working hours or were simply keen to avoid 9-5 office-bound careers. Becoming a gym instructor or personal trainer certainly offers the flexibility and career control that people are looking for.
What Were Students Worried about before They Started Their Course?
Embarking on a new career venture will always come with concerns and doubts. When we asked our students their biggest fear about becoming fitness professionals, the answers were surprising.
By far the biggest worry was about managing to fit their studies around their current job role. With so many of our students doing just that, it’s clear that our flexibility and a hybrid approach to learning is a winner. Hybrid gyms are certainly one of the biggest fitness trends to come in 2022, so it’s great to see our flexible learning options so far ahead of that trend.
The other main worry about starting a fitness career was money and concerns over whether enough work was available for qualified health and fitness experts. Just over 22% said that they weren’t sure whether fitness professionals could earn enough money to maintain their current lifestyle, while 17% were simply worried about being able to find work once they were qualified (which is why we offer a guaranteed job interview once you’ve completed your course!).
Only 10% of students were worried about their fitness levels. Most people assume that to become a personal trainer or gym instructor of some kind, you need to be in perfect physical shape yourself, but this simply isn’t the case.
There’s also the concern about myths related to being a fitness professional. Although students said they have now learned these misconceptions aren’t true, there was particular concern about the required fitness levels, with the myth being that you need to be in optimal fitness yourself.
Other myths that our students have been happy to find out aren’t true include low pay, being too old (or too young!) to work in the health and fitness sector, or that it’s hard to find a job once qualified. We’re pleased to see that these myths are being revealed for the nonsense they are.
So what is it that our students are looking for in the future? For most (37.5%), the answer is simply to become a specialist in a particular area or field. That’s primarily because of the career possibilities that come with narrowing down to a specific niche, such as a spin instructor.
For others (35%), the goal is to run their own business as a personal trainer.
Long term goals after the big two were very scattered. 7.5% have ambitions of running their own gym, which we always approve of! For everyone else, long term goals range from simply wanting to help others meet their fitness goals, integrating personal training into their existing career, or simply looking to expand their health and fitness knowledge.
What’s Being Learned?
So if you ask our students about what they’re learning, what would they say? The answers were wildly unpredictable and extremely positive. As well as the answers you’d expect, like “A lot about anatomy, nutrition and business”, some were impressed about potential earnings, saying, “It’s amazing how much you can earn doing something you love with the right support.”
For others, it’s about learning new skills and how to teach others effectively: “Being confident and polite to others helps them feel comfortable in a fitness environment” or “I have learned about the need for building good relationships through positive communication and how this can benefit your success as a fitness professional.”
Ultimately, the consensus seems to be that “It’s a lot of hard work and hours but very rewarding.” The variety of the personal trainer role also appears to be a winning one, and some of our students are surprised by how much goes into becoming a personal trainer. They have also expressed surprise by the business management side of being a personal trainer, especially in areas like marketing.
So do our students feel confident about finding work once they’ve qualified? The good news is that just over 40% are fairly confident, while 37.5% are extremely confident. Unfortunately, 20% of our students feel neutral about their possibility of finding work after qualification, so that’s something we’re going to have to look at. Luckily, nobody answered that they were under-confident about their future employment prospects!
Favourite Aspects of Learning with The Fitness Group
We weren’t sure what to expect when we asked what students love about learning with us. We love that 53.7% of our students love the flexibility of the learning environment because it’s something that we’ve worked very hard to get right. The fact that the tutors and their expertise were the second most popular favourite simply made us blush with joy!
The friendly community atmosphere was something we were hoping to see mentioned, and we’re pleased to see that it comes in third with 12.2%.
Finally, we asked our students if they’d still take the course if they went back in time to before they started. Everyone said yes, apart from one person! And 92.9% said that they’d recommend a course in fitness to someone who was already considering it.
Advice from Our Students
Our final survey question was simply asking what piece of advice our students would give to anyone considering a career as a fitness professional. Here are some of our favourite answers.
- Go for it! The course is so flexible and the support is amazing!
- If you have the passion for using sport as a means of helping others, and you are willing to put in the hard work, then go for it and never stop learning. You won’t look back.
- Just do it; you won’t regret it — an incredibly rewarding career.
- Take the time and study every aspect carefully, try to talk to people already in the field to get advice and guidance on how to be successful.
- Don’t let your own thoughts or other people’s opinions hold you back. Do it!
- Have faith in your ability and be reassured that you have the power to achieve anything you put your mind to.
- Clients don’t care how many abs you have; they care about how much you can help them.
- Go for it! Yes, it seems like a competitive industry, but everyone has their own niche and things to offer, making them different. When people buy your services, they buy into your personality because it’s you!
And finally, our favourite quote: ”Follow your dreams!”