cancel
search
Search by IRC, Industry, sector, training package, IRC skills forecast or occupation.

Overview

The page provides information and data on the Fitness sector, which is one component of the Sport, Fitness and Recreation industry.

The fitness industry has grown strongly over the past five years. The emergence of budget 24-hour gym chains has stimulated the majority of industry growth. Franchises have undergone exceptional growth over the past five years, attracting new customers with their affordability and accessibility. Rising health consciousness and high levels of obesity have triggered further growth in gym memberships. 

The range of products and services provided in the gym and fitness sector is increasing. Gyms are looking to change the way in which they operate in order to accommodate a more personalised service. There are increasing numbers of types of products that give consumers a choice in the type of fitness experience they want to have. The outlook for people undertaking this training is that there are numerous disciplines of fitness instruction and that there is opportunity to constantly learn, evolve and gather new skills within the sector. 

The personal trainers segment of the industry has also grown strongly. Demand for personal training has been fuelled by rising health consciousness in Australia and a growing interest in weight-loss programs and fitness regimes.

Vocational education and training is required for occupations involved in a broad range of fitness service occupations such as:

  • Gym and Group Instructors
  • Personal Trainers
  • Aqua and Other Specialised Trainers.

Nationally recognised training for Fitness is delivered under the SIS Sport, Fitness and Recreation and SIS10 Sport, Fitness and Recreation Training Packages. 

For more information on Aquatic and Community Recreation, Outdoor Recreation and Sports sectors, please visit the respective pages.

Information sourced from the Sport and Recreation IRC's 2018 Skills Forecast (forthcoming).

IRC and Skills Forecast

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

The employment level in the Sport and Physical Recreation industry has risen substantially over the period between 2000 and 2017, with a further increase projected up until 2022.  The Amusement and Other Recreation Activities industry has also seen a rise in employment levels over the same period however a slight decrease is expected over the next five years.

Fitness Instructors make up 9% of the Sport and Recreation Activities industry workforce (excluding Horse and Dog Racing Activities) and Sports Coaches, Instructors and Officials make up 16%.  Employment levels in these occupations are projected to increase further until 2022.

Training trends

Training Snapshot

There were just over 49,000 enrolments in fitness sector qualifications during 2017 and roughly 15,300 completions. Both enrolments and completions have decreased between 2014 and 2017. The majority of training takes place at the certificate III and IV level in Fitness.

The majority of training is intended for the occupations of Fitness Instructor or Swimming Coach or Instructor.

Most of the training is carried out by private training providers of which 86% of subjects are funded by domestic fee-for-service. TAFE institutes also provide a small portion of training, the majority of which is commonwealth and state funded. A third of students were living in Queensland and almost a quarter in New South Wales.

Apprentice and trainee commencements and completions have both significantly decreased since 2012, with only a slight increase between 2016 and 2017 for commencements, up to 326. There were 154 completions in 2017. The majority of apprentices and trainees as at December 2017 were enrolled at the certificate III level and training focused on a Swimming Coach or Instructor occupation. Apprenticeships and traineeships were similarly reported in Queensland and Victoria at 38%, followed by New South Wales with 19%.

For more data specific to your occupation, industry or training package, please visit NCVER’s VET students by industry.

For more data specific to your region please visit NCVER’s Atlas of Total VET. If you are prompted to log in, please select cancel and you will continue to be directed to the program.

If you are interested in extracting NCVER data to construct tables with data relevant to you, please sign up for a VOCSTATS account.

Industry insights

Industry insights on skills needs

According to the 2018 IRC Skills Forecast for Sports and Recreation, the top priority skills required across the Sports and Recreation industry can be broken down as follows.

Top priority industry and occupation specific skills include an awareness of:

  • Sports governance
  • Drugs in sport
  • Integrity in sport.

Other top priority skills include:

  • Mentoring skills
  • Skills in diversity and inclusion
  • Presenting skills
  • Skills in child protection 
  • Skills for responding to harassment and discrimination.

The top three generic skills identified in the Skills Forecast for Sports and Recreation were:

  • Communication / Virtual collaboration / Social intelligence
  • Customer Service / Marketing
  • Managerial / Leadership.

The importance of communication skills is supported by findings from the job vacancy data, in which communication was identified as the most in demand advertised generic skill in the Sports and Recreation Activities industry (excluding Horse and Dog Racing Activities).

According to job vacancy data the most advertised occupations were for Fitness Instructors followed by Sports Coaches, Instructors and Officials.

The Environmental Scan 2015: Sport, Fitness and Recreation by Service Skills Australia highlights an increasingly popular trend towards group fitness sessions which are usually run outdoors. This has prompted Fitness Australia and Parks and Leisure Australia to formalise a joint position on the proper use of public spaces by fitness professionals. Due to the increased risks in working in an outside space, fitness professionals require new skills to: 

  • assess and mitigate risk 
  • limit the group’s impact on the environment
  • understand the legal and policy requirements for using uncontrolled public spaces
  • work with authorities to use parks and public spaces properly.

There is significant opportunity for the fitness industry to take advantage of Australia’s increasing population and rising discretionary income. Australians are also becoming more health conscious and are looking for avenues to increase their physical activity. These continuing trends should create further demand for fitness products and services in the future.

In addition to the key national reports and strategies discussed above, there are a number of jurisdictional and regional reports and plans which relate to the fitness industry sector in specific states, territories and regional areas. These reports are available on the websites listed in the links and sources section available below.

Links and resources

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment 2017, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal website  

  • employment projections to May 2022, by ANZSIC 3 digit industries:
    • 911 Sports and Physical Recreation Activities
    • 913 Amusement and Other Recreation Activities.
  • employment projections to May 2022, by selected ANZSCO occupations, including:
    • 4523 Sports Coaches, Instructors and Officials
    • 4521 Fitness Instructors
    • 4524 Sportspersons
    • 1491 Amusement, Fitness and Sports Centre Managers
    • 3623 Greenkeepers
    • 5421 Receptionists
    • 6211 Sales Assistants (General)
    • 4522 Outdoor Adventure Guides.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, Employed persons by Industry group of main job (ANZSIC), Sex, State and Territory, November 1984 onwards, 6291.0.55.003 - EQ06, viewed September 2017 <http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6291.0.55.003May%202017?OpenDocument>

  • Employed total, 2000 to 2017, May Quarter, by ANZSIC 3 digit industries:
    • 911 Sports and Physical Recreation Activities
    • 913 Amusement and Other Recreation Activities.

 

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, 2016 Census - Employment, Income and Unpaid Work, TableBuilder. Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data.

  • Employment level by:
    • 910 Sports and Recreation Activities, nfd
    • 911 Sports and Physical Recreation Activities
    • 913 Amusement and Other Recreation Activities.
    • 4 digit level occupations to identify the relevant VET-related occupations in the industry as a proportion of the total workforce.

                                                                                                                                               

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection and Total VET Students and Courses from the following training package or qualifications:

  • SIS - Sport, Fitness and Recreation Training Package
    • SIS30310 - Certificate III in Fitness
    • SIS30313 - Certificate III in Fitness
    • SIS30315 - Certificate III in Fitness
    • SIS40210 - Certificate IV in Fitness
    • SIS40215 - Certificate IV in Fitness
    • SIS50210 - Diploma of Fitness
    • SIS50213 - Diploma of Fitness
    • SIS50215 - Diploma of Fitness
  • SRF - Sport, Fitness and Recreation Training Package (Superseded by SIS)
    • SRF30204 - Certificate III in Fitness
    • SRF30206 - Certificate III in Fitness
    • SRF40204 - Certificate IV in Fitness
    • SRF40206 - Certificate IV in Fitness
    • SRF50206 - Diploma of Fitness
    • SRF20201 - Certificate II in Fitness
    • SRF30201 - Certificate III in Fitness
    • SRF40201 - Certificate IV in Fitness

Superseded qualifications and training packages are grouped with current training products.  

Data covers a range of selected student and training characteristics in the following categories and years:

  • 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 program enrolments,
  • 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 subject enrolments and
  • 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 program completions

 

Total VET students and courses data is reported for the calendar year. Program enrolments are the qualifications, courses and skill sets in which students are enrolled in a given period. For students enrolled in multiple programs, all programs are counted. Program completion indicates that a student has completed a structured and integrated program of education or training. Location data uses student residence. Subject enrolment is registration of a student at a training delivery location for the purpose of undertaking a module, unit of competency or subject. For more information on the terms and definitions, please refer to the Total VET students and courses: terms and definitions document.

Low counts (less than 5) are not reported to protect client confidentiality.  

SIS Sport, Fitness and Recreation Training Package apprentice and trainee data has been extracted from the National Apprentice and Trainee collection, including:

  • 2010 to 2017 commencements
  • 2010 to 2017 completions 
  • 2017 apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2017 collection, by qualification and State and Territory of data submitter.

 

Priority skills data have been extracted from the Sport and Recreation IRC's 2018 Skills Forecast.

Job vacancy data have been extracted from Burning Glass Technologies 2018, Labor Insight Real-time Labor Market Information Tool, Burning Glass Technologies, Boston, viewed July 2018, <https://www.burning-glass.com>.

Data shown represent most requested generic skills, occupations and employers according to internet job postings in Australia between July 2015 and June 2018 filtered by ANZSIC and ANZSCO classification levels listed below.

  • Generic skills / Occupations
    • Community and Personal Service Workers
    • Managers
    • Clerical and Administrative Workers
    • 9111 Health and Fitness Centres and Gymnasia Operation 
    • 9112 Sport and Physical Recreation Clubs and Sports Professionals 
    • 9113 Sports and Physical Recreation Venues, Grounds and Facilities Operation 
    • 9114 Sport and Physical Recreation Administrative Service 
    • 9131 Amusement Parks and Centres Operation
    • 9139 Amusement and Other Recreation Activities n.e.c. 
  • Employers
    • 4521 Fitness Instructors
    • 4523 Sports Coaches, Instructors and Officials 
    • 5412 Information Officers 
    • 1311 Advertising, Public Relations and Sales Managers 
    • 4319 Other Hospitality Workers 
    • 9111 Health and Fitness Centres and Gymnasia Operation 
    • 9112 Sport and Physical Recreation Clubs and Sports Professionals 
    • 9113 Sports and Physical Recreation Venues, Grounds and Facilities Operation 
    • 9114 Sport and Physical Recreation Administrative Service 
    • 9131 Amusement Parks and Centres Operation 
    • 9139 Amusement and Other Recreation Activities n.e.c.
Updated: 31 Oct 2018
To Top