How to Become a Boot Camp Instructor for Troubled Youth

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Boot camp instructors work with teens and young adults who have problems maintaining an adequate standard of living. These teens may experience problems fitting in with their peers and act out in criminal ways, such as shoplifting. Parents expect that their children come back acting more mature and responsible. Working with troubled youths isn't an easy job because the teens typically don't want to be there. Most people working in this field start by getting experience working with teens.

  • Obtain certification from the American Council on Exercise (ACE) or the American Fitness Professionals & Associates (AFPA). Certification requires a short exam and a physical exam, both of which you pay for out of pocket. Most boot camps require a fitness certification for all applicants.

  • Take courses from the Red Cross or YMCA on first aid and CPR. Boot camp instructors working with troubled youths must know how to react and what to do in case of an emergency. Many boot camps make a CPR certification mandatory for boot camp instructors.

  • Get the boot camp instructor certification from ACE. The certification provides you with the necessary skills to run a boot camp and work with others, especially in outdoor areas. The program focuses on exercises done outside and how to progress through different movements, while leading a group.

  • Gain experience working with troubled youths. Most companies running boot camps want instructors that know how to work with teens, without losing their temper. Volunteering at a shelter for teens or working with an after school program, puts you ahead of other applicants who only have experience in fitness.

  • Apply for positions available with boot camps or go out on your own. Start Up Business Boot Camp offers franchise-style opportunities for those with adequate experience and capital. While it only wants applicants for certain areas, at any given time, it has openings in dozens of cities.

Tips & Warnings

  • Those with a military background are typically ahead of the game because they understand what instructors do and how they react to others. Even experience in ROTC is beneficial.

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