Your route to a successful fitness career
How do I Become a Personal Trainer?
Do you enjoy exercise and keeping active? Are you enthusiastic about helping your own clients achieve their fitness goals? If this sounds like you, then working as a Personal Trainer will enable you to transform your passion for fitness into an exciting career.
Find out all you need to know about how to become a personal trainer and what personal training involves, the skills and qualifications you need, career options and how to get started.
Steps to Success
Book your PT
Choose from our Complete, Specialist and Ultimate PT course packages which can be studied online or part-time.
Your study is now complete and you’ve become a Personal Trainer with CIMSPA and REPs recognition.
Your first PT
You’re ready to start personal training working for a gym or running your own PT business.
New clients &
You’re enjoying working with your new clients and are growing your client base, hours and earnings.
Find your ideal qualification for a personal trainer and start your PT journey
What Does Personal Training Involve?
Key PT Skills
With the continued growth in gyms and leisure facilities in the UK an estimated 1 in 7 of us are now members of a gym.
People are becoming more aware of their health needs and the important role of exercise to remain fit, healthy and active. This is great news for those thinking of how to become a personal trainer.
Personal Trainers are recognised fitness professionals who are highly trained to prescribe and coach exercise to suit different clients mental and physical needs.
They provide an outstanding service to their clients that is tailored to meet their fitness goals.
Typically working one to one Personal Trainers are highly qualified exercise specialists who use their skills to produce customised training plans, coaching and on-going motivation that delivers results.
The work is highly varied. Popular reasons client opt for personal training services include; weight loss, becoming fitter and more active, sports progression, medically advised and to improve lifestyle.
Fitness know how
Planned & organised
Being successful as a Personal Trainer requires a varied skill set.
You will be working with a wide range of clients and it is important to enjoy interacting with different people, and have an enthusiastic, motivational streak.
Clients are paying for your time and services so a well organised customer first outlook is key together with the right qualifications and know how to deliver results.
The vast majority of Personal Trainers whether working in a gym or freelance need to build their own client base and this is where a business minded outlook can be really beneficial.
Qualifications for a Personal Trainer
If you’re just starting out in your fitness career then to meet industry standards you need to complete a level 2 Fitness Instructor and level 3 Personal Trainer qualification.
Popular options here are our combined Personal Trainer Diploma Packages; Complete, Specialist and Ultimate – which can be studied online or part time leading to your level 2 and level 3 accreditations.
Alternatively, if you already have your level 2 fitness qualification you can jump straight in and start at level 3.
The good news is there are no course prerequisites aside from a genuine interest in fitness and enthusiasm for helping others achieve their fitness goals.
This means you can easily get your new career path underway with our qualifications for a personal trainer and with our fully flexible start dates you can commence at a convenient time to suit you.
Here at the Academy of Fitness Professionals we deliver affordable CIMSPA recognised and Ofqual regulated personal training certifications and course packages and we show you how to become a personal trainer, enabling you to excel in your fitness career.
Our students from across the UK and EU choose us confident that our Personal Trainer Certification programmes are taught by Personal Trainers at the pinnacle of the profession.
Choose the most appropriate start point for you from our course options below
Ready to start your new career?
Our Complete personal training diploma package leads to both your level 2 and level 3 accreditations
I have a Level 2 Fitness Qualification
Our fast-track personal trainer course is perfect if you are already a level 2 qualified fitness professional
I want an advanced PT qualification
Our level 3 personal trainer diploma Ultimate package will develop your talent and advanced client skills
How to Become a Personal Trainer – Insights
Personal Trainer Job Role
Personal training offers a varied job role where you will be using your professional expertise to design and deliver fitness programmes to clients, tailored to their goals and abilities.
A popular choice for newly qualified personal trainers is to work in a national gym based setting where there is plenty of access to gym equipment and a good supply of gym members.
However, this is by no means the only option and setting up your own personal training business, outdoor training sessions and working in boutique gyms are all popular alternatives.
Working hours are flexible offering the potential for full-time, part-time, weekend and evening work.
Most gyms charge a monthly rental fee for use of their facilities or may request that you work on the gym floor for a set number of hours per month. Clients typically pay you or the gym direct on an hourly or block payment basis.
Personal training is a highly rewarding job role where your exercise guidance, motivation and coaching can transform your clients, making a huge impact on how they look, feel and function.
Personal Training Career Options
Established Gym Chains
Working for a large, established gym chain is a popular start point for newly qualified personal trainers.
This is a great way to develop your skills, learn from more experienced personal trainers and build on the job experience, confidence and knowledge.
A highly popular career choice is to establish your own personal training business.
This offers greater earnings potential and options include working from clients homes, local parks and setting up your own studio.
If you possess a sense of travel and adventure personal training offers international job potential.
Your industry recognised personal training qualifications are portable via the ICREPs network meaning your certification is recognised in associated partner countries. For details visit ICREPs.
For many cruise-goers the rest and relaxation of their holiday offers the perfect opportunity to exercise, get fitter and establish the beginnings of an exercise routine they can continue post holiday.
Personal trainers are key members of the gym team leading exercise classes and conducting one to one client programmes and sessions. Typically contracts run on a full-time basis per season.
Companies are keen to take proactive steps to look after the health and well being of their staff.
This can make a positive impact on reducing sickness and absenteeism and increasing productivity, motivation and company culture.
Many companies have on site gyms which are ideal for personal training services and some offer schemes where staff receive fitness payments that can be put towards a block of fitness classes or sessions.
Building a reputation as an expert in a particular field can be a highly lucrative career path for a personal trainer.
If you have a particular strength in a specialist aspect of personal training it is worth thinking about basing your career around this.
Examples of niche groups include; celebrities, athletes, obesity, seniors, kids and corrective exercise.
Clients Personal Trainers Work With
The personal training market is well established and clients seeking your services come from all backgrounds, ages and fitness levels.
There are many reasons clients choose to work with a personal trainer including;
You will take each client on a journey from their initial start point and fitness assessment all the way through to achieving their personal goals.
Along the way you are expertly guiding them through a series of mini goals and targets to ensure continued progression towards the desired results.
Most personal trainers develop a range of services that appeal to different client needs in their catchment.
For example, weekend boot camps, one to one personal training, weight loss packages, high intensity workouts, senior fitness, pre and post natal services and specialist sports coaching such as training for marathons, triathlons and charity events.
Frequently Asked Questions
The most common questions we’re asked about our Personal Trainer Courses are listed here. If your question isn’t covered, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
What are the personal trainer certification requirements?
Personal trainers need to complete an industry recognised course that has CIMSPA and REPs recognition and awarding body accreditation and endorsement, such as through the NCFE.
The industry standard certification is a level 3 certificate in personal training.
Once this is complete you will fully meet the personal trainer certification requirements you need to work in the industry, obtain insurance and demonstrate the you have the necessary education and qualifications clients are looking for.
How much does a personal trainer certification cost?
Personal trainer certification costs vary. Some training providers charge very high fees and set lengthy loan agreements so it is important to do your research and keep your eyes wide open. Here at AOFP we commit to offering great training at great prices. Your can browse our personal trainer certifications here.
What are accredited personal training courses?
Accredited personal training courses, like the ones we offer at AOFP are the real deal! This is important because if your course is not accredited then it may affect your chances of employment and/or ability to obtain insurance to work freelance.
Personal training courses should be accredited to an independent awarding body and industry recognised through CIMSPA and REPs.
Can I learn to be a personal trainer online?
Yes! Our personal training courses include theory and practical skills training. Both are equally important because when you are working with your own clients it is how you apply this combined learning to assist clients that makes you successful in your career. If you choose to be a personal trainer via our online pathway you will complete the theory online and your practical skills by video which are submitted to your tutor. If you choose our practical attendance pathway you complete the theory online and then attend workshops to develop and demonstrate your practical skills.
How can I become a personal trainer?
To become a personal trainer you need both your level 2 certificate in fitness instructing and your level 3 certificate in personal training.
If you plan to work freelance you will also need to obtain insurance and gain a first aid certification.
If you are starting out take a look at our complete personal training diploma package for more details.
The Right Personal Training Certification For You
The role of the Personal Trainer is becoming more important than ever before.
As a nation people are typically living longer, being less active and rising health issues such as obesity, diabetes and inactivity among children are causing health concerns for future generations.
At the opposite end of the scale, the doors are widening with specialist sports, fitness for the disabled and time efficient training coming to the fore.
As the knowledge of personal training and how a Personal Trainer can add value grows we expect the demand for personal training services to continue to increase.
That’s why we believe that to truly stand out and really have what it takes to become a great Personal Trainer it’s essential to pick the right course tailored to how you learn best, your time commitments, budget, ultimate goals and career plans.
Once your course is booked we will simply arrange your enrolment and course welcome and you’re ready to start.
When qualifying with us here at the Academy of Fitness Professionals there’s also the peace of mind that course materials, tutor support, workbooks, assessments and certification fees are all included as standard.
Once qualified you’ll be a fully recognised Personal Trainer and are ready to start working with your own clients.
We go above and beyond for our students
We know that becoming a Personal Trainer is about far more than your certification. It is about combining your interest and enthusiasm for fitness with your specialist skills and knowledge to help clients achieve meaningful results, so that’s how we train our students.
Lets Make It Happen
How to Become a Personal Trainer – UK Requirements
Personal training is a fast moving, active, exciting and varied profession so it’s important you are a real people person with lots of energy to support different clients’ needs.
To succeed you should be self-motivated to deliver a range of personal training services to clients with a genuine interest in fitness and desire to help others achieve their goals.
To work for a gym you will need your level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing and level 3 Certificate in Personal Training.
This should be accredited by CIMSPA and REPs to ensure your qualification is industry recognised and also endorsed by an external awarding body such as the NCFE.
In addition, if you plan to work freelance or establish your own personal training business you will need to obtain your personal trainer insurance and first aid certification.
It is also highly advisable to join an industry body such as CIMSPA or REPs which shows you are bona fide to practice and to set up your own website to attract potential clients to your PT services.
Handy PT Resources
Free Course Guide
Personal Trainer Fact Sheets
Personal trainers spend a lot of their time in gyms and around exercise equipment. This gives them the opportunity to stay physically fit, which is important for personal trainers. In addition, personal trainers often perform some exercises alongside their clients, allowing them to exercise while they work.How do I become a successful personal fitness trainer? ›
- Find a niche. Determine a fitness niche you want to focus on as a personal trainer. ...
- Listen to your clients. ...
- Get plenty of experience. ...
- Learn how to be a coach. ...
- Be a leader and a teacher. ...
- Train the client based on what works for them. ...
- Train on movement first. ...
- Use intensely wisely.
- Hustle. ...
- Do Your Research. ...
- Invest in Liability Insurance. ...
- Scope Out the Facility. ...
- Invest in the Right Equipment. ...
- Consider Online Coaching Options. ...
- Identify Your Target Market. ...
- Create a Brand.
Personal trainers spend a lot of their time in gyms and around exercise equipment. This gives them the opportunity to stay physically fit, which is important for personal trainers. In addition, personal trainers often perform some exercises alongside their clients, allowing them to exercise while they work.What skills do you need to be a personal trainer? ›
- the ability to inspire clients.
- a friendly and outgoing personality.
- excellent people skills to enable you to work with a range of individuals with different backgrounds and motivations.
- a good understanding of the human body and nutrition.
- a love of health and fitness.
- excellent time keeping and organisational skills.
Being a good personal trainer goes beyond knowing how to use the equipment at the gym. It also requires strong foundational knowledge of anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, nutrition, human behavior, and other key topics.How long does it take to become a good personal trainer? ›
Becoming a personal trainer can involve education, certifications and other training. Getting a bachelor's degree typically takes around four years. Personal trainer certification courses, however, can often be completed in less than a year.Is it hard to make it as a personal trainer? ›
Becoming a personal trainer isn't hard, but serious work and study are required. Look at both entry-level and advanced certification programs. Personal trainers need to spend a lot of time experimenting in the gym to gain knowledge. Personal trainers must put the necessary effort into marketing.Is it easy to get clients as a personal trainer? ›
You'll find it incredibly difficult to get personal training clients if no one knows about you or the services you're trying to provide. It's likely you would want your business to be on a busy high street where people actually know where you are and what you're offering.What is the hardest part of being a personal trainer? ›
Keeping Clients Motivated
Keeping clients motivated is one of the most underrated challenges of personal training. You can have all sorts of knowledge about training, but if clients aren't motivated, good luck getting those results to show for it.
As a general rule, the average dedicated person will train 3-4 times per week. So, to keep a regular flow of clients, a successful personal trainer will aim for 15 to 20 paying clients each week.What do clients look for in a personal trainer? ›
You should feel fitter, have more energy, be sleeping better, and generally be feeling good about yourself. A good PT will take responsibility for your goals – it is their job – and if they are unable to meet your goals, they are not doing their job properly and may not be the trainer for you.What are three to five main tasks of being a personal trainer? ›
- Evaluate clients' fitness levels and health conditions.
- Build individualized exercise programs.
- Explain exercises in detail and suggest alternatives if needed.
- Monitor progress of clients' fitness levels.
- Explain safe and proper use of gym equipment.
- Lead both individual and group training sessions.
Examples of weaknesses might be the limited visibility of a location, unfamiliarity with specific types of clients such as older adults, being uncomfortable with the sales process and asking clients for money or overall lack of fitness industry experience.Is the certified personal trainer test hard? ›
The ACE CPT Exam is known for being one of the most difficult personal training certifications to pass. Out of the almost 800-page textbook they select 150 questions that need to be completed in a three hour time limit. This can cause major anxiety as knowing what to study can be hard to determine.Why I quit being a personal trainer? ›
Many personal trainers quit because they don't see much potential for career progression. It can be tough to figure out how you'll move forward. You might even have that voice in the back of your mind saying 'personal training is not a real job'.How long does the average person stay with a personal trainer? ›
Generally speaking, it's recommended to work with a personal trainer for at least 6-12 weeks. This timeline allows you to develop a routine and gives your trainer enough time to help you reach your goals. Ultimately, the length of time you work with a personal trainer should depend on your individual needs and goals.Do you have to workout to be a personal trainer? ›
Personal trainers can come from all different fitness levels, and it's really up to the individual trainer to decide what kind of fitness level they want to maintain. However, most personal trainers agree that it's important to be in shape so that you can effectively instruct clients and help them reach their goals.Why a personal trainer is worth it? ›
Personal trainers are rarely a necessity, but in many cases they're a valuable tool. While you are certainly able to exercise on your own, oftentimes this results in stale workouts and minimal progress. Personal trainers help keep your workouts fresh and hold you accountable as you work towards specific fitness goals.Where do personal trainers make the most money? ›
According to the BLS, the state that pays the highest personal trainer salary is New York. The annual mean wage for an instructor in this state is $61,840 per year or $29.73 an hour. New York also has one of the highest employment levels for fitness professionals.
You can become a fitness instructor at any age, and even make a career switch mid-life. Many older adults turn to personal training in retirement or for a second career and supplemental income.What is the success rate of personal trainer? ›
During the past few decades, personal training has become the biggest internal revenue generator in the fitness industry. Unfortunately, the industry has an annual personal trainer turnover rate of 80 percent, according to numbers cited by many people in the fitness industry.How do I get my first PT client? ›
- Ask existing clients for referrals. ...
- Share testimonials from your clients. ...
- Offer a trial session for free using Trainerize. ...
- Market your training services on social media. ...
- Write articles for fitness magazines and blogs. ...
- Build a professional website to showcase your skills.
Your initial client will very likely be a beginner—a first-time lifter working with a first-time trainer. A great workout for a novice would probably last 30 to 40 minutes. That's all the time you'd need for a warm-up and one or two sets of six to eight basic exercises.What is the biggest problem in the fitness industry? ›
- Finding clients/members. ...
- Securing finances. ...
- Managing finances/costs. ...
- Building a team of experts. ...
- Dealing with competition in fitness industry. ...
- Getting members results. ...
- Dealing with setbacks. ...
This means that pushing yourself too hard may not be a good strategy for reaching your fitness goals. According to the 80/20 rule, 80% of the results (like losing weight or building muscles) that you achieve through your workouts come from 20% of the time (effort) you devote to training.What are the busiest times for personal trainers? ›
It's important to note that some personal trainers will thrive in the early morning hours before the sun comes up, while others will prefer to work late into the evening to see clients after they finish their working day. No one schedule can accurately describe how every personal trainer schedules his or her time.How much should I charge clients for personal training? ›
2. How much do personal trainers typically charge per session or hour? Depending on their level of experience, where they are located, and their area of expertise, personal trainers often bill between $50 and $200 for each session or hour. A personal training session typically costs about $75 per hour.What are the 6 key questions a personal trainer should be asking new clients? ›
- Do You Have Any Medical Conditions? ...
- What Are Your Short and Long-Term Goals? ...
- How Much Sleep Do You Get Per Day? ...
- What's Your Daily Nutrition Like? ...
- Are You a Smoker? ...
- What Do You Do For a Living?
Key Takeaways. All the tips for how to motivate your personal training clients we've discussed above include being mindful of their goals, anticipate challenges, reward them, and maintain positive communication throughout the process. These are cornerstones of success for any good personal trainer.
They guide learners on how to accomplish training objectives, notice group dynamics and learners' progress, and manage the training event.What are 5 critical qualities of a great trainer? ›
- Trainers are Strategic Thinkers and Partners. A trainer is a strategic thinker. ...
- Trainers are well-versed in Instructional Design. ...
- Trainers are Project Managers. ...
- Trainers are Facilitators of Change and Learning. ...
- Trainers are Evaluators.
- They're Focused. ...
- They're Relatable. ...
- They Walk the Walk. ...
- They Ask Questions. ...
- They Educate their Clients. ...
- They're Easy to Understand. ...
- They Give Their Clients Homework.
I love working with different people, I love learning about their careers, and I love hearing people's stories. I've learned so much thanks to my clients. I've also realised that everyone has their own personal struggles, strengths and weaknessss. Everyone is just trying to find their own way in life.How do I know if my personal trainer is good? ›
Look for certifications over Instagram hype
You want to make sure that your trainer is certified and qualified to train. “You need to make sure that your trainer has the education to back up the workouts they're leading you through,” says Juliette Walle, a personal trainer and education director for modelFIT.
A gym instructor is therefore a position where you have a contracted job, a gym employs you and you receive a salary. A personal trainer on the other hand, is more often undertaken on a freelance basis where the personal trainer will charge their own fees and deal directly with the clients.How profitable is being a personal trainer? ›
Yes, making good money as a personal trainer is very viable. Even entry-level personal trainers can make upwards of $25 an hour, and easily up to $100 an hour if they are experienced.Is it hard to make money as a personal trainer? ›
For example, the average private personal trainer averages $78,000 per year. The highest-paid personal trainers are making thousands per day. But that often isn't from training alone. To make good money as a trainer, you need expertise, experience, and a solid business plan.Is it hard to get clients as a personal trainer? ›
You'll find it incredibly difficult to get personal training clients if no one knows about you or the services you're trying to provide. It's likely you would want your business to be on a busy high street where people actually know where you are and what you're offering.What is the highest paying personal trainer? ›
- Fitness Coach. Salary range: $37,500-$70,000 per year. ...
- Certified Personal Trainer. Salary range: $26,000-$62,500 per year. ...
- Outdoor Fitness Trainer. Salary range: $31,000-$62,500 per year. ...
- Fitness Consultant. Salary range: $24,500-$39,500 per year. ...
- Fitness Trainer.
- VIDA Fitness - $87,635 per year.
- Fitness Formula Clubs (FFC) - $82,912 per year.
- Orangetheory Fitness - $67,054 per year.
- Life Time - $62,995 per year.
- YouFit Gyms - $56,213 per year.
- RockBox Fitness - $61,048 per year.
If you want a rewarding career, personal training delivers. There's something incredibly satisfying about helping clients achieve their fitness goals. That's in addition to seeing firsthand the health benefits they receive by boosting their physical activity.Is it stressful to be a personal trainer? ›
Stress and Frustration. You would think that personal training would be a relatively stress-free job, but you would be VERY wrong. First off, if you are a trainer in a big box gym (like most trainers are) then you will have sales and performance goals.How can a personal trainer make money from home? ›
- Start an Online Fitness Studio. Online fitness studios are the best way for you to earn more money as a trainer. ...
- Launch a Fitness App. ...
- Live Stream Fitness Classes. ...
- Sell Downloadable Workout Plans. ...
- Sell Your Favorite Fitness Products. ...
- Sell Your Own Branded Fitness Products. ...
- Find Brand Sponsorships. ...
- Generate Advertising Revenue.
- Inconsistent income. Whether you work for yourself or for an employer, income can be inconsistent as a personal trainer because your earnings depend on how many clients you work with each week. ...
- Challenging clients. ...
- Risk of injury. ...
- Inconvenient work hours.
California is one of the top destinations for personal trainers in the United States. California is known as a fitness epicenter. We are frequently asked, "How do I become a personal trainer in California?" - or, "How do I become a personal trainer in Los Angeles?" - or, Hollywood, San Diego, etc.What states pay personal trainers the most? ›
- Washington, DC. $41.71 per hour. 182 salaries reported.
- $32.14 per hour. 252 salaries reported.
- Chicago, IL. $29.71 per hour. 353 salaries reported.
- Norwalk, CT. $29.58 per hour. 39 salaries reported.
- Spokane, WA. $28.99 per hour. ...
- Show more nearby cities.
Personal trainers earn an average hourly wage of $18.49. Salaries typically start from $13.72 per hour and go up to $41.75 per hour.