So why do you want to be a personal trainer? Yea I know getting into the fitness industry can offer amazing opportunities especially when it comes to doing something you love. But why?
If you are someone that is into fitness and couldn’t imagine yourself working behind a desk like myself, then personal training is an ideal choice.
But before you think about if you should become a personal trainer, knowing what it takes to find success in the fitness industry is key.
It’s easy to think that dressing up in gym gear everyday is fun, and trust me it is, finding success as a personal trainer takes a little thinking outside the box.
Is Personal Training a Good Career?
Personal Training can be a very exciting career to get into, especially if you are someone that is really into fitness. Being able to work in an industry where you get to exercise for a living sounds pretty cool.
But remember, the reason is not only to help others better their health, but also to make a living doing it.
Unfortunately this is where the not so glamorous part of being a personal training comes in. One of the most difficult part about deciding to become a personal trainer is getting started.
How To Get Started as a Personal Trainer
Choose a Niche – With the fitness industry being so large, it would be impossible to find yourself covering all parts of it.
There are many areas in the fitness realm where you can specialize, and it’s important to figure out which one you would be interested in.
Whether it be athletes, general population, or even children, knowing which area of expertise you would like to cover is key to finding success.
Get Certified – after deciding which area you would like to specialize in, it’s time to get certified. First let me start off by saying that it is possible to train clients without being certified, but if you are someone that is serious about helping others get fit, then I would suggest you do.
Before I got certified, I had been working out in the gym for years, and it wasn’t until I got certified and gained the knowledge where I learned that I didn’t know as much as I thought I knew.
But getting proper education is essential when it comes to the health of your clients.
Employee or Independent – next you need to decide if you want to work for a gym or for yourself. If you are someone that likes to have control of how you train clients, then going independent may be a better option.
When I started my career as a personal trainer, I decided to go independent since I felt there was more money to be made. But knowing the positives and negatives is key to making such an important career decision.
Pros and Cons of Being a Personal Trainer
Overall, being a personal trainer has its many benefits, like being able to exercise for a living. You also get the opportunity to help change the lives of many people who struggle with health.
But with those benefits comes a lot of hard work that needs to be put in for you to have a successful personal training career. Below are some of the pros and cons for both the gym employee and the self-employed.
Working For a Gym
- Steady Income
- Gym equipment available to you
- Healthcare Benefits
- Company generated clientele
- Continued course paid for
- Have no control over pay rate
- Not a lot of control when creating exercise program for clients
Working For yourself
- Control over how much you charge clients
- Control over schedule
- Create own workout program
- Finding space to train clients
- Income not steady
- Must find own healthcare
- Responsible for finances and marketing
How To Make Money as a Personal Trainer
Work at a fitness facility – There are many fitness facilities that are looking to hire certified fitness trainers. Depending on your level of experience, you may have a tough time finding employment.
But like any job search, all it takes is one to give you that opportunity. Many gyms are willing to give someone that doesn’t have much experience a chance if persistent enough.
Train/Instruct clients – Maybe you have no interest in working in a gym or studio, therefore you will have to find your own clients to train.
This takes a lot of ground work when getting started since no one knows who you are and what you do. So it is important to market yourself as an expert in the field to help grow your client base.
Create a website – With technology growing at such a rapid pace, more and more people are getting their workouts online. Now some question whether this is viable since nothing beats that personal touch a trainer can give their client when meeting in person.
But if you are a personal trainer, you would be crazy not to get involved in the online business. Being able to touch more people with less effort just makes sense. Remember, when you are training clients, you only make money when you train.
With a website, there is a huge opportunity to create income while you are sleeping. So if you are someone that is looking to get into fitness, having a website is definitely something to consider in your fitness career.
What Is It Like to Be A Personal Trainer
While trying not to bore you with all the details of my personal training experience, I will try to give you a quick summary of what I went through. I started my personal training career as an independent as I really didn’t want to work for the gym due to very low pay when starting.
I wanted to be able to control how much I made per session, and being self employed was the way to go. I did this for a year and quickly realized that being a personal trainer although is a good career to get into, it wasn’t sustainable for me.
I knew the only way I made money was if I was training. So if for any reason I wasn’t able to train clients, where would my income come from. So I tried to think of a way to help more people with not as much effort.
That’s why I made the decision to start a fitness site where I could provide helpful tips and make an income. So now I teach kickboxing along with managing a fitness site.
Continuing to learn about the fitness industry and help people in the process.
Final Thoughts and Advice
I don’t do much personal training anymore although I’m still certified. I primarily focus on my fitness website trying to build it up to something bigger.
So my advice is if you are looking to get into the fitness industry and would like to get employed by a gym, then get certified and apply to as many gyms as possible.
But if you are like me and wonder how long you can train clients, then it helps to have a gameplan in place and think beyond personal training. For me, it was starting a website.
So if you have any questions about what it takes to be a personal trainer, please don’t be afraid to ask below.