Personal Fitness Trainer: How to Build a Successful and Rewarding Career

A personal fitness trainer career is a rewarding journey. This job allows you to help people reach their health and overcome their disabilities. Most individuals who work with a personal trainer want to achieve their fitness goals, reduce chronic pain, or even lose weight. It’s the key to a healthier and happier life.

As of today, over 70% of Americans are obese or overweight. There is no better time to start your career than now because many people need you. You can change someone’s life by training and designing an individualized exercise program for them. Someone who has always been conscious about his weight may find the confidence to hit the gym because of you. There are no limits to the satisfaction a fitness trainer career can bring you.

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What are the fitness trainer career options? How much money can I make? What programs do I need to complete? These are some of the questions that anyone would ask before starting a career in the fitness industry.

So, are you ready to become a personal fitness trainer? Read on and find out about personal trainer job profile, salary, opportunities, responsibilities, and more.


What are the Career Options of Personal Fitness Trainers?

The fitness industry continues to grow, and it brings endless career opportunities for personal fitness trainers. Here are the following jobs that you are qualified for:


1.  Group Exercise Instructor

Every fitness gym needs an enthusiastic fitness professional who can lead to group classes. Most people prefer working out in groups and socializing. Hence it has become a very popular option in many fitness centers. Some individuals also want to save money by joining a group class instead of working individually with a trainer.

As a group exercise instructor, you are tasked to lead small groups of clients in semi-personalized sessions. At most times, you’ll be working with at least five to ten people. Depending on what you specialize in your personal fitness course, you can lead circuit training classes, weight training groups, yoga, and boot camps. Working as a group exercise instructor is also fun because you can meet different kinds of people and try to resolve their health problems through exercise.


2.  High-End Coaching

This is one of the fitness trainer career options appealing to any professional who wants to establish a name in the industry. High-end coaching allows you to work outside the gym with your client and specialize in the fitness mindset and psychology.

This is similar to personal training, except you will see the impressive and sometimes unbelievable mind and body transformations. While you are changing your client’s body composition through exercising, you are also changing their mindset so that they’re capable of making sound decisions and becoming independent.

What’s great about high-end coaching is that you become your own boss. You can determine the rates, schedule, and sessions with your clients. You can also filter out clients you are not comfortable working with. Whether you want it to become your part-time or full-time job, this career is flexible. You can choose whether you want to work with a group or an individual.


3.  Fitness Club Ownership

First, you become a personal fitness trainer. Then, you slowly work your way into owning a personal fitness gym. Most of the successful people in the fitness industry are gym owners. If building a business from scratch sounds scary to you, then consider franchising a personal training gym such as Special Strong. It’s affordable and allows you to jumpstart a business and thrive in the industry.

Start-ups are always challenging and demanding. Also, you need to be committed to your time and invest your money wisely. But in the long run, you will find that hard work pays off as you become a personal fitness gym owner.

Most club owners nowadays enjoy huge income potential. A personal fitness trainer career can provide various income streams, such as personal training, product and merchandise sales, specialty classes, and gym memberships. 


How Much Money can You Make by Being a Personal Fitness Trainer?

Now let’s talk about personal fitness salaries. If you want to pursue this career, you should know what to expect when it comes to the amount of money you can make.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, personal trainers can earn up to $39,210 mid-year in 2017. Low-ranking personal fitness trainers can earn less than $19,640, while expert personal fitness trainers can earn over $74,520.

A personal fitness trainer career is a great source of income thanks to its variety. You are not limited to working in fitness clubs. Many personal fitness trainers are self-employed workers, provide education services, and work in civic organizations, while others are part of a government agency.

If you work in a fitness center that charges $50 per session, you can expect to get paid $25 per session, especially if you have completed a highly-accredited personal fitness course. A session can last from 30 minutes to one hour.

It’s only natural to work in a health club or fitness gym to gain experience in the early stage of your career. But as you go, you’ll most likely find better job opportunities or decide for yourself if you want to work as a personal fitness forever or own a fitness center. Furthermore, owning a fitness gym can seem intimidating, but the costs of buying a franchise gym is made affordable. There are also financing agencies that can help you get started Nevertheless, both career options allow you to generate a stable source of income.


What are the Responsibilities of a Personal Fitness Trainer?

Pursuing a personal fitness trainer career is difficult and challenging, similar to many careers out there. But if you are passionate, these responsibilities become your strength and a great source of knowledge and experience. To give you an idea of what to expect once you start working, here’s what a certified personal fitness trainer is expected to do while working:

  • One of the personal trainer career responsibilities is maintaining extensive knowledge about human anatomy and different concepts of exercise programs, basic nutrition, and foundational knowledge of exercise science.
  • You are expected to design an individualized exercise program for a personal client or a group exercise program for small group exercise fitness programs, catering to the clients’ needs and designed to achieve their fitness goals.
  • You need to have a great understanding of screening and assessing clients, evaluating progress, and advancing towards the appropriate exercise programs to help them reach their health goals.
  • No matter which fitness trainer career options you choose, you must have a great passion for helping clients unlock their capabilities, reduce pain, or improve athletic performance through exercise.
  • You must have great dedication to maintain integrity, client information confidentiality, and professional standards that can meet best practice qualifications.

This personal trainer job profile is just an overview of what it’s like to work as a personal fitness trainer. You have to put your passion to work, allowing you to unlock your greatest potential and grow your career.

Tips on Building a Career in the Personal Training Industry

Embarking on a career in the personal training industry offers an exciting journey of transforming lives and promoting wellness. Furthermore, here are valuable tips to guide you in building a successful and fulfilling career in this dynamic field:

1. Obtain the Right Certifications

Embarking on how to make a career in fitness begins with obtaining the right certifications. Reputable certifications from organizations like ACE, NASM, or ACSM not only enhance your credibility as a fitness professional but also demonstrate your dedication to maintaining a high standard of knowledge and competency in the field. These credentials are the bedrock upon which you can build a successful career, serving as a testament to your expertise and commitment to excellence in fitness.

2. Specialize and Continuously Educate Yourself

To stand out as a special strong trainer, diversifying your expertise through specialization in areas such as corrective exercise, nutrition, or sports conditioning is essential. Continuously educating yourself on the latest industry trends, attending workshops, and pursuing additional certifications are crucial steps in ensuring your training methodologies remain cutting-edge. Specialization and ongoing education equip you with the advanced skills needed to cater to a wide range of client needs, setting you apart in the fitness industry.

3. Gain Practical Experience

Practical experience is invaluable in translating theoretical knowledge into effective training programs. Interning, shadowing seasoned trainers, or working within different fitness facilities offers hands-on learning opportunities that can significantly enhance your understanding and approach as a trainer. This real-world exposure complements your formal education, allowing you to develop a more holistic and practical approach to fitness training, making you a more effective and sought-after professional.

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4. Develop Strong Communication Skills

In the realm of personal training, the ability to communicate effectively is paramount. Cultivating strong communication skills enables you to articulate instructions clearly, listen attentively to clients’ needs, and foster a supportive and motivating training environment. Successful trainers understand that building trust and rapport through effective communication is key to facilitating clients’ progress and achieving their fitness goals.

5. Build a Professional Network

Building a professional network of fellow trainers, fitness enthusiasts, and industry experts can significantly influence the trajectory of your career in fitness. Networking can open up opportunities for collaborations, provide access to mentorship, and create a supportive community conducive to professional growth. Engaging with a network of like-minded professionals fosters a sense of community and can provide valuable resources and support as you navigate your career.

6. Embrace Digital Marketing

Leveraging the power of digital marketing is essential for establishing and expanding your personal brand in the fitness industry. Creating a professional website, actively engaging on social media platforms, and sharing client success stories can significantly increase your visibility and attract new clients. In today’s digital age, a strong online presence is an invaluable tool for building and promoting your personal training brand.

7. Prioritize Client Relationships

Prioritizing and nurturing client relationships is central to driving client retention and fostering a loyal client base. By understanding individual goals, offering personalized plans, and providing consistent support, you create a positive and motivating experience for your clients. Satisfied clients are more likely to remain committed to their fitness journeys with you and serve as powerful advocates for your services.

8. Stay Passionate and Resilient

Maintaining passion and resilience is crucial for long-term success in the fitness industry. Staying committed to your own fitness journey serves as a source of inspiration for your clients, while resilience enables you to navigate challenges and obstacles with a positive outlook. Passion and resilience are infectious qualities that can motivate and encourage your clients to persevere in their fitness journeys.

9. Seek Feedback and Adapt

A willingness to seek feedback and adapt your training methods is indicative of a commitment to continuous improvement. Encouraging client feedback and embracing constructive criticism allows you to refine your approach and tailor your training to better meet the needs of your clients. Thus, being adaptable and open to change is essential for staying relevant and effective as a personal trainer in a constantly evolving industry.

10. Adhere to Professional Ethics

Maintaining a strict code of professional ethics is fundamental to building trust and credibility with your clients and within the fitness community. Firstly, respecting client confidentiality assures clients that their personal information is safe with you. Moreover, maintaining a high degree of professionalism at all times establishes a standard of conduct that fosters a respectful and effective training environment. Most importantly, prioritizing the well-being of your clients demonstrates your commitment to their health and success, which is the cornerstone of any successful fitness practice. Consequently, a strong ethical foundation is instrumental in establishing yourself as a respected and trustworthy fitness professional, setting the stage for a flourishing career.

Building a career in personal training is a rewarding endeavor that requires dedication, ongoing learning, and a genuine passion for helping others achieve their fitness goals. By following these tips, you can navigate the competitive landscape of the industry and carve a niche for yourself as a successful and respected personal trainer.

Special Strong provides adaptive fitness for children, adolescents, and adults with mental, physical and cognitive challenges. Start your own Special Strong gym franchise today and create a lasting impact on your community.