How to Become a Personal Trainer

What is a personal trainer?

A personal trainer works with a variety of clients to improve their fitness, physicality and overall health. They are responsible for motivating and guiding clients to train towards their physical fitness goals.

As a personal trainer, they teach and help their clients to exercise properly using workouts and specific plans. They instruct and advise clients, using a range of fitness machines, classes or weights.

How to become a personal trainer?

You can get into this job through a college course, an apprenticeship or applying directly.

For college courses, you could take a course to help you get into this career. Courses include:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Instructing Exercise and Fitness
  • Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training

For apprenticeship, you could do a personal trainer advanced apprenticeship. You can also train in a similar role as a physical training instructor in the armed forces.

  • Royal Air Force
  • Royal Navy

For direct application, you can apply to become a personal trainer or set up your business, if you’ve got qualifications and experience as a fitness coach or gym instructor.

Personal trainer duties

Personal trainer duties are diverse and depend on the employer and specialty, but some responsibilities are common to most:

  • Evaluate clients’ fitness levels and health conditions
  • Build individualized exercise programs 
  • Explain exercises in detail and suggest alternatives if needed
  • Provide advice to clients on health, nutrition and lifestyle changes
  • Educate and advise clients to maintain or reach their fitness and health goals
  • Keep up to date with the latest personal training techniques and best practise
  • Help clients with their workouts
  • Work with management and fellow staff to ensure the gym functions effectively
  • Solicit new clients to sign up at the gym

Personal trainer skills

To be an effective personal trainer, you’ll need certain skills and competencies. The following are often cited in job vacancies:

  • Available to work early mornings, nights, weekends, and holidays
  • Ability to demonstrate proper form and technique for exercise movements
  • Enthusiastic, encouraging attitude
  • Great communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to inspire clients
  • Friendly and outgoing personality
  • Excellent people skills

How to find a personal trainer job:

These jobs are advertised online, in local newspapers and at your local jobcentre. To find all the personal trainer jobs near you, you need to:

  • Search for personal trainer jobs on popular job websites such as; Indeed, Total Jobs and CV Library
  • Use the DWP’s Find A Job Service
  • Check local newspapers and local Facebook groups, especially groups dedicated to local jobs

Personal Trainer Job Titles

When you search for personal trainer jobs online, be aware that the jobs might be advertised using a different job title. Popular job titles for personal trainer jobs include;

  • Fitness instructor
  • Fitness trainer

What does a personal trainer do?

The job of a personal trainer varies depending on the job role and the company you’re working for. Check the duties and responsibilities of personal trainer job advertisements to find jobs that best suit your skills and experience. 
The day-to-day tasks of a personal trainer include;

  • setting short-term and long-term goals and planning programmes to reach them
  • educating, motivating and coaching clients to help them follow their programmes safely and effectively
  • giving advice on health, nutrition and lifestyle changes
  • helping clients with their workouts
  • checking and recording clients’ progress, using methods like measuring heart rate and levels of body fat