The life of a certified personal trainer can be an exciting one.
If you are passionate about fitness and happy going to the gym, then you may be considering becoming a personal trainer.
Of course, there is a lot more involved to this as a career path than that.
A Job vs a Career
Most people need to earn money to pay for living expenses and gain the things that will give them a full and happy life.
One of the first decisions when considering employment is whether you will have a job or a career.
A job is usually something you do to earn a paycheck. It gets you the money you need to survive.
Having a career is also about getting that paycheck, but comes with a different attitude.
A career involves training and puts you on a track for long-term goals.
Because of the extra thought that goes into long-term thinking about your employment, a career is not for everyone.
But if you have something that interests you as a career, it can be a fulfilling way to earn a living.
Reasons To Become a Personal Trainer
1. You Know Yourself
Before you choose a career as a personal trainer, you should know your strengths and weaknesses.
- How much time are you comfortable spending at a gym?
- What about fitness interests you? Do you work better alone or as part of a team?
- Are you a self starter or do you need someone to lead you?
The more you know about yourself the better prepared you will be to make this decision.
2. You Understand Your Options
Reading an article like this is a great part of this process! You want to understand what you are getting into.
3. You Enjoy Helping Different People
Certified personal trainers meet a lot of different people all with their own personal reasons for seeking help.
Some people have weight loss goals, others come in for strength training, some have injuries they are working to recover from.
Many of them will not like going to the gym and may blame you when things aren’t going well with their goals.
A great personal trainer adapts to the clients they’re working with and can handle the different personalities.
4. You Can Analyze Data and Change Course
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all wellness plan.
As a personal trainer, it will be your job to compile data on how your client is progressing and change direction to what works best for your client’s body.
5. You Love Working Out
If you aren’t comfortable in the gym, this is not the career for you. You need to have a passion for fitness and be interested in keeping up with the latest trends.
6. You Are Comfortable Selling
You will sell your services to potential clients.
Commercial gyms will expect this of you. Most people who get into this profession don’t imagine they will also be getting into sales, but it is typically part of the job.
Having sales experience can help, but the biggest factor here will be your attitude about sales.
The Income Of A Personal Trainer
The pay for certified personal trainers continues to climb.
The fitness industry grows more every year, and so does the demand for personal trainers.
Being in an industry full of growth and opportunity is the dream when you’re looking at careers.
Even so, the average salary varies widely. It is common for trainers to make anywhere from $15 an hour to $100 an hour.
Some factors that affect your wage include where your job is located, what kind of work you are doing, and what certifications and training you have.
Your overall income will also be affected by how much work you pick up.
If you’re good at making sales and keeping a full schedule, you will make a lot more money overall than trainers who aren’t good at these things.
It is also important to keep in mind that cancellations happen. Income can be uncertain and fluctuation because of this. Is that something you can be comfortable with?
How to Become a Personal Trainer
Many people who decide to become certified personal trainers have done some unofficial training of friends or family over the years.
If that’s you, then you probably feel you have a good picture of what will be involved.
To become certified and seek employment, or start your own business, there will likely be more to do than you may have guessed.
1. Live a Healthy Lifestyle
You do not have to be bulked up and looking like The Rock to be a personal trainer.
You need to lead a healthy lifestyle and be prepared to be physically active all day.
You should be comfortable at the gym and understand healthy eating.
2. Research Minimum Requirements
To become certified, you will likely need to meet several minimum requirements.
This is part of becoming certified (step 3), but will need to be done first.
Some of the likely requirements will be a high school diploma and CPR certification.
3. Become Certified
You need to find an accredited organization to receive your certification from.
You will need to decide if their program works for you. If you already know where you want to work then you need to find out what programs they accept.
You need an organization that has a national or international certification. You should know where their certificate will be recognized.
Different organizations will be in person or online and also vary on the requirements for their final exam. If this is important to you, research it ahead of time.
The cost of programs will also vary. Somewhere from $300 to $1,500 is common, so research what you are getting for your dollar.
Some popular programs you can look into include the American College of Sports Medicine, American Fitness Professionals and Associates, National Academy of Sports Medicine, and the National Federation of Professional Trainers.
4. Keep Up With Your Certification
Fitness is a fast-changing field. When you work as a personal trainer you are being trusted with other people’s health.
For these reasons, you are required to continue your education to keep your certification current.
The organization you received your certification from will offer courses to keep you up to date.
5. Optional: Decide on a Specialty
You will want to decide on a specialty eventually, but it is optional that you do this before finding a job.
Over time, you will likely take more courses, earn more certifications, and develop a specialty for your career path. If you know what you want to do early on, all the better.
6. Find a Job
Decide if you want to apply for jobs at local community centers, hospitals, commercial gyms, at spas or resorts.
if you want to do in-home training or work for yourself, or if you want to go for the big adventure and work on cruise ships.
There are a lot of options. While your first job will give you additional training and experience that will affect your career going forward, you are allowed to switch paths as you go, so don’t feel locked into where you start.
7. Continue Growing Your Career As a Personal Trainer
Congratulations, you are now a personal trainer.
Continue growing your career by expanding on your training, networking in your field, and keeping your options open for new opportunities in the fitness industry.
This article is written for Charles Schusterman Community and Fitness Center in Tulsa
They offer career opportunities for personal trainers in Tulsa as well as a fully operational, state of the art gym and fitness facility open to the public. For your health!