What are some of the benefits of becoming a personal trainer?
You will receive a high salary for your work. You will be able to travel all over the world. You will get free accommodation at hotels and resorts. Your employer may even provide you with car rental or airline tickets if necessary. You will earn extra money from working out at gyms, sports clubs, health spas and other places where people go to exercise regularly. You will be able to take time off when needed.
How much does it cost to become a personal trainer?
It depends on the type of training you want to learn. If you’re interested in learning basic body weight exercises such as push ups, sit ups and squats then you’ll probably pay around $20 per hour. A good trainer might charge between $30-$50 per hour depending on their experience and expertise.
If you want to learn advanced strength training techniques such as Olympic lifting, powerlifting or strongman then you’ll likely pay around $100 per hour. A good trainer might charge up to $500 per hour depending on their experience and expertise.
The average price for a beginner is around $20 per hour while the average price for an experienced trainer is around $60 per hour.
What kind of qualifications do I need?
If you’re already in good physical condition and just want to learn a few simple exercises then you can become a trainer with absolutely no prior experience. However, if you want to train others to a high standard then you’ll need to get at least the National Certificate in Fitness Training and Education qualification which is delivered by FAITO.
This qualification is a great start, but it’s not enough if you want to become a recognized trainer within the industry. To get a job as a trainer with most gyms or sporting organizations such as the AFL, NRL or FIFA you’ll need to get the National Diploma in Fitness.
This is delivered by FAITO and just requires you to already have the NCFE.
You can then get your National Certificate in Sports Conditioning and Training by completing an online course with the Australian College of Physical Activity and Health. While this isn’t necessary for most gym or sporting organization jobs, it’s highly recommended if you want to work with professional athletes.
Finally, to become a recognized strength and conditioning coach you’ll need to get the Certificate IV in Sports Coaching. This will require you to do a lot of studying as well as hands on experience.
You’ll need to complete modules in health and physical assessment, advanced strength and conditioning techniques, along with practical experience within the industry.
Do I need any special licenses?
In most states and territories in Australia you do need a license to become a personal trainer. However, these licenses are relatively easy to get as long as you can show proof that you have the right qualifications. All you really need to do is register your name on the relevant government website and you’ll be good to go.
How do I get a job?
The best way to get a job is by getting experience. You can get experience in two ways:
1. By working in a gym or sporting club as an apprentice/trainee.
The easiest way to do this is to apply directly through the websites of various gyms or clubs. A lot of them have sections where they advertise for free apprenticeships.
All you need to do is apply directly through the website and prove that you have the right qualifications.
2. By working as a free-lance personal trainer through sites such as craigslist.
org. The advantage of this is that if you get a good reputation you’ll have more clients and won’t need to pay any commission to anyone.
However, the disadvantage is that most reputable gyms and sporting clubs don’t hire free-lancers due to insurance issues.
Personally, I recommend the first option as it will give you good experience working with a team while also allowing you to get good experience training other people. It’ll also look great on your resume.
How much can I make?
This obviously depends on where you work and what your qualifications are. According to the Australian fitness industry average wages, the average personal trainer can make between $45,000 – $77,000.
This obviously varies a lot. Some make a lot less while others make a lot more.
If you get your National Certificate in Fitness, Nutrition and Health Coaching qualification through FAITO you should be able to easily double that.
What about free-lance work?
You can make a lot more money by being a free-lancer. However, most of the time this is frowned upon as many health and gym centers don’t like dealing with free-lancers due to legal and insurance issues. With this in mind, it still can be done if you get good enough reputation that the health and fitness clubs are willing to take that risk.
If you’re interested in this option, then I’d recommend joining a related trade association such as the National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association – NESTA. They offer free memberships to those who are just starting out and want to get a start in the field.
What about online personal training?
This is also an option, though it’s not recommended for the reasons mentioned in the previous paragraph. There are also a lot of online courses that claim to teach you everything you need to know to be a personal trainer. While these courses do provide good information, they’re not going to be accepted by the government for the National Certificate in Fitness, Nutrition and Health Coaching qualification.
What about online websites that allow you to get paid to train online?
There are a number of companies that will actually pay you to give fitness advice on their website. The pay isn’t that great and you probably won’t be able to build up a big following since they’re more well known.
Personal Trainer Career Paths
There are a number of different career paths that you can take once you become a fully qualified personal trainer. These range from opening your own personal training business or gym, becoming a fitness consultant, working in the corporate sector providing health and fitness classes for companies or even becoming a full-time athlete.
1. Opening your own business
This is the typical career path for most personal trainers. It enables you to have full control over your schedule and income.
The great thing about this option is that there are very little barriers of entry. All you really need to do is find a cheap place to rent and you’re good to go.
Craigslist is a good place to look.
When it comes to clients, they can be found in a number of ways. Some personal trainers have their clients come to them by opening up a small gym or studio in their area.
Others go the more traditional route of placing flyers around at universities, colleges, and high schools. You could also do what most personal trainers do and advertise yourself online through your own website or directory sites such as Google My Business or Thumbtack.
The downside to having your own business is you’ll have to deal with all the problems that come with it such as making sure the bills are paid, finding new clients, keeping clients, and doing all the other “administrative” work that goes into running a business.
2. Becoming a consultant
As a personal trainer, you’ll probably be pretty familiar with the fitness industry. This could be beneficial if you decide to become a consultant.
There are a number of different industries that would be willing to pay you for your advice on how to implement things in their company such as healthier food choices for employees or fitness programs for employees.
The great thing about this career is that you can do it anywhere since all you really need is a phone, computer, and internet connection. The downside is that you probably won’t make as much money as if you had your own business since you’d be working for different companies.
3. Working in the fitness industry
This is another alternative if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of opening your own business or become a consultant.
Working in the fitness industry can mean a few different things. First, you could work directly with clients at a gym or health club as a personal trainer.
The great thing about this is that you won’t need to worry about all the administrative duties that come with owning your own business since this will be managed by the health club.
The downside is that you’ll be under their supervision and ultimately you’ll have less freedom than if you owned your own business.
The other option is to work in the industry but not directly with the clients. You could work in human resources and ensure that the employees are using all the equipment properly and aren’t abusing their treatment.
Again, this is usually done at gyms and health clubs so the hours can be a little strange since you’ll be working around employee’s schedules.
4. Get a regular job
Finally, you could get a regular job working as a personal trainer at a gym or health club.
Working as a trainer at a gym doesn’t mean that you won’t have to deal with all the problems that come with owning your own business since some gyms are better than others at managing their staff.
A better option might be to work at a health club since the administrative duties are should be taken care of. You would just have to make sure that you keep up on current fitness trends and acquire any new skills needed for your clients.
5. Something else
There are so many new and different careers popping up that didn’t even exist a few years ago. There’s bound to be something out there that might interest you.
You could try to become an online personal trainer where you would create an online following and provide your own equipment. You don’t even need to have any prior experience since you could rely on information found online and equipment from places such as Amazon.
The catch with this option is that you would really be limited to those who could afford to pay for your services and you would need some sort of credentials since you’d be working with people’s health and well-being.
These are just five of the options that are available to you. No matter which one you choose, make sure that it’s a good fit for you and not just a temporary decision because it’s what your friends are doing or what is popular right now.
Whatever you decide to do, keep in mind that your education and experience will play a big part in your success so try to stick with something and not jump from one thing to another every few months.
Whether you own your own business or work for another company, you’ll need to go through some sort of training to acquire the skills that are needed for the job.
Choose a topic you are interested in or seem interesting and pursue it. You can’t go wrong with a degree in exercise science or kinesiology since these can be used in many different aspects of the fitness industry.
If you don’t have the time or money to go back to school, then get your personal training certification through reputable programs such as the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) or the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).
Remember that these are just a few suggestions and there are many more out there.
You could even choose to do something completely different like become an occupational or speech therapist since these careers involve interacting with people on a daily basis.
No matter what you decide to do, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the journey.
If you do, chances are others will love working with you and your clients will grow to love you as well.
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What Are Your Biggest Barriers To Entry?
I get asked all the time “How do I get started in the online training business?”
My response is always the same, “You need to identify what your barriers to entry are and then find a way to overcome them.” In this post, I go over some of the most common barriers and how you can overcome them.
How I Went From Having Nothing To Being Location-Independent
This is the story of how I went from having nothing to having everything I needed to become a successful online trainer. I didn’t have any fancy online courses, certification or even a college degree.
I just identified what I was good at and pursued it.
Do you have any questions you would like me to answer in a future video?
Drop me a message and I’ll do my best to answer it on the next one!
Talk to you soon.
Sources & references used in this article:
Automatic standardisation of texts containing spelling variation: How much training data do you need? by A Baron, P Rayson – 2009 – eprints.lancs.ac.uk
It is not how much you have but how you use it: Toward a rational use of simulation to support aviation training by E Salas, CA Bowers, L Rhodenizer – The international journal of …, 1998 – Taylor & Francis
Training for impact by DG Robinson, J Robinson – Training & Development Journal, 1989 – go.gale.com
Evaluation of training by DL Kirkpatrick, RL Craig – Evaluation of short-term training in rehabilitation, 1970 – ERIC
Education and training by R Dearden – Westminster Studies in Education, 1984 – Taylor & Francis
Why training fails by DR Spitzer – Performance & Instruction Journal, 1984 – academia.edu
The use of simulation for training teamwork skills in health care: how low can you go? by JM Beaubien, DP Baker – BMJ Quality & Safety, 2004 – qualitysafety.bmj.com
Need training? Conducting an effective needs assessment by TL Cekada – Professional Safety, 2011 – search.proquest.com
Training for dummies by E Biech – 2005 – books.google.com