Getting qualified as a personal Trainer

Are you sure that personal training is the career path for you? The ‘fitness boom’ has permitted the growth of a highly competitive fitness industry, one of the few unharmed by the recession, and it continues to expand. Millions of people are jumping aboard the health and fitness bandwagon, seeking to tone up and reap the benefits of a personal training (PT) service which is no longer exclusive to the rich and famous. As a fitness lover yourself, what could be better than transforming your passion for fitness into a potentially lucrative career through a rewarding job where you can help people to achieve their goals…without being stuck behind a desk.

Here are just a few checkpoints to consider before finding out how you can qualify. Be sure that…

  • You don’t mind suiting your working hours to the needs of your clients even if that means evenings and weekends
  • You’re not bothered by the lack of salary scales and income being dependent on location
  • You’re prepared to keep your skills and knowledge up to date throughout your career by completing continuous development courses and attending seminars
  • You have determination, enthusiasm, good people skills, patience, discretion and the ability to motivate

So, where do I need to start?

Aside from the array of character traits above that will help you succeed in your career, in order to become a PT you would normally be an experienced fitness instructor with a recognised qualification. This is a Level 2 certificate and must be obtained prior to the Level 3 personal training certificate. Examples of Level 2 include:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing – Gym
  • Level 2 Diploma in Instructing Exercise and Fitness
  • Level 2 Diploma in Health, Fitness, and Exercise Instruction

It will be difficult (and should be impossible) to find employment within the personal training sector with just the above level of qualification. To ensure your status as a PT and give yourself the best chance of employment within the industry, it is important that you complete a Level 3 qualification, such as:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Fitness Instructing and Personal Training
  • Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training
  • Level 3 Award in Conversion of Advanced Fitness Instructor to Personal Trainer Status (for those who are already a qualified fitness instructor)

It is a good idea to join a professional organisation such as the National Register of Personal Trainers (NRPT) or the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) which will accredit your Level 3 qualification and demonstrate skill and competence that can only serve to benefit your career prospects.
Fitness instructor and personal trainer courses are now widely available through colleges and training institutions and some students enter programmes with no previous experience in the industry, taking certificate levels 1 and 2 first…so do not be discouraged if you’re not already a fitness instructor. Once you have obtained your level 3 personal training qualification, you are technically as employable as the next person. Previous experience can never be a disadvantage but so long as you endeavour to constantly broaden your skills base and qualify for more memberships to enhance your qualification portfolio, then you will be more in demand as a PT and earning a higher salary.

I’ve taken my level 3 certificate but I want to do more, can I?

Yes, there are advanced courses available to those who want to surpass the basic requirements of their personal trainer qualification. As a PT, Continued Professional Development (CPD) is encouraged and finding a niche area to practise in can be highly rewarding. Examples include:

  • European Institute of Fitness Courses (EIF) Master Trainer and Fitness and Motivation Coach
  • Fitness Industry Education Level 4 Advanced Personal Trainer and Life Coach
  • Future Fit Training Specialist Diploma in Advanced Personal Training (Training Techniques Specialist)

Specialist areas vary from advanced resistance training to core kettlebell exercise, pre-post-natal training, nutrition and weight loss management. If you find an area which you love, it is a good idea to make yourself the best you can be within that field.

Whatever level of qualification you are studying for, if you’re a personal trainer it’s vitally important you have insurance cover in place. Our policy starts at just £4.29 a month, so there’s no reason not to get a quote today.