Fiona Outdoors logo My independent guide to the best of Scotland outdoors

8 things to know about becoming a personal trainer

Written by Fiona

October 20 2019

Exercise is a great benefit for mental and physical health – and, for some people, helping others to achieve fitness goals brings even more rewards. One career choice is to become a personal trainer. To start all you’ll need is to register for personal training courses. Read on to find out more.

1.   You don’t need a degree

Most career choices start with a bit of education or knowledge. Personal training is no different because there are certain educational requirements required. But you don’t need a university degree, you simply need to find a certified course.

In the Uk, for example, there are various course levels. To become a personal trainer you would normally be an fitness instructor already with a recognised qualification, such as, a Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing – Gym; Level 2 Diploma in Health, Fitness, and Exercise Instruction; or a Level 2 Diploma in Instructing Exercise and Fitness

You can take further qualifications, including a Level 3 Diploma in Fitness Instructing and Personal Training and a Level 3 Diploma in Personal Training

Fitness instructor and personal trainer courses are widely available through colleges and private training providers.

2.   Personal training increases leadership qualities

One thing coaches, managers, and trainers have in common is excellent leadership traits. They always seem to know the next steps to take and how to encourage others on their team.

This is one quality a personal trainer will have. Not only will you have to encourage clients to reach fitness goals, but they’ll also look to you to lead them.

In short: Leadership qualities in a personal trainer inspire confidence in the client that they will reach their fitness goals.

3.   Practice what you preach

Few people respect someone who is struggling to implement their own advice. It’s like any industry and if you know others who have made good achievements in their chosen subject area, then you will be able to learn more from them.

This also applies to personal trainers. Clients will get the most benefit from your knowledge and what you have learned by training yourself.

In other words: Personal trainers walk the talk when it comes to their fitness training and living a healthy lifestyle.

4.   Watch out for chancers

Just like any other industry that needs certification, the personal training industry is awash with its fair share of scammers. You need to be careful not to fall into the trap of using an unregistered certifying agency.

The certifying agency you choose should be highly recognised and accredited with either the DETC or NCCA (in the US) and, in the UK, CYQ (Central YMCA Qualifications), Active IQ (Active International Qualifications) and City and Guilds.

Also, if you know a personal trainer already, ask them for advice about where they trained and who they are registered with. It’s important to be registered as part of the right association so that you can gain employment.

5.   Becoming a personal trainer can be budget friendly

Training for a qualification will always require an investment but becoming a personal trainer will be typically cheaper and quicker than completing a university degree (and many other qualifications).

Prices of courses vary but in the US, it is typically about $500 for the certification, although it depends on which certification you go for. In the UK, on average, the cost to become a personal trainer is around £1,500. This covers the price of the Level 3 Certificate training course, which qualifies you to work as a PT.

It can take as little as eight to 10 weeks to complete a basic personal trainer course, although courses and levels of attainment vary quite a lot.

6.   You’ll need to be motivated

Like any career, it will be of huge benefit if you are keen to get on and learn. There is quite a bit of knowledge to absorb with study guides and material covering different topics ranging from anatomy to physiology.

The fun part is that if you are truly into fitness, the material will be much more interesting. The more you learn the better you will understand the body and how to become a good personal trainer.

7.   A flexible way to change careers

While college and university course are usually at set times and according to set term dates, most personal trainer courses allow you to learn at your own pace and sit exams when it suits you.

There is usually the opportunity to learn from sources on-line, such as fitness websites and videos, as well as doing practical tuition.

8. Employment of self-employment

Once you have qualified as a personal trainer, there are two ways you can go depending on your goals. This means you can either get a job at a commercial gym or work for yourself.

Both of these options have their own merits and disadvantages and these vary for every individual.

Working at a commercial gym or your local studio can get you the experience you need for your CV and to kickstart your new career. However, gym work typically pays less than self-employment and the hours of work can be long and irregular.

Working for yourself, while daunting, can mean you get to choose your own clients and working hours. But then again, there’s also a chance for long periods of time without any clients and having to do almost everything from marketing to the actual training by yourself when starting out.

If you are thinking about personal training certification, hopefully the above pointers have been helpful.

More Like This


5 fantastic reasons to vIsit Guatemala – and 4 things to do there 


How cold water swimming can help with managing depression


Corbett bagging: Morven, near Ballater


Free beginner’s guide to navigation by Ramblers Scotland


Corbett bagging: Meall Dubh, Glen Moriston


Tips for first time traveller’s guide | Greenbrier WV