Six key steps to becoming a Personal Trainer

In this article, we look at the best ways to become a successful sort after Personal Trainer, in six easy steps.

School Of Personal Training Posted Mar 04, 2019 Future Fit Training


Becoming a Personal Trainer can be one of the most fulfilling career choices you ever make. It’s a fantastic job and will lead to you transforming the lives of many hundreds of people.

In this article, we are going to look at the best way to become a successful Personal Trainer, following a six step plan that will take you through your entire journey.

Six steps to becoming a PT

Step one: education

Before starting any Personal Training course, it’s a good idea to get some information and learn a bit about what you will be doing.

Some people come into Personal Training with qualifications in Sports Science, nutritional qualifications or other health and fitness related qualifications. Some people have worked as fitness instructors for a while and are looking to move into a new role. Others come into Personal Training with no previous experience or education.

Either way, your Personal Training course should give you all the information you need to become a qualified Personal Trainer, but an understanding of the subject can help you in your training.

Download our free "how to become a Personal Trainer" guide by clicking on the banner below which contains all the information you need to start your career in the fitness industry with confidence.

Download our free How to Become a Personal Trainer Guide today

Step two: finding a Personal Trainer course

There are lots of Personal Trainer courses out there, but they are not all equal in terms of quality.

The annual Raising the Bar report is compiled through surveys of key employers, operators and people across the health and fitness industry. The report highlights key employer-led expectations of training courses, including that they should last more than six months and offer social, business and behaviour change skills as well. Despite this, numerous courses are running across the UK with fast track programmes, online only study or that offer very basic qualifications with no additional skills training.

When looking for a Personal Training qualification, things to consider are:

• Will I come out of the qualification ready to train people?
• Will I have a qualification that employers and insurers recognise?
• What key skills will the course give me?
• Does the course include good nutrition training?

At Future Fit, our diplomas in Personal Training has been designed to be exactly what you need to become a successful and fully competent Personal Trainer and meets all of the employer-led expectations highlighted by the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) and the Raising the Bar reports.

Step three: work experience

This step is optional, if you have qualified as a Personal Trainer you may consider spending some time shadowing successful Personal Trainers. This is especially useful to those who have not worked previously as a fitness instructor or gym instructor.

This isn’t always possible, or you may have had experience in other ways and feel it is not needed, but if you can do it, a good Personal Trainer will have lots to teach you.

Step four: insurance

Getting insured is crucial, without insurance you will not be able to train people in most gyms and if your client is injured, you will be liable for any costs. Find yourself a reputable insurance company and make sure that you update this each year.

Step five: decision time

There are many different types of Personal Training jobs, including self-employed or employed roles.
Employed Personal Trainers work for gym or leisure operators, normally either with a wage (although this is rare) or as a fitness instructor who does Personal Training on the side.

Self-employed Personal Trainers can either pay rent to a gym to work in their space, or they may have their own home gym. Some also choose to train in public spaces or could go to their client’s homes to train.

There are benefits and drawbacks to both types of work - a self-employed person gets to keep all the money they earn and has much more freedom over who, when and where they train, while an employed person has job security and a steady income, for example.

Make a decision about what is best for you but remember you can always start one way and switch to another - many newly qualified Personal Trainers will start out as an employed fitness instructor/PT and become a self-employed Personal Trainer once they have more experience.

Step six: building and maintaining your business

Surviving as a Personal Trainer means having a steady stream of clients. This means that you need to have strategies for gaining new clients, retaining current clients and replacing former clients.

Providing amazing Personal Training sessions is key to retaining clients. This will also help to get you referrals from happy clients, and it will build your profile as a trainer among the gym regulars. There are plenty of other things you can do to help grow and maintain your client database.

Our Building Your Fitness Business course is included in all Personal Training qualifications and gives you a solid grounding to start getting and keeping clients.