Personal Trainer Career Options
In the first of a two-part series, our Head of School Paul Swainson looks at the diverse career options available to a qualified personal trainer.
At a business networking event some years ago, I introduced myself as a personal trainer to one of the other attendees, to which he asked “and which gym do you work at?”. “I don’t” I replied, before explaining how I trained my clients in their homes and back gardens. He seemed genuinely amazed it was possible to exercise anywhere other than a fully-equipped gym, an idea that is now common-place as trainers become more aware of how to train without the expensive and heavy machinery typically found in health clubs.
Whilst gyms are still the obvious place for trainers to offer their services (after all, where else will you find such a concentrated group of people looking for health and fitness improvements?), there are a variety of options to investigate. Here are some of the more common ones:
Large multi-site gyms
The well-known operators all have their own personal training teams with well-established infrastructure and systems. Take a look at our Guaranteed Interview page for more details on what each has to offer.
Smaller facilities will often allow you to train clients in exchange for a per session fee or monthly ground rent, but you won’t get as much support as you will in larger health clubs.
You could start your own PT studio, giving you the benefits of running your own independent business along with the facilities you’d find in a larger gym.
Providing you can transport any kit you need, being mobile opens you up to the market of people who want the convenience of training at home.
You could run sessions in local parks or other suitable outdoor locations. Often you’ll need to pay a fee to the local council to be able to do this.
Fitness professionals on ships are responsible for manning the gym, teaching classes, presenting workshops and delivering personal training sessions. Being multi-skilled is a bonus as the holiday companies will want you to be able to offer as much as possible.
Many companies and organisations are starting to appreciate the importance of fitness and health to productivity, so there is growing potential to run programmes for the employees at their place of work.
Of course, variety is the key to job satisfaction so you could do more than one of the above. For example, you could do PT sessions at the gym but head out to visit local businesses at lunch times to deliver corporate fitness programmes.
Something that will help when deciding which option is best for you is to consider what type of personal trainer you want to be, and what sort!