So you want to be a personal trainer?
While you may think that step #1 is to acquire the proper certification, we believe there is a first, very important step you may have missed. In order to find the right certification for you, it’s a great idea to answer a few questions about your personal training career goals. Find out what really interests you.
- What kind of training do you want to do?
Many trainers begin with a general personal training certification as they break into the industry. And by general, we mean the certification offers a broad education for helping clients reach a new level of fitness, improve overall health and avoid injuries. This type of certification is great for starting your career, finding clients and making connections. While there is nothing wrong with having the more open certification, start to think about whether you want to work in a specified field or with a specific demographic. Do you want to help anyone that’s looking to get in shape or would you prefer to work with and train athletes? Maybe your passion is combatting childhood obesity, and you want to work with children and young adults. These factors and others can really affect how you approach your career and what certifications you pursue.
- Are you going to be an independent contractor or an employee?
There are a number of routes a new personal trainer can take in finding clients and building a personal training business. For those who are planning to find their own clients (aka independent contractors), consider how you will start to acquire clients, locate what gyms you can train at, and determine how much ramp up time you will need. If you’re interested in being an employee of a larger gym or organization like LA Fitness or 24 Hour Fitness, research the trainer agreement closely. A perk of being an employee is that you may be eligible for benefits. There are pros and cons to each method.
- Can you go full time immediately?
We’ve known many personal trainers who begin the certification process while holding another part- or full-time job. Many keep their current position as they begin taking on clients, and then transition to a full-time trainer when they have enough regular clients to satisfy their income needs. As you plan out your career, start deciding whether you want to or can go full time immediately or if you have to transition. Either can work great, but this will affect the clients you take on initially and more.
Stay tuned for more information on building a successful personal training career.