How To Become A Personal Trainer

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How do you start the process of becoming a personal trainer? Our comprehensive resource guide runs you through it.

What skills does a personal trainer need?

Before you even look in to starting any training courses, you need to assess your own personal skills and passions to make sure they line up with what a successful personal trainer is going to need. These would be our most important skills and traits:

  • Strong people skills including:
  1. Patience with clients
  2. Friendly, easy to talk to
  3. Enthusiasm & passion
  4. Tact
  • Knowledge of fitness, the body, healthy eating & anatomy
  • Strong organisational skills
  • Most importantly – a passion for the industry!

What qualifications & skills does a personal trainer need?

There are four initial key qualifications you require in order to start working as a personal trainer in the UK:


Click each one to get trained!


The more added qualifications you can get, the more expanded your skill set will be. The CPD training (Continued Professional Development) that we offer allow you to go even further past your gym instructor or personal trainer qualifications.


You also need to be aware of specialist qualifications in addition to these basics. One of the best ways to break into the industry is to look at an area you’re passionate about and do it. To do this, though, you’re going to need qualifications and/or experience in your particular area.


This means you’ll master your trade and, when clients know exactly what they’re looking for, you’ll be there standing out on top!

How much does a personal trainer earn / make?

It’s important to be realistic. A lot of people have mismanaged expectations of how much you can earn; you’re self-employed so it’s up to you to determine a realistic hourly rate, and aim to take on a manageable number of clients.


As a self-employed or freelance personal trainer, you can typically look to be earning between £20 and £40 per hour; be careful about people touting high-end figures talking about £100 an hour rates as these aren’t typical!


If you’re a personal trainer in full-time employment (e.g. working with a fitness centre or gym) then you can earn anywhere between £12,000 and £20,000 a year.


There are so many factors that go into what a personal trainer can earn, that it’s really difficult to pin an exact or average figure down. It all depends on your qualifications, whether you’ve undertaken CPD training, how much experience you’ve got and the number of clients you can draw in (particularly freelance).


Resources: National Careers Service – Personal Trainer

How do I make it as a personal trainer?

How long have you got? We’ve talked about this before on our blog, which you can read here from Andi, and a lot of it can fall outside of your initial training. Once you’ve got this under your belt you need to stand out; choose your specialisms and run with them. Get more experience and (if possible) more qualifications so that you don’t get lost amongst the large number of personal trainers out there.


It’s a competitive market, so you need to be realistic about your rates, the number of clients you can take on and what specialisms and USPs you can boast!


About The Author

Following the birth of his son in 2009, Paul was unfit and sluggish. Since then he's been training using a range of exercise techniques and gained some valuable information over the years. Events he has completed to date are Total Warrior, Pier To Pier, Bamburgh 10k, Hamsterley 10k, Blaydon Races, Newcastle Stampede and over 50 parkruns. In 2012 he created his own challenge called the '12 Days of Christmas.' He raised over £1000 for Percy Hedley by running 60 miles to celebrate their 60 years. In 2013 he ran the '12 parkruns of Christmas' with friend Lee Nyland. The pair raised over £1400 for the Tiny Lives Fund.

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