How to Become a Personal Trainer

Your route to a successful fitness career

how to become a personal trainer

How do I Become a Personal Trainer?

Do you enjoy exercise and keeping active? Are you enthusiastic about helping your own clients achieve their fitness goals? If this sounds like you, then working as a Personal Trainer will enable you to transform your passion for fitness into an exciting career.

Find out all you need to know about how to become a personal trainer and what personal training involves, the skills and qualifications you need, career options and how to get started.

Steps to Success

Book your PT

Choose from our online Complete, Specialist and Ultimate PT course packages.

Study &

You’ve become a Personal Trainer.

Your first PT

You’re ready to start personal training working for a gym or running your own PT business.

New clients &

You’re enjoying working with clients and are growing your client base, hours and earnings.

Find your ideal qualification for a personal trainer and start your PT journey

What Does Personal Training Involve?

Key PT Skills

With the continued growth in gyms and leisure facilities in the UK an estimated 1 in 7 of us are now members of a gym.

People are becoming more aware of their health needs and the important role of exercise to remain fit, healthy and active. This is great news for those thinking of how to become a personal trainer.

Personal Trainers are recognised fitness professionals who are highly trained to prescribe and coach exercise to suit different clients physical needs.

They provide an outstanding service that is tailored to client needs.

Typically working one to one Personal Trainers are highly qualified exercise specialists who use their skills to produce customised training plans, coaching and on-going motivation that delivers tangible results.

The work is highly varied. Popular reasons client opt for personal training services include; weight loss, becoming fitter and more active, sports progression, medically advised and to improve lifestyle.

People person

Fitness know how

Natural motivator

Customer focused

Planned & organised

Business minded

Being successful as a Personal Trainer requires a varied skill set.

You will be working with a wide range of clients and it is important to enjoy interacting with different people, and have an enthusiastic, motivational streak.

Clients are paying for your time and services so a well organised customer first outlook is key together with the right qualifications and know how to deliver results.

The vast majority of Personal Trainers whether working in a gym or freelance need to build their own client base and this is where a business minded outlook can be really beneficial.

Qualifications for a Personal Trainer

If you’re just starting out in your fitness career then to meet industry standards you need to complete a level 2 Gym Instructor and level 3 Personal Trainer qualification.

Popular options here are our combined Personal Trainer Diploma Packages; Complete, Specialist and Ultimate – which are studied online leading to your level 2 and level 3 accreditations.

Alternatively, if you already have your level 2 fitness qualification you can jump straight in and start at level 3.

The good news is there are no course prerequisites aside from a genuine interest in fitness and enthusiasm for helping others achieve their fitness goals.

This means you can easily get your new career path underway with our qualifications for a personal trainer and with our fully flexible start dates you can commence at a convenient time to suit you.

The Academy of Fitness Professionals deliver affordable Ofqual regulated personal training certifications and course packages showing you how to become a personal trainer, enabling you to excel.

Our students from across the UK choose us confident that our Personal Trainer Certification programmes are taught by Personal Trainers at the pinnacle of the profession.

Choose the most appropriate start point for you from our course options below

Ready to start your new career?

personal trainer certificate

Our Complete personal training diploma package leads to both your level 2 and level 3 accreditations

I have a Level 2 Fitness Qualification

how become personal trainer

Our fast-track personal trainer course is perfect if you are already a level 2 qualified fitness professional

I want an advanced PT qualification

how to become a personal trainer

Our level 3 personal trainer diploma Ultimate package will develop your talent and advanced client skills

How to Become a Personal Trainer – Insights

Personal Trainer Job Role

Personal training offers a varied job role where you will be using your professional expertise to design and deliver fitness programmes to clients, tailored to their goals and abilities.

A popular choice for newly qualified personal trainers is to work in a national gym based setting where there is plenty of access to gym equipment and a good supply of gym members.

However, this is by no means the only option and setting up your own personal training business, outdoor training sessions and working in boutique gyms are all popular alternatives.

Working hours are flexible offering the potential for full-time, part-time, weekend and evening work.

Most gyms charge a monthly rental fee for use of their facilities or may request that you work on the gym floor for a set number of hours per month. Clients typically pay you or the gym direct on an hourly or block payment basis.

Personal training is a highly rewarding job role where your exercise guidance, motivation and coaching can transform your clients, making a huge impact on how they look, feel and function.

Personal Training Career Options

Established Gym Chains

Working for a large, established gym chain is a popular start point for newly qualified personal trainers.

This is a great way to develop your skills, learn from more experienced personal trainers and build on the job experience, confidence and knowledge.

Own Business

A highly popular career choice is to establish your own personal training business.

This offers greater earnings potential and options include working from clients homes, local parks and setting up your own studio.

Working Abroad

If you possess a sense of travel and adventure personal training offers international job potential.

Your industry recognised personal training qualifications are portable via the ICREPs network meaning your certification is recognised in associated partner countries. For details visit ICREPs.

Cruise Liners

For many cruise-goers the rest and relaxation of their holiday offers the perfect opportunity to exercise, get fitter and establish the beginnings of an exercise routine they can continue post holiday.

Personal trainers are key members of the gym team leading exercise classes and conducting one to one client programmes and sessions. Typically contracts run on a full-time basis per season.

Corporate Gyms

Companies are keen to take proactive steps to look after the health and well being of their staff.

This can make a positive impact on reducing sickness and absenteeism and increasing productivity, motivation and company culture.

Many companies have on site gyms which are ideal for personal training services and some offer schemes where staff receive fitness payments that can be put towards a block of fitness classes or sessions.

Niche Groups

Building a reputation as an expert in a particular field can be a highly lucrative career path for a personal trainer.

If you have a particular strength in a specialist aspect of personal training it is worth thinking about basing your career around this.

Examples of niche groups include; celebrities, athletes, obesity, seniors, kids and corrective exercise.

Clients Personal Trainers Work With

The personal training market is well established and clients seeking your services come from all backgrounds, ages and fitness levels.

There are many reasons clients choose to work with a personal trainer including;

  • Weight loss

  • Motivation

  • Toning

  • Improved fitness

  • Medical reasons

  • Sports specialism

You will take each client on a journey from their initial start point and fitness assessment all the way through to achieving their personal goals.

Along the way you are expertly guiding them through a series of mini goals and targets to ensure continued progression towards the desired results.

Most personal trainers develop a range of services that appeal to different client needs in their catchment.

For example, weekend boot camps, one to one personal training, weight loss packages, high intensity workouts, senior fitness, pre and post natal services and specialist sports coaching such as training for marathons, triathlons and charity events.

Frequently Asked Questions

Common questions we’re asked about our Personal Trainer Courses are listed here. If your question isn’t covered, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

What are the personal trainer certification requirements?

Personal trainers need to complete an industry recognised course that has recognition and awarding body accreditation and endorsement, such as through Focus Awards.

The industry standard certification is a level 3 certificate in personal training.

Once this is complete you will fully meet the personal trainer certification requirements you need to work in the industry, obtain insurance and demonstrate the you have the necessary education and qualifications clients are looking for.

How much does a personal trainer certification cost?

Personal trainer certification costs vary. Some training providers charge very high fees and set lengthy loan agreements so it is important to do your research and keep your eyes wide open. Here at AOFP we commit to offering great training at great prices. Your can browse our personal trainer certifications here.

What are accredited personal training courses?

Accredited personal training courses, like the ones we offer at AOFP are the real deal! This is important because if your course is not accredited then it may affect your chances of employment and/or ability to obtain insurance to work freelance.

Personal training courses should be accredited to an independent awarding body and industry recognised.

Can I learn to be a personal trainer online?

Yes! Our personal training courses include theory and practical skills training. Both are equally important because when you are working with your own clients it is how you apply this combined learning to assist clients that makes you successful in your career. If you choose to be a personal trainer via our online pathway you will complete the theory online and your practical skills by video which are submitted to your tutor. If you choose our practical attendance pathway you complete the theory online and then attend workshops to develop and demonstrate your practical skills.

How can I become a personal trainer?

To become a personal trainer you need both your level 2 certificate in gym instructing and your level 3 certificate in personal training.

If you plan to work freelance you will also need to obtain insurance and gain a first aid certification.

If you are starting out take a look at our complete personal training diploma package for more details.

The Right Personal Training Certification For You

The role of the Personal Trainer is becoming more important than ever before.

As a nation people are typically living longer, being less active and rising health issues such as obesity, diabetes and inactivity among children are causing health concerns for future generations.

At the opposite end of the scale, the doors are widening with specialist sports, fitness for the disabled and time efficient training coming to the fore.

As the knowledge of personal training and how a Personal Trainer can add value grows we expect the demand for personal training services to continue to increase.

That’s why we believe that to truly stand out and really have what it takes to become a great Personal Trainer it’s essential to pick the right course tailored to how you learn best, your time commitments, budget, ultimate goals and career plans.

Once your course is booked we will simply arrange your enrolment and course welcome and you’re ready to start. 

When qualifying with us here at the Academy of Fitness Professionals there’s also the peace of mind that course materials, tutor support, workbooks, assessments and certification fees are all included as standard.

Once qualified you’ll be a fully recognised Personal Trainer and are ready to start working with your own clients.

AOFP student

We go above and beyond for our students

We know that becoming a Personal Trainer is about far more than your certification. It is about combining your interest and enthusiasm for fitness with your specialist skills and knowledge to help clients achieve meaningful results, so that’s how we train our students.

AOFP student

How to Become a Personal Trainer – UK Requirements

Personal training is a fast moving, active, exciting and varied profession so it’s important you are a real people person with lots of energy to support different clients’ needs.

To succeed you should be self-motivated to deliver a range of personal training services to clients with a genuine interest in fitness and desire to help others achieve their goals.

To work for a gym you will need your level 2 Certificate in Gym Instructing and level 3 Certificate in Personal Training.

This should be accredited to ensure your qualification is industry recognised and also endorsed by an external awarding body such as Focus Awards.

In addition, if you plan to work freelance or establish your own personal training business you will need to obtain your personal trainer insurance and first aid certification.

Handy PT Resources

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      Find out how we handle your personal data here.


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