Working as a personal trainer has numerous benefits, but similar to any other job, it also has numerous drawbacks. Overall, there is a demand for personal trainers in fitness clubs, training facilities and private studios across the nation, according to Todd Galati, certification manager for the American Council on Exercise. If you have a passion for health, fitness and physical activity, a career in personal training might be for you.
Before you can work as a personal trainer, you must earn a college degree in an exercise-related field of study and then earn a personal training certification. Although earning the degree and certification require a time and money commitment, your credentials are crucial for building your clientele. As you work as a personal trainer, you must constantly improve your skills and education by attending study courses, seminars and trade shows. These continuing education requirements allow you to meet other personal training professionals as you learn the latest trends within the fitness industry.
Your work schedule as a personal trainer is determined primarily by the availability of your clients. This commonly requires that you work split shifts randomly throughout the day. For example, you might have an early morning client followed by a late afternoon client. Working a split shift, however, gives you time to work out, run or finish errands between clients. You can also customize your schedule to fit around family obligations or other activities that occur during the week.
The job setting of a personal trainer eliminates sitting behind a desk surrounded by copy machines and computers. Instead, you’re able to work in casual attire at a fitness club where you are free to move freely all day. Within the job setting, you can choose your focus of clients such as athletes or weight loss or special populations. When the weather is nice, you can also take your clients outside for a challenging new workout routine.
According to the National Federation of Professional Trainers, the in-session average hourly rate as of 2011 is $28.27 with an average annual pay ranging from $24,000 to $50,000. The salary range is based on various factors such as geographic location, your experience and specialization. Larger cities typically have a higher salary potential, with some trainers earning more than $60,000 annually, and celebrity trainers can earn more than $100,000 annually by selling additional products and services.