Have you been wondering how to become a personal trainer? There are many reasons why becoming a personal trainer could be the right move for you. Some of the most common (cited by working personal trainers) include:

  • A flexible schedule
  • Good earning potential
  • Job satisfaction – helping others achieve and maintain their level of fitness


In order to be successful, personal trainers should have the following:

  • A solid education and certification
  • Strong communication skills
  • A flexible schedule
  • Good earning potential
  • A commitment to lifelong learning
  • Enthusiasm
  • Good gym etiquette
  • A solid business plan


By definition, personal trainers instruct or coach groups or individuals on exercise activities and the fundamentals of physical fitness. They demonstrate techniques and methods of participation. They observe clients and teach them corrective measures needed to improve their skills. Put another way, a well-qualified personal trainer is a wellness coach with a strong science-based education who is equipped to design exercise programs appropriate for members of a variety of healthy populations.

For most fitness workers, certification to perform these duties is necessary. And simply put, earning a well-respected certification will give you more credibility in the eyes of your clients and employers. In most cases, personal trainers must have a certification to begin working with clients or with members of a fitness facility.

According to a recent International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) study of personal training as a profit center, 93% of 72 responding clubs reported that they require certification as a prerequisite to employment. Independent trainers are also encouraged to seek out and achieve higher fitness education.

In addition, it is crucial to couple this with business practice and profes­sional development. There are many additional benefits to owning a private studio or running your own similar fitness business, but making this goal a reality is one that requires a dedication and determination that may mean a much greater up-front investment. Today’s personal trainers work in more venues than ever before, including:

  • Gyms
  • Health and fitness clubs
  • Corporate wellness programs/hospital programs
  • Clients’ homes
  • Parks
  • Online

Solid Business Plan

Do the research, examine your business strengths and weaknesses, understand the necessary tools for business success and use your resources to your best advantage. You can achieve more with the right foundation and a big picture view through an established business grid for success.

Credentialing Credibility

As the popularity of personal training rises, an increas­ing number of consumers and businesses that employ personal trainers are demanding proof of competency – primarily through certification. IHRSA recommends that its member clubs hire personal trainers who hold at least one current certification from an organization that has established third party accreditation of its certification procedures and protocols.

Certification accreditation from an independent, experienced and nationally recog­nized accrediting body is a must when looking to get the most out of your certification credential. Club operators pay particular attention to this and other factors, such as higher education and other confirma­tions of personal trainer proficiency (i.e., CPR certification and specialty level credentials.) It is necessary for clubs, trainers, and clients to stay informed of what is available, with regard to credentialing and continuing education; and what is mainstream, with regard to fitness trends and market expansion. Losing sight of this will stand in the way of career and personal advancement.

Choosing a Certifying Organization

There are many organizations that certify personal train­ers, and a number of factors should be considered when choosing your certification organization. The two most important factors are whether the organization has been accredited and by what accrediting agency. The Na­tional Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) is an example of an appropriate accrediting body that requires certifying organizations to meet strict standards for business practice, examination development and certi­fication policy. Third-party accreditation means that the organization providing a certification exam is reviewed by an objective, unrelated and unbiased, third party that evaluates the validity of its examination and certification procedures.

As the standards for excellence rise in the fitness indus­try, so do the opportunities for those with the proper credentials and skill sets. The thirst for fitness is not a dying trend. With hard work and dedication you will reap the reward. Get on the path to an enriching career in personal training and achieve your goals for success.