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Developing A Career In The Fitness Industry

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If you have a passion for fitness and want to help people change their lives, a career in the fitness industry could be just what you're looking for. The industry has many exciting opportunities for proactive individuals who want to coach and support others to meet their goals and make a real difference.

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If you have a passion for fitness and want to help people change their lives, a career in the fitness industry could be just what you’re looking for. The industry has many exciting opportunities for proactive individuals who want to coach and support others to meet their goals and make a real difference.

Better still, you don’t need a degree and can embark on a career in the fitness industry at any point in your life. With a small time investment and some dedication, it’s possible to build a career in the fitness industry.

Ready to discover how? Let’s dive straight in.

Why become a fitness industry professional?

The great thing about working in the health and fitness industry is that no day will be the same. You’ll work with clients from all backgrounds and with varying fitness needs, making it one of the more varied careers.

While you do need to be willing to work hard and dedicate yourself to professional development, you can also take advantage of numerous benefits.

Make a positive impact

As a fitness professional, you can positively impact people’s lives and help them overcome obstacles. Fitness is about much more than losing weight; it builds confidence and self-esteem while helping people reach their goals.

Witnessing transformative changes in clients and knowing you played a significant part in helping them can be highly rewarding.

Flexibility and variety

The fitness industry offers a wide range of career options and opportunities for specialisation. Whether it’s personal training, group fitness instruction, sports conditioning, or working with specific populations, professionals can choose a path that aligns with their interests and strengths.

Many self-employed trainers also set their own schedules and work in a range of environments, giving them a degree of flexibility that other careers don’t offer.

Personal development

As a constantly evolving field, the fitness industry is perfect for people who love the idea of ongoing development. Staying updated with industry trends and investing in developing your skills gives you the skills to coach at a higher level.

Earning prospects

According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a fitness instructor is £24,663, and personal trainers can charge anywhere between £20 to over £100 an hour (Payscale). Fitness professionals have excellent earning prospects and can look forward to unlimited growth.

So, now you know the benefits of becoming a personal trainer, it’s time to look at how to develop your career. These tips will help you go from new fitness instructor to personal trainer in as little time as possible.

Getting Started: Education and certifications

All fitness industry professionals need to have a strong knowledge of health and exercise, but a degree isn’t necessary. In the UK, a CIMSPA-accredited qualification is the industry standard, and there are plenty of routes to choose from.

Choosing the right certification

If you’re new to fitness, the first step is getting your Level 2 Gym Instructor qualification, which prepares you for entry-level roles. During the course, you’ll learn how to ensure a safe gym environment, the fundamental principles of exercise and instructing clients.

The Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training sets you up for a career as a personal trainer with more responsibilities. As a part of your training, you’ll also learn how to market yourself as a fitness professional, preparing you for self-employment or opening your own gym.

Further training 

If you want to progress in your career, you can move on to the Level 4 Personal Trainer diploma, which will put you in the top 10% of all trainers. Some people also choose specialist training courses, but we’ll explore that later.

Build a strong foundation 

Every successful personal trainer starts at the bottom and works their way up, but the speed at which you do that depends on whether you build a strong foundation for professional development.

There are many ways you can gain experience, including:

Volunteering and internships

While an accredited personal training course will give you the necessary qualifications and knowledge, practical experience helps you develop your career.

To improve your employment prospects, consider volunteering at community centres, gyms, or even residential homes for seniors.

Any form of experience shows you’re serious about a fitness career and will impress prospective employers.

Working with established fitness professionals

Collaborating with established fitness professionals can fast-track your learning and open doors to new opportunities. Seek mentors who have succeeded in your desired field and learn from their experiences.

Working alongside seasoned professionals allows you to observe best practices, gain insights into client management, and develop your unique coaching style.

Developing your skill set

Learning is an ongoing process, and your success as a personal trainer depends on your willingness to build your skill set. Attend workshops, seminars, and conferences relevant to your area of interest. Stay updated with the latest research and industry trends.

Also, take advantage of online resources, webinars, and podcasts that provide valuable insights from experts in the field.


Industry Leading Personal Trainer Course

The Fitness Circle have 26 years’ experience in qualifying Personal Trainers and fitness professionals. Enrolling onto our CIMSPA endorsed course means you’ll be working with a serviced-focused, experienced provider that continue to keep up with the latest sports science research.

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Choosing a career path

One of the best things about a career in the fitness industry is how many opportunities you’ll have. With a range of career paths available, anyone can find their niche. Let’s take a look at some of them.

  • Personal training

    Personal training

    • Personal training is one of the more popular career paths because it offers plenty of variety and the opportunity to work with high-value clients. Following the personal trainer certification routes is the way to go, but if you want to run your own business, we recommend the Level 4 qualification.
    • Upon completion, you could become a freelance personal trainer or specialise in working with a particular demographic, such as children, seniors or individuals with disabilities.
    • There's a high demand for specialist pre and post-natal fitness professionals, and our Level 3 certification gives you essential knowledge and skills to help individuals be active and safe.
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  • Group fitness instructor 

    Group fitness instructor 

    • If you enjoy leading energetic and dynamic workouts, group fitness instruction might fit you. Group fitness instructors lead yoga, Zumba, spinning, or boot camp classes.
    • The career path allows you to motivate and inspire a larger audience while creating a sense of community within the fitness facility.
    • Better still, you can power your career with a Level 2 Group Training certificate and get ready to lead groups with The Fitness Circle.
    Download prospectus
  • Nutrition and wellness coaching

    Nutrition and wellness coaching

    • Nutrition coaching allows PTs to provide a more well-rounded service for each client and support them with all health and fitness goals. Your role will include guiding people to make healthier food habits, develop sustainable eating patterns, and promote wellness.
    • If you want to provide nutrition education as part of your services, there are plenty of qualifications available.
    Download prospectus
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We are uniquely positioned to offer high-quality courses at affordable rates, without compromising on quality. This is made even easier for you with our 0% finance options, meaning that you can spread the costs of the course up to 12 months depending on the course price.


Prompt payment

Pay for the course in full and an added 5% discount will be applied

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Monthly payment

Spread the cost of the course over several months with 0% interest and no credit checks

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*You can either select your payment option on the website after adding the course to checkout, or through a member of our enrolments team (0800 677 1175).

3 easy steps to getting qualified


Choose your course

You can add your gym workshops later (if applicable) or study 100% online


Select payment plan

Choose 0% interest payment plans or pay upfront for an extra discount


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You’ll be assigned with a tutor who will contact you with your premium learning materials

The Fitness Circle support team & materials

With a personal tutor on hand to help you learn with us, we ensure that you are not alone during your studies.

Tutors with industry experience

Our tutors are dedicated, knowledgeable and best of all,
have personal training experience.

Industry-leading learning materials

  • Online video lectures and practical training videos
  • Premium learner manuals
  • Dedicated support tutor
  • Simplified study guide that is easy to follow
  • Customisable templates for case studies
  • Mock paper practice
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Our graduates are thriving

We are uniquely positioned to offer high-quality courses at affordable rates, without compromising on quality. This is made even easier for you with our 0% finance options, meaning that you can spread the costs of the course up to 12 months depending on the course price.

Enquire now
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Establishing your professional brand

While many newly qualified trainers work in gyms or health clubs, it’s best to establish a professional brand if you want a successful career with unlimited earning potential. People will come to you if you can help them reach their goals and break through any barriers.

The big question is; how do you go about building a professional brand?

Get online 

In today’s digital age, establishing an online presence is crucial for career development, and it also shows prospective clients that you’re serious about personal training.

Create a professional website or blog to showcase your expertise, share valuable content, and offer online coaching services. Social media platforms are powerful tools that enable you to connect with a wider audience and showcase your knowledge as a fitness coach.

Network and build connections

Networking plays a vital role in the fitness industry. When you attend conferences and join professional organisations, you can connect with more experienced trainers and gain valuable tips to grow your career.

Marketing yourself as a personal trainer 

Every successful trainer relies on repeat clients and word-of-mouth recommendations. Marketing is an integral component of the job—especially for freelance professionals. Let’s look at the many ways to market your services.

Business training

Marketing yourself as a personal trainer requires a degree of business knowledge, but these skills are covered in CIMSPA-accredited courses. However, you’ll also have to think about your competitors and ensure you have competitive rates to attract more clients.

Defining a target market

Limiting yourself to just one demographic might seem counterintuitive, but people will pay more for an experienced coach with specialist knowledge. For example, if you work with professional athletes, you can attract high-ticket clients.

Nutrition coaches can teach individuals diet techniques and confidence to conquer unhealthy eating patterns, whereas other trainers can only give basic nutrition tips to clients.

Developing a marketing strategy

Whether you’re a strength coach or focused on offering fitness and nutrition coaching to clients, marketing your business is essential. Luckily, today’s technology-focused world makes it easy for anyone to promote their company and stand out even in the most competitive markets.

Utilising marketing channels such as social media, local advertising, and a website can help you find the right clients and better understand your target audience’s needs. You can also show off your previous results, such as the body transformations of people who’ve benefitted from your services.

Embracing continuous learning and growth

Continuous learning and professional growth are central to your success as a PT. Once you’ve gained experience and feel confident to start working with clients, you’ll need to consider which career routes you’re interested in and how to get there.

Think about what you want to achieve

Do you want to work at a bigger gym? Or does becoming a freelance PT seem a better fit? There are so many things to consider when deciding where you want your career to go, but being willing to invest in your skills will help you get there.

Some fitness industry jobs require specialist certifications, and continuing education is vital for expanding your skill set and up with industry trends.

Find your place in the industry 

It’s no secret that competition in the industry is fierce, and if you want to be the go-to fitness trainer for clients, you’ll need to establish yourself as an expert. Finding where your skills and passion lie is the first step to developing a career, but you can also choose a particular fitness approach or focus on a specific area.

The key is differentiating yourself by offering exceptional customer service.

Work-life balance

Personal trainer burnout is a genuine issue that many fitness professionals deal with. Setting your own schedule offers a lot of flexibility, but it also means that some people leave little time for themselves.

Setting boundaries, prioritising self-care and allocating time for relaxation and a social life ensures you’ll find the perfect balance and can continue to develop your fitness career.

The bottom line

Developing a career in fitness should be an enjoyable experience that gives you vital tips and knowledge to succeed in a growing industry. Whether you’re at the beginning of your journey or want to do some fitness-specific training to further your career, The Fitness Circle offers specialist courses from experts.

With flexible payment solutions and the opportunity to learn in your own time, we give you everything you need to build your dream career.

Browse our website today or give us a call if you’d like some advice.