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.
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.
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.
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.