How to Become a Personal Trainer

a female personal trainer helps a female client

If going to the gym is your favorite part of the day and you are looking for a new career path, you may find your niche in the world of personal training.

Personal training is a steadily growing industry, and along with earning a living, you will also find this career to be personally rewarding. With a passion for physical fitness and a desire to help others, you can focus on and maintain your own health while making a positive difference in the lives of those around you.

Necessary Skills

First and foremost, to be a personal trainer, you need to have a passion for fitness and the skills to relay that passion to clients. That means, in addition to having extensive knowledge of how to strengthen, tone, and take care of one’s body, you need to know how to help others achieve those fitness goals. Clients who come to you may need some extra help, so it is also useful to know a variety of exercises and adjustments for their ability level.

You also need to have communication skills. No matter what kind of day you are having, a personal trainer needs to be able to coach all clients in a friendly, positive manner. If your client needs some emotional support to continue with their fitness routine, you will also need to encourage them.


While it’s great if you want to earn a bachelor’s degree in health or fitness, you’re usually not required to hold a degree to become a personal trainer. Having a bachelor’s degree can help jumpstart your career in personal training and may increase your earning potential, but if you want to start your career as soon as possible, you just need to earn a personal training certification.

As part of this certification, you will be required to learn about nutrition, exercise physiology, kinesiology, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Some common associations you can contact about obtaining your certification include the American Council on Exercise, the American College of Sports Medicine, or the International Sport Sciences Association.

Steps to Take

After you decide that you want to become a personal trainer, there are a few steps you should take to make that dream a reality. You’ll need to choose your educational path, whether it’s a degree or a certification. Then, upon earning those qualifications, your next step is to find a job. Gyms, hospitals, universities, and other workplaces all hire personal trainers, so unless you are wanting to open your own business, these are great avenues to start getting clients.

Something to keep in mind is that just because you are employed somewhere doesn’t always mean you will have a lot of business coming in; you will also need to market yourself to ensure that people are aware of the personal training services you are offering. You can set up a social media account, create some flyers, or purchase some business cards to get your name out there.

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