A career as a personal trainer (PT) is all about helping people live a healthy lifestyle. If you’re passionate about fitness and health, being a personal trainer could a rewarding career for you.

What does a personal trainer do?

As a personal trainer, you’ll help clients to achieve their health goals. PT roles are usually based in gyms. Some examples of working with clients might include helping clients who want to lose weight or gain muscle or helping someone with chronic back pain to recover and improve their fitness.

What skills do I need to become a personal trainer?

Some of the skills that make a successful personal trainer include:

  • a passion for fitness
  • a good understanding of health and fitness
  • good customer service skills
  • enthusiasm and drive
  • a friendly and outgoing personality

James Luscombe, Director at Study Active

A personal trainer needs a sound theoretical knowledge coupled with excellent interpersonal and communication skills. An applied knowledge of nutrition and behaviour change are also very important.

What different routes are there to become a personal trainer?

Other qualifications

There are other qualifications you can add on if you’re interested in specialising in certain areas. For example:

  • Nutrition: Level 3 nutrition is automatically embedded into courses of Level 3 and above. So, everything you need to give nutritional advice (based on Government guidance) is embedded. According to the Association for Nutrition, if you want to write meal plans, you need a degree in nutrition or dietetics.
  • Exercise referral: An exercise referral qualification (also referred to as supporting clients with long-term conditions) allows you to work with clients with common medical conditions. GPs won’t refer patients directly to you, but they may refer patients to a gym which runs a referral scheme. 
  • Other specialist qualifications: There are other qualifications such as ‘low back pain’ or ‘diabetes’ which allow you to work clinically with patients with these conditions.

How can I find out more?

If you want to find out more, you might want to check out the following resources