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Considering a Career in the Fitness Industry? 5 Tips for Being a Successful Personal Trainer

Written by CB Community

With more and more people opting for a fitter, healthier lifestyle, the demand for personal trainers has been snowballing.

Research conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the number of job openings in the fitness industry was 373,700 in 2019. Within the next 20 years, you can expect this number to go up by 15%.

Not only will you earn an attractive salary, but you can also expect to work in gyms, health clubs, and fitness centers.

Running an online business where you provide virtual exercise sessions is also a possibility.

Like with all careers in today’s times, you’ll need to work hard to be successful. More importantly, you should know how to work smart. Read ahead to learn how.

1. Get the Mandatory Certification to Work in the Fitness Industry

The first step is acquiring the mandatory certification through the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

Depending on the program you sign up for, expect that you’ll work on the material for anywhere from 80 to 100 hours over 3 to 4 months.

You can study at your pace and get charts, graphics, easy-to-understand texts, and videos. Several activities are integrated into the course, so you have a better handle of the material.

If you’ve chosen a particular specialty, training time can take up to two years. Once you complete the course, you’ll take and pass the certification exam.

Sign up for online resources like the NASM-CPT practice test to help you study for the exam and get an overview of the possible questions you’ll answer.

2. Keep Pace with Latest Trends in the Fitness Industry

Having a college degree in exercise science or fitness and sports medicine is not a requirement. As long as you have certification from an accredited institution, you can start a career as a physical trainer.

However, do keep in mind that the fitness sphere is continually evolving with new techniques and specialties emerging all the time.

You would want to keep pace with the advancements with continuing education units. Adding new disciplines to your resume is essential to maintain clients’ confidence in your abilities to help them reach their weight loss and fitness goals.

Search online for new certifications you can get and make the time in your schedule to complete the courses. Reading science journals, articles, and magazines also helps improve your skills and knowledge.

3. Infuse Versatility into Your Resume

Potential clients are more likely to hire your services if you offer additional skills and knowledge in the fitness sector.

For instance, training in nutrition helps you advise fitness enthusiasts on balancing a healthy diet and optimum intake of calories with their workout routines.

You could also assist seniors in keeping up with exercises for rehabilitation, mobility, and range of motion after surgical procedures and prolonged illnesses.

Offering classes like stretching, yoga, aerobics, and muscle conditioning adds to your portfolio of services.

4. Choose the Right Platform to Provide Services

Fitness instructors can work in many different areas like, for instance, gyms, community centers, schools and colleges, retirement and assisted living facilities, and boot camps.

You could also find employment aboard cruise ships and at resorts, so if you enjoy traveling, that would be the ideal job prospect for you.

Many corporate establishments now have onsite fitness programs for their staff and hire trained personal trainers. As your experience levels grow, you could offer one-on-one workout sessions to high-end clients at their homes.

Eventually, you can start a workshop with the option of signing up for online memberships.

5. Learn Additional Skills to Provide Exceptional Services

Most physical trainers are unaware of the importance of skills like effective communication and the importance of positive interactions.

Learning tact, proper body language, how to provide counseling and customer service, and lead group sessions will go a long way in building a great rapport with your clients.

If you love fitness but this aspect of personal training makes you nervous, remember that social and language skills can be learned.

Speech therapy for adults is an under-utilized tool that can really boost your confidence.

Projecting confidence in your abilities and selling your services as a professional are also indispensable for getting ahead in your career.

You must know how to evaluate your expertise and put a monetary value on your time.


Working as a personal trainer in the fitness industry can be a highly-lucrative and personally satisfying career option.

Use these tips, and you’re sure to get ahead quickly!

About the author

CB Community

Passionate members of the College Basics community that include students, essay writers, consultants and beyond. Please note, while community content has passed our editorial guidelines, we do not endorse any product or service contained in these articles which may also include links for which College Basics is compensated.