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How to Become a Certified Personal Trainer

Have you ever dreamed of making your passion your career? Love helping people, inspiring others, and working out? If so, you could be a great personal fitness trainer.

Certified personal trainers are in demand as more people turn to fitness and a healthier lifestyle. These individuals have the right attitude and want to make changes, but they need guidance. They need qualified, educated, and experienced personal trainers, and that could be you. Here’s everything you need to know to get started.

Is a Career in Personal Training Right for Me?

Personal training is a rewarding and challenging career that requires a passion for fitness and helping others achieve their health and fitness goals. If you enjoy working one-on-one with clients, have a strong desire to help others improve their health and fitness, and are comfortable with the physical demands of the job, personal training may be a good fit for you.

Personal trainers must be able to communicate well with clients, provide instruction and guidance, and motivate clients to achieve their goals. They must also be able to design and implement safe and effective exercise programs that are tailored to the specific needs and abilities of each client. Strong organizational skills, attention to detail, and the ability to work independently are important qualities for personal trainers to possess.

It's also important to consider the earning potential and job outlook for personal trainers in your area. While the earning potential can vary depending on location, certifications, and years of experience, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment of personal trainers is expected to grow by 19% from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average for all occupations.

How to Become a Certified Personal Trainer

Think you would be a great personal trainer? Here’s how to become one:

  1. Make Sure You're Eligible
    Most personal training programs require you to have a high school degree or GED, and a current cardiopulmonary resuscitation and automated external defibrillator (CPR/AED) certification.

  2. Research Your Options and Choose a Certified Personal Trainer Program
    Most companies offer several certified personal trainer packages to choose from. All of them will help prepare you for a career as a fitness trainer. The best option is the package that fits your needs. Course length, study materials, and customer service support are all things to consider.

    Check out PTPioneer.com or FitnessTrainer.com for reviews of the top fitness certifications. You can compare programs and find the best option for your success!

  3. Register For and Pass Your Exam
    Once you've chosen a certificate program and feel prepared to take their exam, reach out to their customer support team to ensure you know how to properly register to do so and are aware of any requirements. Upon passing, you’re officially a personal trainer!

Getting a Job as a Certified Personal Trainer

Finding that first job can be challenging, but the demand and the need are there. Start with your school and find out if it offers any assistance with job placement. Many online programs are affiliated with gyms and clubs and can get you interviews. Also strike out on your own to see what’s available in your town. Be prepared to present sample workouts and ideas for how you will train clients with different needs.

Working in a gym will help you gain great experience. Additionally, it can help you figure out your niche before heading off on your own (if that’s your ultimate goal). Some gyms hire and pay personal trainers, while others rent space and time in the gym for you to train your own clients.

If you love working out, have a passion for fitness and health, and enjoy working with and helping people, personal training is a great career choice.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Fitness Trainers and Instructors, at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/fitness-trainers-and-instructors.htm (visited January 26, 2023).

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