Personal Trainer Career

personal training career

Personal Trainer Career – A Challenging and Rewarding Opportunity


A Personal Trainer career is not like many other career opportunities you will ever find.  A personal training career offers options for having your own business or working for a larger organization.

A personal trainer has the amazing opportunity to touch and change lives.

Let us take a further look at two important questions to help you determine if a personal trainer career is right for you.

What is a Personal Trainer?

Many people hear the phrase personal trainer and envision a teacher in an aerobics class.  A personal training job is a little different.  The emphasis is on the word personal.  A personal trainer rarely works with more than 3 clients at one time and most commonly with a single client per session.

This level of personal focus creates a high level of confidence and bonding between the trainer and the client.

What is a personal trainer career

A personal trainer is not just someone who understands exercise but a highly trained and certified professional.  Your personal training education will give you a deep understanding of the following:

  • Exercise Mechanics
  • Nutrition
  • Personal Relations
  • Motivational Techniques
  • Assessment Skills
  • Planning

Your career in personal training will be focused on helping individuals improve their lives through exercise and personal change.

How Do You Go About Becoming a Personal Trainer?

The starting point of becoming a personal trainer is getting certified.  There are numerous certifying organizations for personal trainers in the USA.  The list includes:

  • America Council on Exercise – ACE
  • National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association – NESTA
  • American Fitness Professionals & Associates – AFPA
  • Aerobics and Fitness Association of America – AFAA
  • National Academy of Sports Medicine – NASM
  • National Council on Strength and Fitness  – NCSF
  • National Federation of Professional Trainers – NFPT
  • National Strength and Conditioning Association – NSCA

Personal Trainer CareerThis list in incomplete but gives you an idea of the diversity of certification options you have.  If you are choosing to specialize in a particular personal training career like Yoga, Pilates, or Kick Boxing you will need to work through a more specialized certification program.

The above certifications are designed to prove competency in overall skills.

Which Certification Should You Pursue?

It can be very difficult to decide on the proper certification with so many choices.  The programs which are the most recognized in the profession are the ACE and the NCSF certifications.

These two programs are comprehensive in coverage and will require thorough preparation to pass the exam.

Both the American Council on Exercise and the National Council on Strength and Fitness offer workshops, home study courses, and exam preparation guides.  No matter how much self-study you have done on your own in a fitness center learning exercise mechanics and nutrition do not attempt these exams without checking into their materials.  The exams are designed to ensure clients receive the highest benefit from a certified personal trainer.

Both ACE and NCSF programs are offered in a variety of colleges and universities across the USA.

What are the Salaries for a Personal Trainer Career?

When you start exploring a personal trainer or sport medicine salary you are going to be shocked at the wide range.  A personal training career can start as a very low paying career but has the potential to be one of the highest paid careers in the nation.

Recent surveys of personal trainers report the following salary statistics:

  • Median Personal Trainer Salary in USA – $52,869
  • Lowest Reported Annual Salary – $19,520
  • Highest Reported Annual Salary – $71,197

The above salaries were done across a cross section of personal trainers with a variety of backgrounds and certifications.

As another example of personal trainer salaries we can look at statistic from a 2010 study done by the American Council on Education.

In this study they only reviewed salaries of ACE Certified Personal Trainers.  The results are as follows:

  • ACE Certified Average Annual Salary – $53,323
  • ACE Advanced Certifications – $55,771

As you can see the ACE Certified Personal Trainers ran slightly higher than the median range across all certifications.

Is a Personal Trainer Career Right For You?

Becoming a Personal TrainerA personal career trainer requires a special individual.

The trainer must have the following skills to be successful in this career:

  • Personal Drive
  • Organization
  • An Outgoing Personality
  • Desire to Serve Others
  • Focus on Personal Excellence

You must stay physically and mentally sharp to lead by example.  Are you ready to start on the journey to becoming personal trainer?

If you have these traits you can excel as a personal trainer.  A personal trainer career does not require only keeping your clients at their peak, but yourself, also.