I’m a certified personal trainer, now what?

Get the Basics…
  • Becoming a certified trainer is an important first step in your career.
  • Spend some time thinking about what you want in your next job as well as in your career.
  • Keep an eye on continuing education requirements.

Becoming a certified personal trainer is a big and important step in your career. Once you celebrate passing your exam and joining the profession, you want to take the next steps to launch your career. There are many different ways to plan your career path and find ways to serve your clients. But where do you begin?

Think About Your Goals

When you become a personal trainer, it’s important to think about your career. Not all personal training jobs are alike. You might decide to be your own boss, or you might work for a large gym with many locations. You might focus on seniors, adults, or special-needs teens and children.

It might be most important to you to work in a certain location. On the other hand, you may have always dreamed of working for a specific gym. Thinking through your priorities can help you choose the career path that’s most satisfying to you.

– Talk to Others in the Profession

As you think about your career goals, one helpful way to gain some insight into your new profession is to talk to other trainers. They can tell you about what they like about their careers as well as what they’d do differently if they were starting over again. For example, there might be benefits to working as an employee of a gym instead of being an independent contractor.

Other professionals might tell you to steer clear of a gym that wants a non-compete clause, or they might tell you that the benefits of the job are well worth the drawbacks. Other personal trainers may be able to offer you valuable insights about what niche areas are in the highest demand.

Having conversations with other professionals can help you determine what kind of work is right for you.

Getting insight from the experience of others can help you avoid mistakes and find the right niche. You can take the advice that’s helpful to you and apply it as you build your career.

Make a Website

Unless you’re working for a gym that prohibits it, it’s worth your while to make a personal website, which is a great way for you to meet clients who don’t already know you through family and friends. Make sure your website has all of the basic information, including your name, certifications, services, contact information, and photographs.

It can take some time for a website to rank in search results, so it’s best to get started on this as soon as you can.

Word-of Mouth-Referrals

When you’re launching your career, it’s important to tell your friends and family that you’re going for it. Some of them may be interested in personal training. Knowing that they have a friend in the business might be just what they need to help them feel comfortable working with a trainer for the first time.

You can make an announcement on social media, send an email blast, or just tell your friends. It can also help to make business cards. Friends might be interested in your services, or they might have great ideas for job leads. Either way, they can help you generate business.

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Make Sure You’re in the Registry

Many organizations that certify personal trainers have a directory of certified professionals on their website, where many people start when they’re looking for a personal trainer. Even though most organizations add your information automatically after you pass your certifying exam, you want to double check that your name appears in the directory.

It’s also important to make sure that the directory has accurate information. If you took your exam using one address but then began a job in another city, the directory won’t help you find new clients unless you update your address.

In addition, a potential employer might use the directory to verify that you have a certification. Taking the time to make sure the directory has the right information can mean dollars in your pocket.

Gather References and a Resume

Your job search might move slowly, or a prospective employer might want to move quickly on your application. If you apply for a job, they might ask you to come in later in the day. If that happens, you want to show the employer that you’re prepared.

So, have a resume ready to go. It should include your certifications, high school and advanced degrees, and a list of professional and personal references. It’s best to think about these things ahead of time. With a little planning, you’re not in a rush, and you can do your best work.

Continuing Education

There are multiple reasons to think through a plan for continuing education. Fitness professionals, scientists, and medical providers continue to learn more about exercise science and fitness. These developments mean that it’s important to have continuing education in your field. Staying up to date can help you make sure that you have the latest skills to serve your clients in the best way possible.

In addition, your employer might have certification requirements. Your certifying organization may require you to retest after a certain period of time. Usually, this is up to you, so it’s important to keep it fresh in your mind.

Another thing to keep in mind is that advanced certifications can help you advance your career. There are certifications for a wide variety of specialties across the fitness industry.

These specialties might help you learn to help clients address certain health problems. They might teach you how to teach group fitness classes or work with a certain type of equipment. Any kind of additional certification you can get makes you more qualified for the work that you may want to do and makes you more attractive to potential employers.

Breaking Into the Industry

Getting a personal training certification is a cause for celebration. It’s also just the first step. After you have your certification, it’s important to think about your short and long-term career goals. From there, you can make a plan to meet your goals.

Your next steps should include not only thinking about your preferred employment but also beginning to market your services and making a plan for continuing education. Learning from others is a great way to gain insight into the industry. Once you’ve thought it through and begun your planning, the next step is to apply for employment or start your business and offer your services to clients.