For those who are passionate about health and fitness, becoming a personal trainer is a great career move and will give you the opportunity to spend your days doing something you love. The fitness industry is a big business, so there’s an increasing demand for qualified personal trainers to help motivate people to meet their goals and achieve a healthier lifestyle. If you’re interested in starting a new career, the steps below outline how to become a personal trainer and the skills needed to be successful.

Step 1 – Learn the qualities required to become a personal trainer

Being a successful personal trainer requires much more than just a good level of fitness. There’s a wide range of skills needed to be able to do this job well, such as being patient, persistent, organized, having great listening skills, as well as the ability to motivate people to achieve their best.

As a personal trainer, you’ll be working with people of all different personality types and backgrounds, so you need to be a strong communicator and be open-minded. You’re also serving as a role model for your clients, so it’s important that you are self-motivated and follow your own advice in leading a healthy lifestyle. Before you begin down the path of training for this career, it’s important to think about whether you possess these qualities and whether personal training is a good fit for you.

Step 2 – Find the right course for you

Once you’ve made the decision to train for this career, you need to find a course that provides you with the skills and knowledge you need. There’s a wide range of gym instructor courses to choose from that will give you the necessary foundations for entering the health and fitness sector. By mixing independent home study with practical course attendance and a final assessment, you’ll learn face-to-face skills and the theory behind different aspects of this job.

There’s often a choice of study options available too, making studying to become a personal trainer flexible around your work and home life. Personal training and gym instructor courses cover a range of topics in this field, from the anatomy and physiology of the human body, to how to perform exercises safely and ways to support your clients in their fitness goals.

Step 3 – Look for job opportunities or clients

Once you’re qualified, you need to put your skills to good use. Your certification as a personal trainer will enable you to start applying for work straight away, so you can contact gyms in your local area or search online for opportunities at surrounding fitness centres. If you would prefer to work for yourself and be your own boss, you could also start your own personal training company by working on a self-employed basis. This requires marketing your services to build up a client base and grow your business.

As a qualified personal trainer, you’re not just limited to working in a gym though. There are many other options, depending on how far you want to take your career – from cruise ships to community centres, health and wellness centres, and even in-home training for clients who prefer to exercise in the comfort of their own homes, the possibilities are extensive.

Step 4 – Specialize

Once you’ve gained some experience and worked out what interests you most, you may want to consider specializing in a single aspect of fitness. For example, you may specialize in helping people lose weight, gaining strength or flexibility, or helping clients to improve their performance, agility or speed. Creating a niche for yourself means you can really hone your skills in a particular area, making it easier to market your services.