If you’re interested in becoming a personal trainer, or PT as it’s abbreviated, then you’ll want to start doing some research on your path into the profession.

If you’re curious about how to become a personal trainer in a gym in the UK, then you’ll want to stay tuned for tips and tricks that could help you fast track your progress to the career of your dreams.

Once you’ve acquired your PT qualifications, it’s all about looking for your first job in the health industry.

Many fitness trainers choose to take on a fitness instructor job at a nearby gym, as it’s the most logical pathway into the profession, but you won’t always have the luxury of applying to and securing a job at a local gym.

It may be the case that you have to expand your search to be nationwide, so you need to be willing to travel or potentially even relocate for that gym trainer position.

So what exactly do personal trainer jobs involve?

How much does a personal trainer make, for example, and what personal trainer qualifications do you need to have under your belt to stand out from other applicants?

exercise ropes
Getting your sweat on is just one of the responsibilities of the personal trainer. Unsplash
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How much does a personal trainer earn in a gym?

In the UK, the average personal trainer can earn on average between £15,000 and £60,000 a year.

The exact personal trainer salary will of course depend on various factors, but the most important are:

  • Experience
  • Qualifications
  • Location

It won’t come as much of a surprise to learn that the most qualified and experienced personal trainers are the ones on the highest salaries, but it is useful to know exactly what the terms mean in the profession.

For example, in the world of sports and fitness jobs, there are different levels of gym instructors.

Whereas a fitness instructor would take a lower average salary with their Level 2 qualification, a personal trainer would take home a bigger paycheck due to their level 3 qualification. Typically, in the UK, a fitness instructors pay would be capped at around £25,000 whereas as we’ve already mentioned, a personal trainer can earn up to £60,000 on average or even more, depending on their experience level.

What does this work out to on an hourly pay scale?

If you’re earning £24,000 a year, then you’d be earning roughly £20 per hour, whereas if you had more experience and earned say £60,000 a year, that would be an eyewatering £50 per hour.

The third factor in calculating the pay of a personal trainer in the UK is location.

Working as a personal trainer at your local gym in a small town isn’t going to earn you the same amount of money that working in a big city as Manchester would. In the bigger cities across the UK, you’ll likely have varied clientele that may even include the occasional B list celebrity as well as international tourists coming into town for a week or two.

As a result, your pay will reflect this, but it’s worth bearing in mind that pay scales with living costs, so you may find that despite a higher earning potential in the big city, you may have a similar quality of life as you would in your hometown.

Your earnings potential will also vary based on how many clients you secure.

As such, you not only need the skills associated with personal training to be good at your job, but you also need to be able to sell your skills to clients. You don’t necessarily need to become a marketer or salesperson, but it helps to know a bit about how to conduct yourself in a way that attracts clients to your services.

What qualifications are needed for a sports coach?

Before we get into the personal trainer courses and qualifications you might need, it’s important to establish a clear idea of what your end goal is.

Do you want to become a sports coach that teaches a specific team sport or a PE instructor?

Do you want to work in a gym helping people become the strongest versions of themselves or work as a solo personal trainer building your own client base?

There are many jobs in the sports and fitness industry, so it’s important that you clarify your ambitions from the start.

Figure out exactly what career path it is you want to get into, as this will make your life a lot easier and help you figure out what to channel your energy into.

With that in mind, let’s take a quick look at some qualifications needed for various sports education jobs.

Sports Coach

To become a sports coach in the UK, you’ll need to first settle on the sport you wish to coach, and then research what the coaching qualifications are for that sport according to the respective National Governing Body (NGB).

General qualifications that are useful to have included the UKCC (UK Coaching Certificate), and either a sports science degree or a foundation degree or BTEC in sports coaching.

PE Teacher

If you want to coach students in a number of different sports, and maybe be the reason they decide to commit to a single sport, then here are some qualifications you might want to pursue:

  •  PGCE (Postgraduate Certificate in Education)
  •  ITT (Initial Teacher Training)

Personal Trainer

The role of a personal trainer is seen as a step up from gym instructor, which means you’ll first need to acquire the qualifications for the latter profession before you get into the former.

To become a fitness instructor you need a Level 2 qualification, whereas to be a personal trainer you’ll need to go a step further and get the Level 3 personal trainer qualification.

How much does it cost to become a personal trainer in the UK?

These pt courses require an investment, so depending on where you take them you can expect to pay somewhere in the region of £500+ for each qualification.

One of the best things about the qualifications is that in many cases you’ll be able to complete them online, so you don’t need to pay anything in travel costs or even have to leave your home to get them.

What is the job market like for a personal trainer

marketing book
An underrated skill to have as a pt, marketing will set you aside from the competition. Unsplash

As a personal trainer, you’ll likely never be short on work.

Sure, you may find that it’s hard to get the ball rolling at times and get people to sign up for your classes, but there’s no shortage of demand for personal trainers.

Now is as good a time as any to get into the profession, in fact, since the COVID-19 pandemic has likely left a lot of people with a desire to rediscover their fitness after lockdowns, or stay healthy to potentially reduce the risk of being hospitalised by a new strain of the virus.

The keys to finding work as a personal trainer are as follows:

  • Know how to Market Yourself
  • Tap into the Online Market

If you can market yourself well, and tap into the online market which is exploding in recent years (just take a look at the rise of personal trainer celebrity figures like Joe Wicks), then you’ll find your place in the market.

Top 10 advantages of working in a sports club!

dumbell rack
The dumbell rack will be a familiar site working in a gym, so get used to it! Unsplash

Working in a sports club or gym can be a real thrill, knowing that you’re around people who are trying to better themselves and get into the best shape of their lives.

But if you aren’t convinced it’s the right work environment for you, here are some advantages of working in a sports club that may make you reconsider:

  •  Get Paid to be Healthy
  •  Access to Healthy Meals
  •   Gym-related Perks
  •   Help People Achieve Their Goals
  •  Wear Work Clothes you Feel Comfortable In
  •  You’ll Want to Look Your Best
  •  You’ll Be Inspired to Stay in Shape
  •   Free Gym Membership
  •  You’ll Impress Dates
  •  Many Opportunities to Be Social

While not all of these things will appeal to you, when compared with working in an office, the gym doesn’t seem so bad as a workplace. After all, where else can you rock up in your yoga pants, eat healthy snacks, and help others stay in shape and become the best versions of themselves?

If you enter ‘personal trainer near me UK’ into your search engine, along with ‘Superprof’, you can easily find a personal trainer to work with and show you the ropes. If you have a gym trainer on hand you can ask them questions about the process and learn more about what health and fitness jobs entail.

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Samuel

Sam is an English teaching assistant and freelance writer based in southern Spain. He enjoys exploring new places and cultures, and picking up languages along the way.