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Personal trainer

Personal trainers help their clients reach their personal health and fitness goals.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £14,000 to £22,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Variable per week

1. Entry requirements

You'll need:

  • to be an experienced fitness instructor
  • to have knowledge of anatomy, physiology and nutrition
  • public liability insurance
  • a first aid award, which must include a cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certificate

You'll also need a recognised qualification in fitness and exercise instruction.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

The National Register of Personal Trainers has more information on becoming a personal trainer.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • the ability to inspire people
  • people skills to enable you to identify clients' individual motivations

3. What you'll do

You'll talk to clients to find out about their fitness level and health history. You'll then:

  • set short- and long-term goals and plan programmes for reaching them
  • educate, motivate and coach clients to help them follow their programmes safely and effectively
  • give advice on health, nutrition and lifestyle changes
  • help clients with their workouts
  • check and record clients' progress, using methods like measuring heart rate and levels of body fat

You might work full time as a gym instructor and do personal training outside your normal hours.

4. Salary

Starter: £14,000 to £16,000

Experienced: £17,000 to £22,000

You'll usually be paid by the hour for each session with a client. Your earnings will depend on your location, number of clients and whether you're self-employed or work for a gym.

Self-employed (freelance) instructors can earn between £20 and £40 an hour. Some instructors with high profile clients can earn between £50 and £100 an hour.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll often work evenings and weekends to suit the needs of your clients.

If you're self-employed you may rent space in a gym, set up your own facilities, or visit clients in their homes.

6. Career path and progression

You could take further instructor courses to learn new skills to offer clients, like yoga, pilates, nutrition or aerobics.

With further training you could also work with people recovering from illness or who have medical conditions.

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Last updated: 11 April 2017