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How to Become a Fitness Trainer



There is more to working as a fitness professional than lifting weights all day.

Fitness trainers have one of the most rewarding jobs in the country: they work with disabled and rehabilitating individuals to help them recover movement; they lead yoga and other wellness classes; and yes, they can spend time in the gym lifting weights with professional athletes.

Becoming a fitness trainer can be as easy as getting your online personal trainer certification. And here’s why you should.

The Daily Routine

Fitness professionals work in many different environments: hospitals, gyms, and pools; on-site at organizations or colleges; or even in the private homes of clients.

In many cases, fitness instructors are leading health and wellness classes, like yoga and stationary cycling. Personal trainers work with individuals to create specific goals and activities based on that individual’s abilities. If you’re working with a professional athlete, you’ll work on fitness training that improves performance and promotes injury-free health. If you’re working with a senior citizen who just had heart surgery, you’ll use your knowledge of anatomy and biology to create a recovery program to rebuild strength while staying within the client’s limits.

This is the type of job where a few inspirational speeches laden with fitness quotes will do you well.

Fitness Trainer Job Outlook

Through 2020, the job outlook for fitness professions, including personal training, is excellent. As people recognize the benefits of healthy living, and as companies, organizations decide that maintaining healthy workers is less expensive than insurance costs, fitness professionals will be in high demand.

Salary Potential

In 2010, fitness trainers and instructors took in an average of $31,000 a year. This is slightly less than the average for all occupations. Still, with the nature of the fitness profession, there is room to add on clients or work in other capacities in addition to working as a fitness professional.

Work Schedule

Again, this will vary depending on your specialization. There are fitness professionals who work an average workweek, and there are trainers who work extra hours at night, on weekends, and sometimes even holidays. If you’re attached to a sports team or organization, you could see considerable travel time in addition to your regular working schedule.

Regardless, many fitness professionals see this minor inconvenience as being worth it. The job freedom, job security, and knowledge that you’re making a real difference in the health of people from all walks of life are alluring enough to keep people in this field attached for the rest of their lives.

(Source: The Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook)