Can a Personal Trainer Work in a Hospital? | Learn: Your Fitness Business Resource

Can a Personal Trainer Work in a Hospital?

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist. He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life. He has been featured in Shape, Healthline, HuffPost, Women's...

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UPDATED: Aug 25, 2020

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  • Today’s generation of personal trainers has a different approach to fitness.
  • Many personal trainers now work in hospitals and other types of medical facilities.
  • A medical fitness certification allows you to work with people who have chronic diseases and disabilities.

Today’s generation of personal trainers is taking a different approach when it comes to fitness. They know that fitness is more than merely going through the motions to earn a paycheck. It’s about having the right attitude and living a healthy lifestyle.

A successful personal trainer should encourage and motivate clients to view fitness as a positive part of their newfound healthy lifestyle.

Personal trainers are now able to focus on specific areas of fitness, or they can take a broader approach and encompass all elements of staying fit.

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What does a personal trainer do?

Many personal trainers work in fitness centers, but others work in hospitals and other sectors of the fitness industry. Where a trainer works will determine their daily responsibilities.

Duties for a trainer typically include:

  • Creating workout routines for clients
  • Demonstrating the appropriate way to perform exercises
  • Monitoring their clients’ progress
  • Modifying exercises according to clients’ fitness levels
  • Providing accurate information about health and fitness

It’s important to remember that in addition to helping their clients get in shape, personal trainers are responsible for their safety during workout sessions. Regardless of where a trainer chooses to work, the main goal is to foster a positive environment for their clients.

What type of certification do I need?

To become a personal trainer, you need the right certification. You can earn a certificate, an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in health and fitness. If you choose to earn a certificate or complete a two-year degree, you’ll have a sufficient amount of training to start your career as a personal trainer. The advantage of earning your bachelor’s degree is that it increases your chance of working in healthcare facilities.

Medical Fitness Certification

For those who want to work in a hospital or other type of medical setting, it’s a good idea to earn medical fitness specialist certification. Typically, personal trainers have the skills needed to train clients without medical restrictions, but most aren’t qualified to safely train people with medical problems. A medical fitness certification program provides trainers with the skills and knowledge to work with people who are recovering from injuries or have a disability. Many of these certifications require a minimum of a Bachelors degree in a health-related or exercise-related field.

Your interests and long-term goals will dictate which degree you choose. Once you’ve completed your degree, you can also earn personal training certifications from a variety of organizations including:

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What Career Path Can I Take as a Personal Trainer?

As a certified personal trainer, you can work in many different settings. Depending on your interests, you can choose to work at a commercial gym, a healthcare facility, or even work on your own as an independent trainer.

Commercial Gyms

Many large fitness centers offer complimentary personal trainers, or customers can buy customized training sessions. Your job will entail creating training plans, overseeing your clients’ workouts, and monitoring their progress.


For patients who need help recovering from certain injuries, many hospitals employ personal trainers to help with the rehabilitation process. Personal trainers will assess the patient and see what they can and cannot do. They will then create a fitness regimen that helps them regain function and mobility. Oftentimes, trainers who work in hospitals focus on helping patients rebuild muscle mass through gentle exercises.

Final Thoughts

Many people want to become fitness experts. As a successful personal trainer, you can become your community’s go-to source for health and fitness needs, ranging from working at the local gym to working in a hospital. If you are drawn to the idea of working in a healthcare setting, it is important to explore what the state requirements are for personal trainers working in healthcare settings.

Through strong business development and a desire to succeed, you can even become nationally recognized.

And while there are many reasons why you should become a personal trainer, the most important reason is your passion for fitness and helping others.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do I become a personal trainer?

You become a personal trainer by becoming studying for, taking, and passing a personal training certification exam.

Is it hard to become a personal trainer?

The level of difficulty to become a personal trainer depends on which certification you choose to obtain — some certifying agencies are harder to become certified with than others and some may require extra pre-requisites like a college degree.

Can I become a personal trainer without studying for the exam?

It is unlikely that you will pass your personal training exam for any agency if you do not study thoroughly for the exam beforehand.

Will a gym hire me without a personal training certification?

It is unlikely that a gym will hire someone without a certification to train members. However, a gym may still hire you to perform other duties, like administrative tasks.

Can I rent space in a gym if I am not a certified personal trainer?

Gyms will likely not rent out space to someone that is not certified due to liability concerns.

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