What Other Jobs Can a Personal Trainer Do? | Exercise.com Learn: Your Fitness Business Resource

What Other Jobs Can a Personal Trainer Do?

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for Exercise.com. 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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  • Personal trainers can explore options to work in various gym-related jobs.
  • Online and print media also open doors for income opportunities.
  • Personal trainers should always seek to gain additional qualifications and make plans for potential job switches.

Personal training is the type of job in which the title and description are pretty much the same. Personal trainers work with clients on a one-on-one basis with the intention of improving health and fitness.

Trainers may choose to run clients through bodybuilding programs, strength and conditioning workouts, sports performance sessions, and even stretching and flexibility exercises. Ultimately, a personal trainer works with a single client to meet specific fitness goals.

Sessions are tailored to the individual skills and conditioning levels of the clients. Personal trainers do need consistent clients in order to earn a living. Unfortunately, clients can come and go. Trainers also must be physically able to perform the duties expected of them. Performance can be undermined due to an illness.

Personal trainers can’t always predict stability in their chosen field, which is why they need to keep career options open.

Is there any work available for a personal trainer outside the obvious duties of training clients?

Actually, there are scores of other types of work a personal trainer can explore. The transition from personal training to one of these other jobs may not even be too tough. It’s even easier when you have a business management software platform, like our All-In-One Fitness Business Management Software, in place to handle the day-to-day tasks of running a business. Request a demo here.

Group Exercise Classes

Some folks need a little training, but they aren’t able to take part in one-on-one sessions. Gyms understand certain members gravitate toward group fitness classes such as spinning, aerobics, cardio kickboxing, and more. Someone has to teach the class. Why not a skilled personal trainer? Additional certifications may or may not be required depending on the gym. Regardless, group training opportunities are still worth looking into.

Managing a Fitness Center

Personal trainers spend a lot of time in the gym, and they do more than just exercise and train clients. Perceptive personal trainers also notice how a gym operates and what is required for the gym to remain in business. They recognize what gym members want and realize how employees should conduct themselves.

As such, personal trainers could be quite effective in a gym management role. Those trainers with a formal or informal business management background could probably do well in the job.

Front Desk and Reception

Personal trainers need good customer service skills in order to be successful. These skills definitely translate to simple front desk and receptionist work at the gym. While these jobs don’t pay as much hourly as a personal training gig, new personal trainers with limited experience might find these particular jobs to be a good way to get a foot in the door.

Established personal trainers could also pick up money during times when business slows down, such as the late summer months.

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Member and Supplement Sales

Depending on the type of gym where the trainer is employed, the owner could offer commissions on sales of new memberships, supplements, T-shirts, or other merchandise. People walking into the gym for the first time might not be sure the gym is the right one for them.

A trainer with sales skills could sell them on a membership. Current members may be interested in a good protein powder or pre-workout shake. A solid recommendation from a savvy salesperson can move products. Commission deals incentivize sellers to make those sales.

Online Fitness Influencer

The audience for fitness channels on YouTube, Instagram, and other sites is huge! Charismatic and knowledgeable fitness experts are earning upwards-and-over six figures through the monetization of online fitness channels. Yes, it takes time to grow an audience to such a size, but others have done it. Maybe one day you will be the next big hit in the online fitness community.

Published Author

Just as demand exists for online fitness videos, people love to read material from someone with good knowledge about fitness. In the past, writing magazine articles and books for major publishers was the only way to spread knowledge.

Today, you can still go the traditional route, but other methods exist. Publishing an eBook and selling it on an online platform isn’t difficult to accomplish. Even easier would be publishing a monetized blog. The blog could be used to promote eBooks and other merchandise. An added bonus is that many certification programs will award CEUs for published work.

Try Out Different Jobs

Switching to a new job becomes easier when you are already positioned to do so. If personal training income slows down, moving into different job duties smoothly, easily, and without weeks of lowered income is preferable to being forced to look for employment under stress.

Personal trainers should test the waters of other jobs as a means of better career management. Doing so primes you for making a jump when the time comes.

Maybe it would be a good idea to:

  • Spend time at a gym working behind the desk
  • Seek out certifications in group fitness, yoga, Tai Chi, and other disciplines
  • Start a small blog and update the content at least once a week

Start the process of acquiring experience in other areas of gym work and fitness before the time comes when you need a new job. Being prepared for a transition makes the jump to different duties easier and quicker. And you do not need to experience a decline in training revenue to seek out different work. Taking on a few additional hours in a different job can boost income while also delivering valuable experience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Which personal training certification is the best one?

All of the various personal training certifications have different requirements, costs, study materials, exam details, recertification requirements, and continuing education credits (CECs) or units (CEUs). It’s important to do your homework and review all of the details before deciding on which one is best for you. The certifications that have been NCCA-accredited are more reputable than others that are not accredited because they have met a certain level of standards for the certification.

How long should I study for a personal training certification exam?

It varies among individuals. If you recently finished a degree with courses covering most of the content in the exam, you might be able to take it more quickly than someone who does not have that background. With NESTA, once you register for the exam, you have 90 days to complete the exam. Other organizations will vary on their timelines.

How much money do personal trainers make?

This varies depending on location, experience, and how many clients you are training.

Where can I train my personal training clients?

There are a number of places where you could train your clients like a gym, a park, your home, their home, or your own studio.

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