Where Can Personal Trainers Work? | Exercise.com Learn: Your Fitness Business Resource

Where Can Personal Trainers Work?

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 typically work in gyms and health clubs.
  • They are self-employed and can also open their own fitness studios.
  • Personal trainers can get creative and work almost anywhere.

The industry of personal training has grown exponentially in recent years. Never before has there been as many people seeking personal trainers, booking lessons, and making the most of every minute spent with them.

The vast majority of individuals consider personal trainers to only work in gyms and health clubs. The reality, though, is that they can operate in more locations than just these two categories. There is a wide-ranging spectrum of places where a personal trainer can work and grow their career.

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Personal trainers have the luxury of getting very creative in how and where they train. While some places are more familiar to trainers than others, it is all about getting out there and getting noticed by potential clients. You have to network and from there, you can get creative as to when and where you work!

Common Locations

The two most common venues where you will find personal trainers working is at a gym or a health club. If you have just been certified, the gym or health club is an ideal place to start.

Personal trainers here are going to access a slew of potential clients who are there to exercise. Trainers can hone their skills at gyms and health clubs, where they can network, meet people, and begin to grow their business.

The Corporate Setting

Corporations are putting more focus on health than ever before. They are encouraging employees to get out there and work on their health, all while not having to join a gym or health club on their own.

Office workers make ideal clientele for personal trainers.

Trainers can establish corporate fitness training plans so that groups of employees can work out together. There are two big goals that employees get out of this: building team morale and also improving their overall wellness.


Personal trainers can be self-employed. They do not have to work for any particular gym or health club. Work on networking as best as you can. Get your name out there and talk to potential customers. Build your business from the ground up as a trainer and as your own boss!

Why not practice as a personal trainer in a public park? Sometimes the best workouts are those involving just your body and the Earth. No weights or fancy equipment are needed to get a fulfilling exercise set in.

If you are fortunate enough to have a home with adequate space, you can even train where you live. Train in your basement or in another open area where you can set up a workout studio of sorts. Allowing one client to come in at a time for one-hour workouts is a perfect way to serve several customers on both your and their schedules.

Another option for the self-employed is to rent space at a gym. This will allow you to train in a gym setting without having to be employed with the gym. Of course, there is always another option: online training. By training clients online and selling workout plans, you can increase the number of clients that you train and increase your overall revenue.

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Train Anyone, Anywhere in the World.

Use Business Sense and Stay Motivated

Always rely on your business instinct and stay motivated. The more that you hustle, network, and meet potential new clients, the more that opportunities are going to arise. The biggest mistake a newly certified personal trainer makes is just to sit back and assume customers will start rolling in.

It takes work to garner the attention of clients and to then continue to build on that base over time. Get creative to avoid common mistakes!

Personal trainers have a great situation going for them in that they can pretty much exercise anywhere. They have the ability to run their own studios, create a gym out of their home, work in corporate, educational, or healthcare settings, work out in a public park, and train clients online. Once you receive your training certification, the sky is the limit! Use your imagination to make the most of every opportunity.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What certification do most personal trainers have?

Most personal trainers are certified through ACE or NASM.

Can a personal trainer have a certification and be a bad trainer?

Yes; just as a doctor can have a medical degree and still be a “bad” doctor, having a personal training certification does not mean that the trainer is an effective one.

How long does becoming a certified personal trainer take?

It depends on the certification. Some only require a few days or weeks of studying; others require months of study and other pre-requisites like a college degree.

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