Have you ever thought about becoming a personal trainer, but didn't know where to start? There are a lot of programs out there that promise easy certification, but not all of them are worth your time, and not all of them are entirely legitimate. If you love fitness, and you love helping others achieve their fitness goals, then becoming a personal trainer might be right up your alley. Here's what you need to do if you want to make the leap and become a personal trainer.
The first step is always going to be some heavy research. As with anything you do that requires a significant investment, you would be wise not to simply jump at the first option that looks good. There are plenty of resources out there, but make sure you're looking for a program that is nationally recognized and accredited. The National Commission for Certifying Agencies is generally recognized as the authority on accreditation. The last thing you want to do is spend time and money on a certificate that doesn't mean anything to employers.
You don't have to specialize immediately, but becoming a specialist in an area gives you more credibility and you have the opportunity to become an authority in your field. People will actually feel more confident about your services if you present yourself as a specialist, rather than saying you know about all facets of fitness—even if that's true.
Invest In Yourself
You're going to have some upfront costs, mainly the cost of your certification classes and everything that goes along with that. The expense can be daunting, but if you've done your research and know that you're capable of excelling as a personal trainer, then you should invest in yourself. And that also means studying and doing well on your exam. The certification isn't cheap, so make sure you give it everything you have to pass that exam and make it worth your while.
Where To Work
You have two basic options for work once you get certified. You can work in a health club, or go it alone and work as an independent personal trainer. Working for yourself lets you be your own boss and set your own schedule, but you'll have to work harder to get clients, as well as finding a space to use for your business. Working at a gym or studio gives you a little more job security and stability. You'll also have a much easier time getting clients through the club you're working at. Just remember that most employers will have you sign a non-competition agreement that prevents you from jumping ship with all the clients you've accumulated while working for them. Make sure you carefully read your contract and understand exactly what you're signing.
If you want to read about some regular people just like you who've made fitness their goal, check out our Promax DOers. And while you're there, find the protein bar for you with our Pick Your Protein tool!