Should I become a personal trainer? If you’re weighing up this question then you’re probably excited by the prospect but undecided if it’s right for you. A fitness career (and especially in coaching) can be rewarding and fun, but like every job it comes with some downsides.

In this article – we outline three crucial questions to ask yourself to help you decide whether or not to become a personal trainer.

Trainer Essentials articles are written by qualified personal trainers with 15+ years of fitness industry experience. We’ve helped thousands of PTs to embark on their careers, level up their coaching, sales, and marketing skills, and grow their own training businesses.

Should I Become a Personal Trainer?

Thinking about whether you should become a personal trainer? Many people begin by diving straight into certification courses because they’re excited to get stuck in. But before committing to a PT course and paying the fees, it’s important to consider things carefully.

Why? Because over 90% of personal trainers quit within their 12 months. So, it’s crucial to do a little self-reflection and research to decide whether a personal training career is really a good fit.

Personal Trainer Career Stat

There’s no doubt that working in the fitness industry is a fun career option. If you’re passionate about exercise and health, then it’ll be a great fit for your interests.

But it does have its downsides which can take some people by surprise (and even disappoint them). It can be hard work and doesn’t command the best pay (despite what training companies will tell you) for starters!

The good news is that having all the info will help you make an informed decision about whether you should become a personal trainer. This will ensure that your expectations align with reality and you know what you’re letting yourself in for. If you’re fully informed, know what to expect from a personal training job, and are still excited by it, then you should absolutely go for it!

Here are three questions that’ll help you decide if you should become a personal trainer…

  1. Are my expectations realistic?
  2. Am I ok with selling?
  3. Will I lose my passion for fitness?

Let’s explore each of these considerations in more detail…

Should You Become a Personal Trainer Guiding Questions

1 – Are My Expectations Realistic?

When most people think about becoming a personal trainer, their expectations are pretty high. They imagine a job where they can choose their own hours and work with people they really like. They assume that clients will follow their advice to the letter and get the results they want.

But this isn’t the reality of a career in fitness, so it’s important to understand this from the start.

You’ll definitely help some people – hopefully lots of people! But others won’t achieve their fitness goals because they don’t adhere to your fitness or nutrition plans.

It’s a normal and understandable part of the fitness journey – none of us are perfect straight out of the gate. But as a personal trainer it can be disappointing when you really want them to do well and have worked hard to support them.

Working your own hours also isn’t a given. While you won’t have to work a typically 9-5, you will have to work around your clients’ schedules. This often means early mornings and evenings to fit around their work commitments.

And then there’s the financial element…

A personal trainer typically earns $35,000 in the US or £20,000 in the UK. This is below the average national salaries in both countries which demonstrates the problem facing fitness professionals.

After forking out a significant amount of money on your certification, you may find that you don’t earn enough to make it worthwhile.

Can you make good money as a personal trainer? Absolutely. But it’s only the top 20% who earn high salaries so you’ll need to work hard to make it happen.

There are lots of ways to increase your salary, earn extra PT income, and build yourself a profitable PT business. It’s just important to know that these things aren’t a given after getting certified. So, bear in mind that you’ll need to work on sales and marketing, as well as coaching clients.

Which leads us nicely on to consideration number two…

2 – Am I OK With Selling?

Most personal trainers underestimate how much selling is involved in the role. In fact, it’s one of the most common fitness career mistakes we see.

People assume that training clients is the most important activity and that this is enough to be successful. But unless you’re good at sales and marketing, then it’ll be impossible to land clients to work with.

For some people, this won’t be a problem. You may have developed sales skills in previous roles or be naturally confident and charismatic, in which case you’ll find it a breeze.

But if selling is something that makes you uncomfortable, then you’ll definitely need to conquer that fear. Otherwise you’ll be a highly qualified personal trainer with no-one to coach and no money coming in.

Learn more… A complete guide to selling personal training & getting clients.

3 – Will I Lose My Passion For Fitness?

This is something that no-one ever tells you about becoming a personal trainer. But it’s important you know from the start…

Working in an industry you love can gradually diminish your passion for it.

When you HAVE to do something on a daily basis, it sometimes becomes a chore (no matter how much you enjoy it to begin with).

You probably think this won’t happen to you – how could you ever get bored of exercise?! But working in the fitness industry turns your hobby into your job.

What will you do in your downtime or when you want to switch off? Going for a workout or reading up on training techniques will mean your thoughts turn to work.

And for some people this won’t be an issue. As the saying goes – find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life!

It’s just important to recognise from the start that working in fitness could reduce your passion for it. Ultimately, the trade off can be worth it to work in an industry you find interesting and rewarding. Weigh up whether this is a deal breaker and go from there.

Asking yourself these three questions will help you decide whether you should become a personal trainer. If you have a passion for fitness, don’t mind early mornings, and are prepared to work at sales, then there’s a strong chance you should be a PT!

But if these things fill you with dread, then maybe it won’t be a good fit. Do some more research or seek out work shadowing opportunities to help you decide for yourself.

In the next section, we’ve outlined the pros and cons of being a trainer to help you decide whether you should become one…

Pros & Cons Of Being a Personal Trainer

As with any career, there plenty of pros and cons of being a PT. Different people will weigh them up in different ways – something that’s a deal-breaker for one won’t matter to another. So, it’s important to be honest with yourself when considering whether you’ll really enjoy this type of career.

The pros of being a personal trainer include:

  • You get to work in an interesting and enjoyable industry
  • You’ll get job satisfaction from helping people improve their health
  • You may get a free gym membership if you work for an employer
  • You won’t feel trapped in an office cubicle or stuck in a 9-5 routine

For some people, the disadvantages of being a personal trainer can be:

  • You have to keep learning in order to stay up-to-date with new scientific discoveries
  • You’ll have to work early mornings and evenings too
  • It doesn’t pay as well as other careers
  • It can be frustrating when clients don’t follow your advice

More Resources About Becoming a Personal Trainer

If you’re still unsure, here are some additional resources to help you decide whether to become a personal trainer…

There are lots of fantastic reasons to pursue a career in fitness. For many, it can be hugely satisfying and enjoyable work. But it’s important to consider your choice carefully as it’ll affect your happiness and finances for years to come. Doing this will ensure that your expectations are realistic and you make an informed choice on the best fitness career path.

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