Career as a Personal Trainer
By Diane Turner
Over the years, demand for personal trainers has increased and this is now one of the most sought after professions. As a personal trainer, you are not only required to help your client reach his or her fitness goals, you are also expected to be in tip top shape yourself. A personal trainer needs to look the part if he or she is to get any clients. This is not a new profession and though it was previously associated with high end clients who could afford the service, it now easily available and affordable by the general public. This therefore means that there is no shortage of opportunities in the profession.
Before we go any further, it is important that we first properly describe personal trainers and their job description. A personal trainer is a health and fitness professional who is tasked with the jobof helping clients achieve not just their fitness goals but health goals as well. It is important to note that fitness and health go hand in hand and this is why you find that some personal trainers even get qualification as nutritionists or work in consultation with them. As a personal trainer, you need to be a good motivator since as we all know getting into shape is mostly physical with personal training. It therefore means that you need to have to be very understanding, patient and a good motivator because many clients will find the course of exercise a really tedious one. A personaltrainer musthave empathy if he is to develop a good relationship with clients. It is not about getting what you want as a trainer but what is good for the client and your fitness plan needs to adjust to their goals. No two clients are the same and you need to have individual plans. That means you first need to take records of your clients in regards to their medical history as well as body measurements. This helps you identify exactly what course of training to pursue when designing the client’s workout program. While it looks like fun it is no easy job, for starters you are constantly on your feet and thoughthe work schedules are flexible, the working hours can also be long and varied since you are dealing with different clients who have different schedules as well. You therefore need to have a proper timetable so as not to book two clients at the same time.
Timing is very important, wasted time means you are unproductive and you need to keep a tight schedule even with your clients. Depending on how good you are, this is a profession that could see you become very successful as we have seen with various A-list personal trainers.The job environment for personal trainers differs and though they are mostly found in doors, some personal trainers prefer to work outdoors as it provides a more relaxed atmosphere. You will however find mostof these trainers in fitness clubs.
As mentioned earlier, a personal trainer needs to have proper training. Training varies according to your specialty and employers are more inclined to hire personal trainers who have certification as opposed to those without. There are various certifications and you need to be wise about the kind of certification you choose. This is because your certification could determine your pay and one organization you can look into for fitness certification is the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America also known as AFAA. AFAA provides highly rated education in terms of instructions and practical experience. It is one of the most recognizedorganizations in the fitness industry and such certification could rank you amongst the best. Besides AFAA another recognized organization you can get certification from is the AFPA Certification. This certification is provided by the American Fitness Professional Association and the association has educated more than 65,000 certificated personal trainers and instructors.The good thing about this profession is that you do not need to be employed and could actually start your own business. However, it always important to gain more experience by first getting a job in a fitness center as this gives you valuable experience and helps you prepare for the financial obligations that come with starting your very own business. It is also a good way to make your name in the industry as you deal with clients and create your loyal list of clients.
As of 2010, there were 251,400 personal trainers in the US alone and this number should have risen significantly in the three years that have passed because the job outlook for this profession is faster than the national average at24%. This means that you can expect 60,400 new personal trainers in a span of 10 years.
Personal Trainer Average Salary
The average salary of a personal trainer is currently $35,000 and a part time trainer should get an annual salary of more than $18,600. 10% of the lowest earners in this profession earned $17,070 while the top earners took home over $63,400. This just goes to show that you could earn really well in this profession though that will be depend on various factors.
Personal Trainer Salary Factors and Influences
The salary of personal trainer is subject to various influencing factors and the main ones are experience, work place, location and certification.
Experience is not to be ignored when it comes to any profession and that includes fitness. As a personal trainer, people are more comfortable working with you if you have a proven track record of results and that means you have been on the job for a few years. That however doesn’t mean that young professionals have no future. They do,though they should expect an entry level pay that is much less than the average current salary of a personal trainer.
Certification and education go hand in hand. Great employers want the best and unless you are certified by a recognized authority body, your chances of getting a job are slim. There are various certification bodies you can look into. Besides certification, your education matters a lot too because it helps you to specialize into different arenas of personal training. A good example is personal trainers with physiotherapy or injury rehabilitation education. Such education programs automatically increase a personal trainers job prospects and the salary as well. You could also opt to have a college degree in sports medicine as this could see you land a great job with one of the many teams in the country. Education provides for a good way to maximize on the kind of salary you could earn as a personal trainer.
Location is also an important factor to consider and some of the top paying locations for personal trainers are New York, Chicago, Ohio, Cincinnati, Illinois, Los Angeles and Dallas amongst others. However there are various factors you need to look into before considering a move to better paying location and these are the standards of living and competition as well. Whereas some areas have a better national average, they also have fierce competition and that could make it a hurdle for you to get a good number of clients whereas though certain states have fewer personal trainers, you could end up earning more since there is more demand than supply.
The job market for personal trainers is increasing and this all thanks to new trends in the industry such as corporate wellness programs, health clubs, private studios and special training which includes training persons with special needs. You can therefore choose the line of personal training or specialization you want to get into to enhance your career growth and salary as well.
Personal Trainer Salary Compared To Related Fields
There is no doubt that personal trainers enjoy fair salaries but do they compare well with other fields? Is it worth it becoming a personal trainer or are you better off in the following related fields?
Average Salary of an Athletic Trainer: $41,600
Average Salary of a Physical Therapist: $$76,310
Average Salary of a Physical Therapist Assistant: $37,710
Average Salary of a Yoga Instructor: $41,000
Average Salary of a Fitness Instructor: $41,000
Average Salary of a Recreational Therapist: $39,340
Average Salary of a Swimming Instructor: $24,000
Personal Trainer Salary by State
As was mentioned earlier, location influences the salary for a personal trainer. Read on to find out how certain states pay their personal trainers.
Personal Trainer Salary in Texas: $33,000
Personal Trainer Salary in New York: $41,000
Personal Trainer Salary in Kansas: $32,000
Personal Trainer Salary in Missouri: $35,000
Personal Trainer Salary in California: $39,000
Personal Trainer Salary in Florida: $33,000
Personal Trainer Salary in Illinois: $37,000
Personal Trainer Salary in Nebraska: $28,000
Personal Trainer Types of Salaries
Personal trainers also get the opportunity to specialize in different fields such as sports, body building and weight lossamongst others. However, the salary of a personal trainer is highly dependent on certification and today we give you a breakdown of salaries you can expect based on the following certifications.
ACSM Personal Trainer: Average Salary: $43,000
The American College of Sports Medicine is one of the best places to get certification as a personal trainer. Trainers with this certification can work to rehabilitate athletes’ withsports injuries without putting too much strain on the injury since they have degrees in sports medicine.
NFPT Personal Trainer: Average Salary: $59,000
With a National Federation of Personal Trainers certification, you can bet that you will enjoy a great salary since this organization is recognized for giving personal trainers quality training. As an NFPT personal trainer expect an average salary of $59,000
ACE Personal Trainers: Average Salary: $44,000
American Council of Exercise certification is also quite acceptable and could see you get a favorable salary as a personal trainer. With ACE certification, you can provide clinical exercise, group fitness instruction, lifestyle and weight management consultancy and more. Personal trainers with ACE certification earn an average salary of $44,000.
NCSF Personal Trainers: Average Salary: $35,000
NCSF personal trainers are certified by the National Council on Strength and Fitness. These personal trainers earn an average salary of $35,000.
NASM Personal Trainer: Average Salary: $48,000
NASM personal trainers are trained to become specialists in the field of performance enhancing. These personal trainers develop a fitness plan and work with nutritionists to ensure their clients are always fit. NASM certifications are provided by the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
History of Personal Training
As mentioned earlier, personal training was long associated with the well to do in society since they were the only ones who could afford to hire personal trainers. However, this industry has evolved to meet demand of the common man and more people are hiring personal trainers to meet their special fitness requirements. Though fitness can be dated back to ancient Greeks who had athletic body building and fitness competitions, personal training in the US can be credited to one Jack Lalanne who grew up as a weak child addicted to sugar. Later in life Jack changed his life by getting into a sugar free diet and managed to become quite the athlete inschool. At age 22, he went on to open the first fitness club and walked the streets convincingpeople that he could personally recondition them into great shape. In a way, he invented the career we now know as personal training. The formation of American College of Sports Medicine came in 1954 and its mandate is to not only promote health and fitnessbut also certify professionals. We have come a long way and we now have a mature industry that provides more than 251,400 jobs for personal trainers.
Personal Trainer Salary Outlook – Conclusion
Personal trainers are in high demand and this may be the reason why their job growth is expected to grow at a rate of 24%. With 60,400 new jobs expected to be generated over a period of 10 years, you can expect that their average annual salary will also increase. The salary for a personal trainer is currently $35,000. However, there are personal trainers who earn more than double that amount with the entry level average personal trainer salary earning about $18,000.