To some, the fitness industry is one of the least regulated industries. This is not saying that anyone can go be a personal fitness trainer. It simply means there is a low barrier to entry for a lucrative career.
According to salary.com, the national average salary of a personal trainer is $60,647. This includes brand new fitness professionals making introductory salaries as well as experienced trainers setting the high end of that salary range.
Within personal training there are different levels of the certification program. The levels are determined by the amount of education a person has. The more education they have the higher level they are which in turn means the more money they earn.
The first place to start when looking for a career in the fitness industry is with a personal training certification.
The process is simple: you enroll in the course, read the content, complete the quizzes, study, and pass the exam!
This is a great place for the fitness enthusiast to start. Especially those who may not be sure if they want to make this a full-time career. Personal fitness training can be a very lucrative side hustle.
If you are looking to make this a full-time career, you don't need a master's degree in sports medicine. However, you will find more success if you achieve a higher certification, from fitness coach up to master personal trainer.
The next step beyond the personal trainer certification is the Fitness Coach. The fitness coach program includes the personal training credential as well as any other specialization of the individual's choice.
Specialization areas include:
Strength and Conditioning
Not only does this give trainers an extra certification to put on their resume, but a specialization allows them to make more money through higher hourly rates and higher-level positions.
The next level in the certification process is the elite trainer certification. This credential means you've passed the personal trainer exam plus two specializations, one of which must be the nutrition certification.
The elite status requires the nutrition certification because it is vital to the personal trainer's long-term success. As we all know, fitness goal completion is 80% nutrition and 20% fitness.
Nutrition is part of people's everyday lives and typically happens when they are not with their fitness trainer. It's important for the personal trainer to have a well-rounded knowledge base. Not only does this help the provide a higher level of service to their client, but it also justifies them being at a higher hourly rate, in turn making them more money.
These elite trainers can offer nutrition coaching sessions, giving them another stream of income, and increasing the types of skills they can offer through online sessions.
Personal fitness training is not limited to working in a gym! Online personal training is becoming more popular as it is often times more cost effective for the client. Moving to the status of online personal trainer is often more profitable for fitness professionals in addition to being more time efficient.
The final level for a certified personal trainer is the master personal trainer certification.
This is the certification that all career personal trainers should aspire to get to. Not only does it add to their credentials and income, but it also allows them to go beyond helping clients.
Master trainer opportunities include:
Presenter/speaker at conferences
Speaker or expert on TV or radio
Industry or subject expert
The master personal trainer certification does take some work. It's not something you can simply earn overnight.
The first step, like all the other levels, is the personal trainer certification. From there, you must complete the nutrition certification along with four other certifications of your choice.
While six courses take a substantial amount of time and effort, the payoff is definitely worth it.
The choice between a personal training career or a master training career is based on your goals and what you want to do as a fitness professional.
Are you ready to get started? Sign up for ISSA's personal training course today!
Start your dream career completely online! Take the course, pass the certification final exam, and be guaranteed a job - or your money back!