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How to Become a Personal Trainer: The Ultimate Guide

Are you looking for a career that is both challenging and rewarding? Are you interested in helping people achieve their fitness goals? If so, then a career as a personal trainer may be right for you! In this guide, we will discuss how you can become a successful certified personal trainer, including the education and certification requirements. We will also provide tips on how to find work as a personal trainer. So if you are ready to start your journey to becoming a personal trainer, read on!

What Does a Personal Trainer Do?

A personal trainer is a fitness professional who helps people achieve their health and fitness goals through safe and effective training programs. Personal trainers work with clients of all ages and abilities, from those just starting out on their fitness journey to seasoned athletes. Trainers develop customized workout programs based on each client’s individual needs and goals. They also provide guidance on proper form and technique, motivation, and other aspects of leading a healthy lifestyle. In short, personal trainers help their clients achieve results!

Steps to Becoming a Personal Trainer

Steps to Becoming a Personal Trainer

1. Earn a High School Diploma

The first step to becoming a personal trainer is to earn a high school diploma or equivalent. While there are no specific education requirements to become a personal trainer, most employers will require at least a high school diploma or GED, which you can easily get for under $150. In addition, completing some coursework in health and fitness can be helpful. High school courses in biology, anatomy, and physiology can all be beneficial when starting out as a personal trainer.

2. Complete AED/CPR Certification

The next step is to complete AED (automated external defibrillator) and CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) certification. These certifications are required by most employers and will also give you the skills and knowledge necessary to respond in the event of a medical emergency. You can find AED/CPR certification courses at your local or online for around $55.

3. Choose a Fitness Specialty

Choose a Fitness Specialty as a fitness Trainer

There are many different fitness specialties to choose from, so it is important to select the one that best aligns with your interests, skill sets, and goals. Some popular fitness specialties include strength training, sports performance, weight loss, and rehabilitation. Once you have chosen a specialty, you can begin preparing for certification.

4. Prepare for Certification

Most personal trainer certifications require passing an exam. To prepare for the exam, you will need to study the material covered in the certification course. There are many resources available to help you study, including books, online courses, and practice exams. In addition, many certifications offer review courses to help you prepare for the exam.

5. Take and Pass Certification Examination

Once you have studied for the exam and feel confident and prepared, it is time to take and pass the certification examination. For this, you will need to first register yourself, which usually involves filling out and submitting an application form along with the fee.

The test or exam is most likely on the computer, where you have to answer 120 – 150 questions. The question type depends on the certification you have chosen. Nonetheless, the examination will test your knowledge of the material covered in the certification course. Be sure to review the study materials before taking the exam so that you are fully prepared.

6. Apply for Jobs and Build a Portfolio

Apply for Jobs and Build a Portfolio as a fitness trainer

After you have obtained your certification and have become a qualified fitness trainer, you can begin applying for jobs as a personal trainer. Many gyms and fitness centers hire personal trainers, so be sure to check with your local businesses. You can also build a portfolio of your work to showcase your skills and experience.

7. Additional Education Options

If you are interested in furthering your education, there are many options available to you. You can pursue a degree in exercise science or a related field. You can also become certified in other areas of fitness, such as nutrition or group fitness. In addition, you can and must pursue continuing education courses to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in the fitness industry.

What are the requirements to become a personal trainer?

In order to become a personal trainer, you must be 18 years or older, complete a high school diploma or equivalent, earn AED/CPR certification, and pass a personal training certification exam.

How long does it take to get a personal trainer certification?

It usually takes about two to four weeks to up to 3 months or even more to complete a personal training certification course, although this varies depending on the certification provider. The exam itself usually takes one to two hours to complete.

How much money does a fitness trainer make?

Personal trainers can make a good living if they have the right skills and stay up to date on the latest trends in the fitness industry. According to Indeed, personal trainers earn an average of $26 per hour. Depending on the skill level and experience, the pay rate of personal trainers ranges from $25 to $100 per hour. Additionally, many freelance personal trainers charge by the session, which can result in higher earnings. In a nutshell, the amount of money you make as a personal trainer depends on your experience, skills, and client base.

Is it hard to become a fitness trainer?

No, it is not hard to become a fitness trainer. However, it does require dedication and commitment to earn a certification and build a successful career in the fitness industry. With the right training and motivation, anyone can become a personal trainer.

What are some skills that fitness trainers need?

Fitness trainers need to be physically fit, have good people skills, be organized and detail-oriented, and have knowledge of exercise science and human anatomy. They also need to be able to motivate and inspire their clients to reach their fitness goals.

Do I need to be certified to be a personal trainer?

Yes, you must be certified to be a personal trainer. There are many different certification providers, so be sure to do your research to find the one that is best for you. Most certification courses take two to four weeks to complete and require a passing score on an exam.

How much does it cost to get certified as a personal trainer?

The cost of certification varies depending on the provider, but most courses range from $200 to $500. Additionally, many providers offer discounts for members of fitness organizations or for those who have completed a college degree.

Where can I find personal trainer certification courses?

There are many different places to find personal trainer certification courses. You can check with your local community college, university, or fitness center. You can also find certification courses online. Be sure to research the different providers to find the one that is best for you.


Becoming a personal trainer is a great way to help others achieve their fitness goals. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can become a certified personal trainer and start making a difference in the lives of others.

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