Health and Safety

How to Become a Personal Trainer

Ricky Kambray
Ricky Kambray

Hey there, fitness enthusiasts! If you’re all about that gym life and want to turn your passion for health and wellness into a rewarding career, here’s our guide on how to become a personal trainer in the UK. We understand that personal trainers play a pivotal role in guiding people toward improved fitness, well-being, and confidence.

No matter if you’re dreaming of helping others reach their fitness goals or aiming to apply your expertise in the world of workouts, we’ve got the lowdown on how to make it happen.

So grab your protein shake, and let’s dive into your journey of becoming a personal trainer!

Trainer and woman looking at workout plan at gym.

What is a Certified Personal Trainer?

Getting started as a personal trainer is more than just liking fitness. It’s like taking on lots of roles at once! You’re not only a fitness expert – you’re also a friend, coach, and nutrition helper. Imagine guiding someone on their fitness journey. You’re there to cheer them on, keep them going, and help them stay healthy. It’s about communicating well, understanding them, and being ready for different things.

So, as you begin to be a personal trainer, remember – you’re not just leading workouts; you’re making real good changes in how people feel and think about themselves.

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Let’s briefly explore a personal trainer’s roles and responsibilities.

  • Fitness Expert: Fitness trainers guide people to improve their physical fitness, using their knowledge of exercise science and techniques.
  • Customised Workouts: They create tailored exercise plans that match each person’s unique needs and goals, considering their current fitness level.
  • Nutrition Advisor: They offer advice on making healthy food choices to complement fitness efforts and achieve overall well-being.
  • Motivator: They inspire and encourage clients to stay positive, enthusiastic, and committed to their fitness routines, even when faced with challenges.
  • Supportive Coach: They provide guidance and support to people dealing with specific issues like weight loss, injury recovery, or managing chronic conditions.
  • Empathetic Guide: They listen actively, understand clients’ concerns, and offer emotional support as they work toward their fitness and health objectives.

Male gym instructor helping woman exercising with dumbbell

How to Become a Personal Trainer?

Let’s explore the following to know all about how to become a certified personal trainer.

Qualifications Needed

Now let’s tackle the topic of how to become a trainer, specifically personal trainer qualifications. Fitness instructors, fitness coaches, weight trainers or the best gym trainers, however you name them, are always qualified.

The qualifications you obtain set the foundation for your expertise and professionalism. In the UK, the journey begins with two fundamental qualifications:

Level 2 Fitness Instructor QualificationThis entry-level qualification introduces you to the core principles of fitness instruction. It covers a range of important topics, including —

  • anatomy, 
  • exercise techniques, 
  • and client communication. 

With this qualification, you’ll be equipped to work as a fitness instructor, a valuable step toward becoming a personal trainer.

Level 3 Personal Training QualificationBuilding on the Level 2 qualification, the Level 3 course is the cornerstone of your personal training journey. This comprehensive program delves deeper into —

  • exercise science, 
  • program design, 
  • and client assessment. 

You’ll learn how to create personalised workout plans that cater to various fitness goals and individual needs.

As you immerse yourself in these qualifications, you’ll gain practical experience through hands-on training. This practical aspect is crucial because it allows you to apply theoretical knowledge in real-world scenarios. In-person workshops, practical assessments, and supervised sessions contribute to your ability to design effective training programs and ensure clients perform exercises safely and correctly.

When selecting a course provider, emphasise the importance of accreditation. Opt for a provider recognised by reputable organisations, like CIMSPA (Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity) or the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs), ensuring that your qualifications align with industry standards.

Accreditation enhances your credibility as a personal trainer and assures prospective clients that you have undergone rigorous training. But note that REP was integrated into CIMSPA in 2020.

Group of young athletes getting instructions from trainer before exercise at cross fitness gym

Selecting the Right Course Provider

Choosing the right course provider is a pivotal decision that significantly influences your journey to becoming a certified personal trainer. The provider you choose shapes not only your educational experience but also your future career prospects. So, when you’re choosing, think about these below-mentioned things to make a smart choice:

  • Consider study methods: Choose a course provider that aligns with your learning preferences, such as online personal training options for flexibility.
  • Look for post-course support: Seek providers offering career services like CV analysis, interview prep, and job placement assistance.
  • Check student feedback: Read reviews on platforms like TrustPilot and Google to gauge the experiences of past and current students.
  • Seek additional resources: Good course providers offer extra materials, online talks, and ongoing learning opportunities.
  • Assess job placement rate: Check if many graduates become personal trainers after doing that specific course. If they do, it means the course is really useful and matches what the industry wants.

For a personal trainer, it’s really important to know about using an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) in case of unexpected accidents during a training session. Check out the blog “What is AED in First Aid? – A Detailed Overview” to have a thorough understanding of AEDs and their role in providing emergency assistance.

Close-up of personal trainer takes notes on clipboard

Mapping Your Personal Training Career Path

When your qualification is almost done, it’s a good time to think about your job options. Many new personal trainers start by working at gyms to learn and get clients. Later, you can become a freelance trainer, which means working on your own. This gives you more freedom and maybe even more money.

Getting Insured as a Personal Trainer

Insurance is a crucial aspect of being a responsible personal trainer. It protects you and your clients in case of accidents or injuries. Public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance are essential policies for all personal trainers. Even if you work at a gym, having your own insurance is a must.

Expanding Your Client List

Successfully growing your client list is pivotal to your career as a personal trainer. You can use online stuff like social media and your own website to show how awesome you are. Happy clients can also tell their friends about you – that’s a great way to get new clients. You can even give rewards to people who bring in new clients. This helps you get more clients and make more money.

Upskilling for Specialisation and Income Boost

To stand out as a personal trainer and command higher fees, consider upskilling with specialist qualifications. A Level 4 Personal Training qualification can make you an expert in a specific fitness area. Specialisations like —

  • advanced nutrition,
  • sports massage therapy,
  • exercise referral, and
  • obesity management

— offer opportunities to cater to unique client needs and increase your earning potential.

Being specialised in the field of massage therapy, especially in sports massage therapy, is really important for a personal trainer. It adds an extra layer of expertise that can greatly benefit clients who are into sports and fitness.

Close-up of people at the gym talking and making exercise plans

How Much Does a Certified Personal Trainer Make?

Easy Chances to get jobs for personal trainers are increasing day by day. The earning potential of a certified personal trainer can vary widely based on several factors. According to insights from industry data, the average wage of a personal trainer is influenced by elements such as location, experience, and working hours. On average, in the UK, a personal trainer’s salary can range between £16,000 and £55,000 per year, with the average salary hovering around £29,200.


We are hopeful that our blog on how to become a personal trainer will help you massively in making an informed decision. Becoming a certified personal trainer needs dedication, learning, and loving to help others. If you follow the steps in this guide, from getting qualifications to getting clients and learning more, you’ll be on your path to a cool job in fitness. Enjoy the journey, and soon you’ll be motivating others to be fit and change their lives!

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)

How to become an online fitness coach in the UK?

The process of becoming an online fitness coach in the UK is similar to that of becoming a traditional personal trainer. Obtain the necessary personal trainer certifications and build an online presence through a website and social media platforms to offer your coaching services virtually.

How long does it take to become a personal trainer in the UK?

The duration of becoming a personal trainer varies. It typically takes several weeks to a few months to complete a certification program, depending on the program’s structure and your study pace. Gaining practical experience and growing your client base may require additional time.

How to get into personal training in the UK?

To enter the field of personal training in the UK, start by acquiring a solid understanding of fitness principles and completing a recognised certification program from bodies like REPs or CIMSPA. Gain practical experience by interning or assisting established trainers, and then begin offering your services to clients.

How to get a Level 3 personal training qualification in the UK?

In the UK, a Level 3 personal training qualification is a recognised certification level. Research accredited certification programs that offer Level 3 qualifications, meet their requirements and successfully complete the program to obtain this certification.

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Ricky Kambray

Hey this is Ricky Kambray an award-winning first-aid trainer with over 20 years of healthcare and teaching expertise. Highly certified general nurse regularly appears in the press discussing accident prevention and first aid advice.