Passion and purpose collide when a fitness enthusiast makes the decision to become a Certified Personal Trainer. How would you like to get paid to do what you love? If fitness is your passion and you have a desire to help others on their personal health and fitness journey, then becoming a Certified Personal Trainer might just be the career path (or side gig) for you.
Why should you take the leap? There are many reasons! So many, in fact, that we had to narrow it down to only five to fit it into one article.
What Are the Benefits of Being a Certified Personal Trainer?
Being a Certified Personal Trainer is much more than just hanging out inside of a gym for work (as awesome as that is!). Being able to help others and make a difference in their lives makes this career incredibly fulfilling, while the flexibility and growth potential in the fitness industry make it a viable long-term career option. Some start their fitness career early in life, while others decide to make a full or part-time career change to fitness after years in another industry.
No matter where you find yourself today, there are many great reasons to consider monetizing your love for health and fitness by becoming a Certified Personal Trainer. Here are just 5 of those reasons:
Be Your Own Boss/Call Your Own Shots
One major benefit of becoming a personal trainer is the opportunity to become your own boss. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 55% of personal trainers work at a fitness and recreational sports center (like a gym) while 22% are self-employed workers.
Many decide to start their career working as an employee for a gym, and then they branch out on their own as independent contractors or business owners for additional flexibility and a higher earning potential. As a personal trainer, you can decide how much you want to work based on your personal schedule and income goals.
Work in a Healthy Environment
A network of social relationships and a healthy workplace environment are linked to better health outcomes (National Research Council 2013). For many career paths, a sedentary job and unhealthy food in the breakroom battle against the employee’s best intentions to stay healthy in the workplace. As a personal trainer, you’ll be surrounded by like-minded health and fitness professionals, and you’ll work in an environment that encourages physical activity and healthy eating.
Talk about easy access to everything you need to maintain good health! Because you’re helping others improve their health and fitness, this serves as an additional source of motivation for you to stay healthy and active yourself.
You Get to Help People
There’s nothing more fulfilling than using your passion to help others, and as a personal trainer, you get to do exactly that. Using the skills you learned in your CPT course, you get to help people move better, feel better, reach their goals, and function better in their everyday lives. You’ll have the opportunity to build relationships with your clients, which makes investing your time in helping them even more fulfilling.
The best part about a career in personal training is that you get to see the fruit of your efforts in real time as you work with your clients. It’s not always about the numbers, although helping a client reach their weight loss goal is priceless. The everyday wins that clients experience along the journey are frequent reminders as to why you do what you do.
Have a Flexible Day to Day
A major benefit to working in the fitness industry is being able to accommodate your personal schedule. If you own your own business or work as an independent contractor, then you get to decide what days and times you see clients. This is the best way to ensure that you have the income that you want, but the freedom to do the things you love to do outside of work.
If you work as an employee, you may still have some flexibility. While trainers typically work early mornings, late evenings, and weekends, you can shift your client schedule around should you decide to go on a trip or have an event pop up. It’s not ideal for your clients to consistently move them around to accommodate your schedule, but there certainly is room for flexibility if you plan and schedule your clients accordingly!
If you’re tired of the same ‘ol, same ‘ol work routine, then a career in fitness can help to freshen things up for you. In the fitness industry, there are many ways that you can serve clients and create variety in your day. You can train clients one-on-one or in a small group setting, you can teach group classes, conduct “lunch and learns” at local businesses, do boot camps in the park, or do virtual training, etc. Having a variable schedule is not uncommon in the fitness industry.
You might have one day working with clients one-on-one in the gym, another day teaching classes, or even a totally virtual day training clients live virtually or writing programs for clients. You get to choose how you’d like to spend your time as a personal trainer and build around that.
You Get to Exercise All the Time
Whether you’re working alongside your clients or simply demonstrating a few reps here and there, working as a personal trainer is certainly more active than any desk job out there. As the ultimate bonus, you can easily workout before, after, or in-between clients to maintain your own personal fitness without even leaving work. You can expect to be on your feet and moving all day, which can take some getting used to, but there’s no doubt that you’re burning extra calories doing so.
If we tried to cover every single reason to become a personal trainer, we’d be here all day. Bottom line: Being a personal trainer is a rewarding and fulfilling career for anyone who is passionate about fitness and wants to help others along in their health and fitness journey. If you’re curious about what it takes to become a Certified Personal Trainer, check out NASM's Certified Personal Trainer course – giving you all the tools that you need to succeed in the fitness industry.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Fitness Trainers and Instructors, viewed May 2023, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/fitness-trainers-and-instructors.htm.
National Research Council (2013), ‘Physical and social environmental factors’, in Woolf SH & Aron L (eds), U.S. Health in international perspective: Shorter lives, poorer health, National Academies Press, Washington DC, viewed May 2023, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK154491/.