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How to Become a Personal Trainer: A Beginners Guide

How to Become a Personal Trainer: A Beginners Guide

Have you ever considered turning your passion for fitness into a rewarding career? Becoming a personal trainer offers the opportunity to work with clients to help them achieve their health and fitness goals while doing something you love. In this guide, we'll outline the steps to becoming a personal trainer, delve deeper into the different study methods available, and explore the diverse career opportunities that await once you're qualified.

Steps to Becoming a Personal Trainer

The journey to becoming a personal trainer typically involves two key stages:

  1. Level 2 Gym Instructor: This qualification provides you with the foundational knowledge and skills needed to work in a gym environment, including basic anatomy and physiology, exercise programming, and client communication.
  2. Level 3 Personal Trainer: Building on the knowledge gained in the Level 2 qualification, the Level 3 Personal Trainer course delves deeper into anatomy and physiology, nutrition, and advanced exercise programming. It equips you with the skills to work one-on-one with clients, tailoring programmes to their specific needs and goals.

Alternatively, some training providers offer combined Level 2 and Level 3 courses, allowing you to complete both qualifications in one comprehensive programme.

Study Methods

There are several study methods available for aspiring personal trainers, catering to different learning preferences and schedules.


Traditional classroom-based learning with in-person instruction and practical sessions. This method allows for direct interaction with instructors and fellow students, providing ample opportunity for hands-on practice and immediate feedback. Face-to-face learning typically follows a set schedule, making it ideal for those who prefer a structured approach.


A mix of online learning and face-to-face sessions, providing flexibility without sacrificing hands-on experience. Blended learning allows you to complete theory-based modules online at your own pace while still benefiting from in-person practical sessions and assessments. This method suits individuals who require more flexibility but still value personal interaction and support.

Fully online:

All learning materials and assessments are completed online, allowing you to study at your own pace and from anywhere. This method is ideal for those with busy schedules, limited access to in-person courses, or who prefer to learn independently. Online courses often provide support through forums, webinars, and one-on-one consultations with instructors.

Regardless of the study method you choose, you'll need to complete various assessments, including online or in-person exams, written portfolios, case studies, and practical assessments. Practical assessments can be conducted in person or, in some cases, via video submission.

Choosing a REPs-Endorsed Course

When selecting a personal training course, it's crucial to ensure that it's endorsed by the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs). This guarantees that the course meets industry standards and provides you with the knowledge and skills required to excel as a personal trainer. To find REPs-endorsed courses, visit the REPs course directory.

Career Opportunities for Personal Trainers

Once qualified as a personal trainer, a variety of career paths become available.


Work for a gym, fitness centre, or health club as a salaried employee. This option often provides a stable income, access to an existing client base, and the opportunity to gain experience in a supportive environment. Employed personal trainers may also benefit from ongoing professional development and resources provided by their employer.


Operate your own personal training business, either at a gym or by visiting clients at their homes or outdoor locations. As a self-employed personal trainer, you'll have the flexibility to set your own schedule, choose your clients, and determine your rates. This option requires entrepreneurial skills, as you'll be responsible for marketing, client acquisition, and managing your finances.

Online trainer:

Provide personalised training programmes, coaching, and support to clients remotely, using digital platforms and tools. As an online personal trainer, you can work with clients from all over the world, and you're not limited by location or traditional working hours. This career path requires strong communication skills, technological savvy, and the ability to create engaging and effective online content.

Some personal trainers also choose to specialise in specific areas, such as pre-and post-natal fitness, older adult fitness, or sports conditioning, to name a few. Pursuing a specialisation can help you stand out in a competitive market and attract a niche clientele. If you're interested in exploring job opportunities in the fitness industry, be sure to browse the job listings on the REPs website to find your next opportunity.

Becoming a personal trainer offers the chance to make a real difference in people's lives while pursuing a career in an industry you're passionate about. By following the steps outlined in this guide, considering the different study methods, and choosing a REPs-endorsed course, you'll be well on your way to a successful career as a personal trainer.

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